“I decided I wanted to start a band after my kids all grew-up and left the house,” Rachel Enyeart explains. “I knew Liz Borg, because our husbands were in a band together, Whole Hog. One day, I just started talking to her. She was a very accomplished bass player and played with a band called Call Me Alice for many years. The band was on hiatus and she wasn’t doing anything, so I mentioned to her ‘I’m gonna start a band.’ She goes, ‘Oh, what are you going to do, sing?’ I said, ‘No. I want to play bass and have fun and rock out.’ She was like, ‘I’ll try out to be your singer,’ and I was like ‘What do you mean try out? You’re in!’”
And, just like that, Chica Diabla was born. The empty nester and the paralegal would soon join forces with a transplanted drummer from Minneapolis (Nats Babel) to get the ball rolling. The final, key ingredient was local guitarist Jon Norwood, whose playing gave this bar band the correct dosage of grime, aggression, and grit to stand out in the local scene
All the pieces were in place when the band completed their debut CD in 2015, but devastating news followed soon after. Borg, who had fought off breast cancer in 2013, had relapsed and the cancer had spread to her brain. Her health deteriorated quickly, but she still managed to perform one last show with Chica Diabla in August of 2016. In a severely weakened state, Borg had performed while sitting in a custom-made throne which had been crafted for the gig.
Even though Borg’s condition was startling, the performance was triumphant. The band seemed in great spirits as well. “You know, that was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. It wasn’t hard. It was hard going through everything else besides that moment. That moment was amazing, and I’ll never forget it,” Enyeart said.
“[Liz] was a powerful lady. She went out pretty fierce. I wouldn’t expect anything else from her.”
Borg passed away two months later. The band paid tribute to her legacy with the first Liz Fest in 2017. The event featured Chica Diabla and a supporting line-up of bands that were close to their fold. The Chica Diabla songs were sung by a collection of guest singers — which is one characteristic that Liz Fest II will not share. When the band reconvenes to play Bar Pink, Enyeart will be handling both bass and vocal duties. Besides celebrating the life of Borg, this event will also serve as the vinyl-release party for the album they completed back in 2015.
- Saturday, October 12, 2019, 7 p.m.
3829 30th Street,
“It’s always something we wanted to do, but it’s just so expensive,” Enyeart explained. “Mr. Nats Babel is now a doctor, so he can afford it. He’s pretty much floating the bill for the whole thing, because he’s always wanted to have something on vinyl that he did.”
Chica Diabla performs at Bar Pink's Liz Fest II on Saturday, October 12.