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Hereford-based band RailAway releases album

If you've been to theHereford Fall Festival, Hereford Parade, or Recher Theatre inTowson, you've heard them.

If you've partied at University of Maryland, Towson University, University of Delaware or Virginia Tech, you've heard them.

If you've been at backyard get-togethers, bars or restaurants in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware, you've heard them.

And now you'll be able to hear the North County band RailAway any time, any place.

The five-man band is releasing its first CD on July 22 following a performance at the Recher Theatre. The CD, called "Dirty Water," features 11 original songs.

"We have been working on this CD for two years and paying for it by doing gigs" said guitarist Anthony Oliver, 23, a Baltimore City firefighter who is one of original three band members, along with brothers Chris and Brian Diller. "For us, this is like making it to the Super Bowl."

The band puts every dollar it earns into an account that pays for new equipment, gas to get to gigs and recording studio time.

The members — four graduated from Hereford and one from Baltimore Lutheran High School — said songs on the new CD are a collaborative effort.

Lead singer and guitarist Chris Diller, 23, wrote many of the lyrics, but said his brother Brian, 21, who plays bass guitar and Gordon Covington, 21, a pianist and singer, are naturals at music theory.

When he's not playing keyboard, Covington attends Towson University and works for a logging company. Brian Diller also attends Towson and works as a rehabilitation technician at Union Memorial Hospital.

"We're all different in our music, so it's like a melting pot when we write our songs," said Chris Diller, a graphic artist. "The beauty of this band is we're still young and passionate about our music."

Drummer Alex Waicker, 24, a realtor who lives in Towson, described the band's sound as "progressive rock/reggae," but it also plays everything from Jimi Hendrix and Steppenwolf to Billy Joel and the Beatles.

Kristina Salko, of Millers, heard RailAway at the Hereford parade and hired them to play at her family's Octoberfest for the past two years.

"We loved that they were local, but they're also very talented," she said. "We just let them play whatever they wanted and people loved it."

Mike Kirby, a 2005 Hereford graduate who attended University of Delaware, has booked RailAway a dozen times in Delaware.

"They played at fraternity parties and at the bar where I worked," he said. "They have a reggae-rock base, but can play a wide spectrum of music. They have a big following in New York and New Jersey, too."

Hereford's got talent

An electric guitar Brian Diller received for Christmas when he was 10 started him and his brother on their musical careers. Brian didn't play the guitar at first, so Chris picked it up and has been playing ever since.

Brian eventually came around and the two spent hours in their family's Parkton basement pretending to be rock stars. Anthony Oliver joined them, and they practiced and started writing their own songs.

Their friends didn't know they played until they entered Hereford High's talent show in 2006. The three were into skateboarding, so when they had to come up with a band name for the show, they picked RailAway, a skateboarding move in which the board is ridden down a metal railing.

The three Hereford guys recorded a six-song demo CD in 2007 and started getting calls to perform locally.

Covington, who knew Brian Diller from Hereford and Towson, was invited to join the group the next year. "I was blown away by how good they were," he said.

Waicker came on board after the Dillers' father, Dennis, saw him at a Towson deli wearing a drum manufacturer's hat and tapping his fingers on the counter as he waited for his order. He auditioned a week later and became the fifth member.

The band dynamics changed with two new members, and they immediately started working on songs for a CD. They also hired Justin Kinsey, of Parkton, as manager. Kinsey is a loyal fan who knew Oliver from Hereford High and from Hereford Volunteer Fire Company.

"I can work on bookings and merchandising, so they can continue to work on their excellent sound," Kinsey said. "They progressed so much when they went from a three-piece band to five. Their type of sound and showmanship is so good now."

He said RailAway will be on 98 Rock (97.9 FM) radio station on July 22 at 7:40 a.m. Tickets to the July 22 concert at Recher Theatre are $10 and doors open at 7 p.m.

For ticket information or to buy the new CD, go to

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