Blackwater Railroad Company formed in a basement during the winter of 2012, chasing away the dark winter blues with beers and a few blues tunes of their own. Originally sharing songs and covers that influenced them, they quickly made the transition to original material written by Tyson Davis, main vocals and guitar, and Andy Zamarippa, vocals and bass. The music can be defined in many ways, but the overarching themes include folk, bluegrass, rhythm and blues and country songwriters from the late 60s and 70s. Regardless of the genre, BWRR specializes in upbeat, unique covers and catchy, danceable originals that never fail to get the crowd dancing and smiling.
Blackwater Railroad is made of five members:
Tyson Davis, main songwriter, vocals and lead guitar.
Noah Hull Diamond, fiddle
Katy Larkin, cello
Isaac London, vocals, percussion
Andy Zamarippa, songwriting, vocals, bass
Tyson Davis, with his strong vocals, southern accent and fast flat- picking style leads the group. The main song writer behind the majority of the bands originals, his lyrical content and phrasing reflects on his North Caroline roots, heavily influenced by the likes of Townes Van Zandt, John Prine and the Avett brothers. Prior to his time in Alaska, he performed as a trained vocalist in traditional and musical settings and later as a frontman for a glam rock band. Once in Alaska, her performed with a myriad of seasonal musicians for many summers at the Windsong Lodge and around Seward.
Tyson and Katy Larkin started performing together in the summer of 2011 as a duet. Katy, a classically trained cello player from Texas, lends heavy solemn tones to contrast the cheerful grassy twang of Tyson’s style. Later that year, the duo met up with Andy Zamarripa, a multi-instrumentalist from Arizona, and Noah Hull Diamond, a fast and bright fiddle player who is a long time Alaska resident from Massachusetts.
Andy and Noah had already cultivated a history of performance together in Seward. Arriving Seward in the summer of 2009, Andy began performing with the street bluegrass band including Noah Hull Diamond, as well as several other local musicians.
After Tyson, Katy, Noah and Andy began meeting regularly as Blackwater Railroad Company, the final member was added.
Isaac London, also from Texas and somewhat of a local karaoke legend, captured the groups attention with his powerful singing voice at local karaoke contests. With his ear for harmonies and spot-on renditions of favorites like “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Like a Prayer”, the group finally found its way into the warm, loud spaces where people spend their winters.