Their first independent CD Artifact (2001) was picked up by NPR's All Things Considered within weeks of its release, and was heralded for its "deep reverence for tradition" while confidently "expanding those boundaries." The duo began touring in the New England and the West Coast over the next couple years (Rob was still teaching High School History at the time) which deepened the "telepathic improvisation" that they became known for.
Their second release, Live From the Make Believe (2002) revealed their deep love of acoustic American sounds, with the appalachian dulcimer more prominently featured, as well as an American spiritual tune, a Bill Evans' (jazz) tune, and even a dobro and fiddle player joining in on some live performances. This music caught the ear of award-winning songwriter and singer Jonathan Byrd, who then composed an entire album inspired by and written for the duo.
Jonathan Byrd and Dromedary's collaborative album The Sea and the Sky (2003) -- called a "masterpiece" by multiple reviewers and deejays -- landed Dromedary on stage in some of the world's finest folk venues and festivals in Texas, California, New England, as well as Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. This album was partially made possible with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts via the North Carolina Arts Council. The Washington Post calls it â€œa soulful, multifaceted odysseyâ€ and the buzz about Dromedary's mysterious and powerful sound has since grown considerably.
Never content with staying with one music pallette, Dromedary just released a new CD, Dromedary Quartet (January 2006), which features two like-minded improvisers -- percussionist Jeff Reilly and bassist Neal Fountain. Dromedary Quartet takes Dromedary -- some would say -- to the "next level" as some of Dromedary's latent compositions and musical ideas (that were impossible to pull off as a duo) come to the forefront in the context of the Quartet.
Currently, Dromedary continues to perform, collaborate, and record all over the country and the world. This year, they have also taken an educational world music program into schools around the country, introducing young people to the sounds of South America, the Appalachians, North Africa, Portugal, and Eastern Europe. Along those lines, Andrew Reissiger recently co-produced a documentary film about the Bolivian charango filmed on location in Potosi Bolivia and has also begun producing a public radio show called "World Tour" that is aired Saturdays at 10:00 pm on NPR affiliate WUGA 91.7. Rob McMaken continues to teach private students and has helped spearhead an international jazz collective known as Kenosha Kid, which performs in the US, Canada, and Europe.
Check out the artist's website:
1. fado triado: introduction
2. fado triado: portuguese dances
3. tukman's cueca
4. letter from the front
5. virgenes del sol
6. backroads to brooklyn
7. daily huayno
8. the jolly gobbler
9. camels waltzing
10. a sunday evening