Dromedary holds water

Many an aspiring musician has made the pilgrimage to Athens, motivated by the mythology of R.E.M., B-52's and Widespread Panic.

But for Athens duo Dromedary, it was moving away from Georgia (at least temporarily) that proved to be the greatest inspiration. Individually traveling thousands of miles in different directions, Rob McMaken and Andrew Reissinger laid the foundation for what would become Dromedary. Performing on the traditional instruments and incorporating the regional styles of the Andes, Northern Africa, Eastern Europe and Appalachia, dromedary draws on the experiences the two had with the music of these distant and distinct cultures.

Living in Chile and Bolivia, Reissinger was influenced by the lifestyle as much as the actual sound and technique. "Seeing people in the plazas playing music until 2 or 3 in the morning really influenced me," says Reissinger. "It wasn't about 'being in a band' and going out and trying to make a career. It was just a different sort of perspective. I guess Rob and I had that in common when we first came together."

McMaken came to a similar realization when he was exposed firsthand to the music of Eastern Europe.

Returning to Athens, the duo began to explore a common attraction to music's role in a culture. The close proximity the two have had to these musical traditions is evident in the delicate, personal dynamic of their compositions.

Dromedary plays the Athens Human Rights Festival Sat., April 20, in downtown Athens.??