Allman-Betts Band

The Blues. Americana. Allman-Betts Band

by Kirk Anderson

Music has so many definitions around the world. The definitions change with time. Each generation feels their definition is the only one that matters. Oxford Languages defines Americana as, ”things associated with the culture and history of America, especially the United States.”

As we go back in time to the late 1800s and early 1900s, Americana was often defined by folk music.  John Avery Lomax was a pioneering musicologist who was recording Americana when he came across a guttural music being made on the plantations of the South.

The blues of the time, sung only to a few other slaves on individual plantations, had few real instruments, much less recordings. But Lomax was able to take recording equipment to the Mississippi Delta in the early 1900s as the Great Depression was revving up.

The blues was born in the American Southeast as slaves toiled endlessly in the plantation fields, starting early every morning. The slaves were given just enough food to sustain them through their hard workdays. At the end of the day, leftover food from the plantation house was thrown out to the slaves to replenish the calorie deficit. The next day, they’d do it all again. Pay? None. Hope of working their way out of indentured servitude? None.

As hot summer days turned to hot summer nights, any feelings of optimism gave way to animalistic moaning out in pain and despair. As the workers mixed these guttural vocalizations with rhythms and beats from their central West African homes, the blues was born.

Jump forward 100 years. Americana has grown into the blues, into jazz, into country and rock ‘n’ roll.   Again, as artists do, a new group of lifelong musicians are interpreting the music’s growth. Where? Back to a new Americana. They are keeping one foot firmly planted in their musical influences. They mix their inner musical voices to bring music to a new place.

Cascade Blues Association, I introduce you to the Allman Betts Band.

Alphabetically, for your reading enjoyment…

Devon Allman – guitar, vocals

Duane Betts – guitar, vocals

  1. Scott Bryan – Percussion – second drum kit – backing vocals

John Ginty – B3, keyboard – backing vocals

John Lum – drums

Berry Oakley – bass – vocals

Johnny Stachele – slide guitar

“The Brotherhood of the Light” with Pete Rabinowitz and Chris Samardizch

In the late 1990s I interviewed Devon Allman and worked on tour with Duane Betts and Berry Duane Oakley. More than 20 years ago, as they started their professional music careers, they were adamant about making their way on their own terms and with hard work.

Sure, you might come see them because of their dads, but they stand on their own merits to gain you as a fan. What? Their dads? If the last names haven’t already given it away, I always encourage my readers to Google the names they don’t know. My musical knowledge still only touches a small portion of the incredible variety of music. I always try to take the time to search out the roots for music for which I am listening. read up about names I don’t know. This extension has opened my experience with music like a meeting with Morpheus (don’t know Morpheus? The Oracle?  More Googling may be needed).

Through the late 1990s and early 2000s, the individual band members crossed paths many times as they shared the stage in many incarnations. They bring with them more than 100 years of musical interpretations and performance.

Four years ago, Devon and Duane came together in a new project called the Devon Allman Project. Devon brought with him three decades of progression, recording and touring with endeavors like The Dark Horses, Honeytribe, Royal Southern Brotherhood and solo projects.  Duane himself had a busy three decades of musical experiences with Backbone69, Oakley Krieger Band, Whitestarr, Great Southern, Dawes and Jamtown.

During a nationally streamed broadcast, BMG-NYC’s Lea Gerschwinder interviewed Devon for the national release of their first CD, “Down to the River.” Devon shared that it was natural to bring in a longtime third leg of their musical family, bassist Berry Duane Oakley.

Berry brings with him three decades of professional life in music. His musical experiences include Robby Krieger Band, Bloodline, Oakley Krieger Band, Backbone69, Chuck Negron Band, Butch Trucks & the Freight Train Band and Indigenous Suspects.

