Blackwater Railroad Company

By Chris Hoch
Sun Star Reporter

Blackwater Railroad Company played an all ages show on April 4 in Gulliver’s Bookstore, and has partnered with Gulliver’s a develop a “lending library” for musical instruments in an effort to impact the Fairbanks community positively.

The blue grass band Black Water Railroad played at Gullivers books on Saturday afternoon. - Chris Hoch / Sun Star

The blue grass band Black Water Railroad played at Gullivers books on Saturday afternoon. – Chris Hoch / Sun Star

Blackwater Railroad Company is a band from Seward, consisting of Issac London on vocals/percussion, Katy Larkin on cello, Noah Hull Diamond on fiddle, Tyson Davis on guitar/ vocals and Andy Zamarripa on bass/ vocals. Larkin does all the graphic design for the group, including album artwork.

The band started a “music lending library” in Seward, wherein they loan out instruments to kids and jam with them as well. It’s a way for them to impact the community in a positive way, according to Davis. Blackwater Railroad Company has partnered with Gulliver’s so that you can trade an instrument for a ticket to their show at the Blue Loon on May 16, which will be used to help start a similar program in Fairbanks.

“We really want to make a living at this. This is our passion … [this band] is the realization of a dream,” Davis said. “It’s my family. These guys are my family now,” Larkin said. The band’s new album, “Sound of Home,” is going on advance sale at Gulliver’s and is now available. “Sound of Home” was recorded in a dry cabin off the grid, which required a lot of extra effort but injects a certain level of authenticity, according to the band. “This second album we have really started coming out with our own sound, ” Zamarripa said. “It’s a way to get to know each of us personally … It’s a little piece of ourselves and what home means to us,” Larkin said.

“So far we’ve gotten nothing but love, and that excites us. That makes us want to put ourselves out there that much more … [“Sound of Home”] is a culmination of all the love and support we’ve received up to this point,” London said. “We didn’t move to Alaska to become working musicians. This opportunity just kind of appeared,” Davis said.

The Seward community, by providing monetary, emotional and social support, was able to propel Blackwater Railroad Company to success. “They saw the vision before we did … we bought into that,” Larkin said. Word of mouth has had a large impact on the band, spurring them to play in small communities such as Homer. The band has played all along the highway as well as in some rural areas, and was even contracted to play for a wedding.

“Alaska. It’s a big state but it’s a small town,” London said. “We met at an open mic at the Yukon,” Zamarripa said, reminiscing with Davis, referring to getting their start as a band in Seward. They knew Larkin and Diamond, and later discovered London at a karaoke event. Each band member hails from a different part of the United States, but met in Seward in fall of 2013.

Blackwater Railroad Company will be playing a 21+ show at the Blue Loon on May 16, tickets will be available at Gulliver’s Bookstore. On May 17 they will be playing a free allages show at Gulliver’s Bookstore and jamming with kids. Later the same day they’ll play from 8 p.m. until close at the Boatel.

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