A Dose of the Delta Blues

Kevin Estrada

Catch a fever
The band's influences form a sizzling whole

The rock gods must have been smiling when, in 2001, Zac and Ethan Holtzman met Chhom Nimol at a nightclub in Long Beach, California's Little Phnom Penh. Inspired by cassette tapes Ethan hauled home from a backpacking trip to Southeast Asia, the American brothers had set about the rather quixotic task of forming a Khmer rock band. They'd learned a couple of songs, but needed a singer to give them life. They found one that day in Chhom, a recent émigré with a knockout voice. Dengue Fever, that singular, strange and wonderful ensemble, was...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!