The Allman Betts Band’s first CD, “Down To the River” debuted at the top of the iTunes rock chart.  Grammy winning producer/engineer Matt-Ross Spang (Jason Isbell, John Prine) brought his skills to the CD, pulling together the history of the music, the facility and the musicians to lay down the first recorded landmark of this band’s evolving new sound. Classic recording techniques and vintage gear completed an environment conducive to finding their own sound. The result was nine songs recorded to two-inch analog tape without computers or digital editing, allowing the listener to hear the warm nuances that the band works hard to share.

Their first CD highlights the vocals of Allman and Betts and is a combination of rockers, blues runs and a country ballad. You get a chance to hear them establish their sound. Many times, artists are inspired by musical venues that carry with them the history of those who recorded there before them.  Such is the case with the Allman Betts Band.

Joining part of their musical family is their studio of choice, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. After years of backing some of the best musicians at Rick Hall’s FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section( aka The Swampers) took their rhythm section talent and left to form Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in nearby Sheffield, Alabama. Again.

The Swampers’ rhythm section backed many branches of the blues tree and its soul branches as they recorded hit after hit. Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Boz Scaggs to name but a few.

The Allman Betts Band is now part of the studio’s history. Twice. The Allman Betts Band, after recording their first CD and touring the world, have evolved. They wrote new songs as they sat in the tour bus going down the road.  They have had another stint at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios laying down fresh tracks.

The second CD is titled, “Bless Your Heart.”  Stronger, more familiar, direction becoming clearer. Oakley adds his distinctive vocals to the project as the band further defines itself.

Music has many personalities. Each member brings their own essence to the project. The recording studio and venue can add their imprints on the music. Ultimately, it’s the musicians, their instruments and amplifiers that bring the project to life.

  • Devon’s Johnny Cash model Martin acoustic guitar and ’61 Fender Stratocaster ”Frankencaster”;
  • Duane’s ’61 Fender hard tail Stratocaster and Les Paul gold top Dickie Betts Signature prototype;
  • Johnny’s ’59 Leroy Parnell edition butterscotch Gibson Les Paul;
  • Berry’s Fender Jazz Basses;
  • John’s Hammond B3 through the Leslie speaker;
  • Louis’s John Lum’s Pearl drum kit and
  • R Scott Bryant’s percussion set up rounds out the percussion section and
  • (Touring) Peter Rabinowitz and Chris Samardizch-Brotherhood of the Light add a distinctive light and video show building on 50 years of complementary innovation.

While we’ve all been in various states of COVID-19 lockdown, the Allman Betts Band has had to satisfy our live music needs with a streamed, live performance at Belly Up in Solana Beach, California. A high-quality video and soundboard audio on live streaming concert production company NOCAP hosted the event. NOCAP had already streamed more than 70 virtual concerts at well-known music clubs and theaters and sold more than 350,000 tickets.

With BMG again behind the band, the band performed on its first nationally televised performance on “CBS This Morning’s Saturday Sessions.” Not just one tune played on the cutaway, but performances of the “Bless Your Heart” single, “Pale Horse Rider,” paired with the single “Magnolia Road” from their inaugural CD “Down by the River.”

As the spring of 2021 grew with what was hoped to be post-pandemic optimism, the Allman Betts Band again came back to the NOCAP live streaming platform with three different performances streamed weekly over three consecutive Monday’s. One stream was a more controlled environment performance at Village Studios in L.A., followed by two live concert performances at West Hollywood’s Roxy Theater.

Everyone has to fight to keep live music alive. The bands, the venues, the community and YOU! The Allman Betts Band, its management and the venues in your community are in the middle of an 80-plus  U.S./European stop tour which started in late May.

Late July finds our intrepid friends (friends? Yeah, don’t you feel like you know these guys now?) on the same bill as another group of musicians finding their own way, Blackberry Smoke. They are together for a line of concert dates across the U.S. At the end of this joint tour, the Allman Betts Band continues on their own as they head out west, taking a hard right turn up the coast to the Pacific Northwest before heading back for a line of European gigs.

