Django grew up across the street from the annual Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington. There he got his first lessons at a young age from such Irish fiddle gurus as Liz Carroll, Dale Russ and Brendan Mulvihill. His deep grasp of the style also reflects time spent living and playing in Boston's thriving Irish music scene. Rambles magazine praises Brian as a guitarist "who really understands the music" and doesn't "just play the chords". Aside from his guitar and vocal work he is also an accomplished player of the Irish flute. Irish music has been his focus since age 17 when, as a high schooler in Bemidji, Minnesota, he left garage rock to start the popular group The Gaels. Both Django and Brian make regular visits to Cork, Ireland having both studied Irish music at University College Cork.
Since they began in 2002, 5 Mile Chase have toured extensively in the Midwest and beyond, bringing their music to audiences from Seattle to Boston to Cork. Highlights have been performances at the Milwaukee Irish Fest, Boston Celtic Music Fest, the Minnesota Folk Festival and The Sioux River Folk Festival (SD). They have been featured on Minnesota Public Radio and their infectious "charm and energy" (Rambles) has made them a magnetic act in the Twin Cities.
5 Mile Chase's self-titled debut CD was released in 2003. Dirty Linen magazine said it captured "the spirit of a spontaneous pub session" with its lively medleys of jigs and reels while Amy Carlson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press was especially taken with its "hauntingly gorgeous" slow tunes and waltzes.
In addition to 5 Mile Chase, both Django and Brian perform with The Doon Ceili Band led by legendary County Offaly accordion player Paddy O'Brien. Django is in high demand as an Irish fiddle teacher and he has traveled to his hometown to act as a fiddle tutor at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. Brian has become the top choice accompanist for many premiere Irish musicians passing through Minnesota. He has performed with such world-renowned musicians as Paddy Keenan, Frankie Gavin, Aoife Clancy and Laurence Nugent and he tours nationally with Laura and the Lads.
Recorded by Joe Mabbott at Trail Mix Studios in Minneapolis, MN, 5 Mile Chase's debut focuses mainly on their work as a fiddle/guitar duo. In addition, the CD incorporates Miller's vocals and Irish flute work along with Amerson's bouzouki accompaniment. There are also appearances by Milwaukee's Asher Gray on bodhran and St. Paul's Laura MacKenzie on Irish flute.
The album focuses predominately on music from the Irish traditional repertoire, but the two musicians occasionally blend their jigs and reels with other exotic sounds. In the set "The Maids of Mitchelstown," Amerson gives a nod to American old-time music with a bouzouki rendition of the standard "Cluck Old Hen." Miller brings in Richard Thompson's "Waltzing's For Dreamers" to add a touch of modern British folk song to the menu, as well as his own composition "The Talking Ice," which was inspired by Norwegian hardanger fiddle music.
Check out the artist's website:
1. Trip To Cullenstown
2. Waltzing's For Dreamers
3. My Maryanne
4. Maids of Mitchelstown
5. Tyrell's Pass
6. The Valentine
7. Turkey in the Straw
8. The Orphan
9. Bonnie Light Horseman
10. Over The Moor to Maggie
11. Five Mile Chase
12. Talking Ice