Fiddle player Django Amerson and guitarist/singer Brian Miller are 5 Mile Chase. Melding Irish traditional jigs, reels and songs with 21st century musicianship they make music that uses its firm traditional base as a launch-pad for tight knit grooves and thoughtful expression. It’s infectious Irish-American music of a high caliber.
When Django was young, his family moved to a house across the street from the annual Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington. There he got his first lessons 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”. Also an accomplished singer and flute player, he has been performing Irish music with various groups for the last 9 years. Both Django and Brian have spent many months in 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 with each year their reach has extended to include tours in Django’s home territory of the Pacific Northwest and the Boston area, as well as performances in their adopted home of County Cork. Folkwax called their appearance at the Boston Celtic Music Fest ”an unexpected delight both in musicianship and good humor” while Rambles.net praises their music’s “charm and energy”.
Recorded in 2003 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.