BMG is again showing their love for the recording endeavor. Gibson Guitars and Facebook Music have put their assets to work for the tour. Big Hassle Media has continued its representation of the Allman Betts Band as the 20-year-old company represents an incredible string of artists over a wide variety of musical genres and experiences. Man, Google these people!

Again Big Hassle Media has opened their hearts to the music fans of the PNW, providing access to information about the band, exclusive interviews with the band as well as the community of Pacific Northwest venues hosting the shows in early September. There are four shows starting the second week of September in Oregon and Washington.

The PNW run starts at Century Center in Bend on Thursday, Sept. 8, and into Portland’s Roseland Ballroom on Friday, Sept. 9. The tour crosses the border into Washington for a show in Seattle at the Neptune Theatre in the University of Washington district on Saturday, Sept. 10,  and at Spokane’s Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox on Sunday, Sept. 11.

Special guests opening the show are Marc Ford (Google him) and St. Louis’ own soulful folk duo, River Kittens.

In this preview, I wanted to make sure you knew that you have several opportunities to see the Allman Betts Band for yourself. You also have the chance to help your community. Your musical community that has hunkered down during the past 16 months of the pandemic lockdown. They now need your patronage to help them come back. Have you thought maybe of taking a trip to a neighboring community in the PNW and maybe seeing a second show? Support the music, support the band, support the venue and support the community around the venue. Have fun!

As I’ve been reading about the Cascades Blues Association, I’ve found a group of people who do more than just go see shows. You care about your community. You participate with the musicians and the venues as a community. So it is with great honor that I am able to exclusively cover the PNW portion of the Allman Betts Band tour for both the Cascades Blues Association and the Washington Blues Society. We are a community that is more the same than we are different.

We’re planning one article for each group previewing the early September tour, followed up by a second article for each with special emphasis on the shows in your home state. Interviews with the band members, reviews of the shows and community experiences as well as  information from the venue representatives about what they’ve been through during COVID-19 and what they are doing to open back up. I hope to pique your interest in your and your neighboring communities’ music scenes so we can all be part of the comeback.

Thank you for spending the past 20 minutes with me as I brought you up to speed on the Allman Betts Band. As my first effort for the Cascade Blues Association, I hope I have earned your interest and have provided useful background to broaden your understanding of the music in your life.

Midnight at The Crossroads - Oct. 22 Echo Theater

Midnight at The Crossroads
Oct. 22, Echo Theater

By Marie Walters

We are partnering with Querencia Dance Productions to promote a completely different kind of blues show on Oct. 22. “Midnight at the Crossroads” is a celebration of the blues and burlesque, an adult-oriented show presented dinner theater style at Portland’s Echo Theater.

We are ecstatic to feature Portland’s First Lady of the Blues and her band — the LaRhonda Steele Band — providing the live soundtrack, plus performances by Dahlia Kash, Fannie Fuller, Viper and featured performer from Seattle, Nox Falls “The Naughty Body.” BeeBee Sanchez, whom many of you may remember from her years volunteering on the hospitality team at the Waterfront Blues Fest South Stage, will emcee and perform.

Watch this space for the ticket link when they go on sale in September!

Melody Guy-Ketcham August 8th

Melody Guy-Ketcham August 8th at Artichoke Music 7pm

Artichoke Music is pleased to welcome a uniquely gifted songwriter and performer, Melody Guy. She reaches fans and inspires them to follow her through a life’s journey of love, loss and independent triumph of the spirit. Artists of varying genres have recorded her songs from Sherrie Austin to Jesse James. “She sings with passion and beauty from the depths of her soul and writes from a real place that few writers rarely even touch upon” “You’d have to be dead to not feel something when Melody Guy sings.”— Steve Seskin American Singer/Songwriter / Author –

Melody back on the road as a troubadour, visiting fans and weaving tales that resonate with music lovers across a wide range of styles. Her live performances with her band have garnered even more attention, sharing the stage with Keith Urban, The Avett Brothers, Leon Russell and Tanya Tucker, where Melody earned a standing ovation at the famed Ryman Auditorium.

After achieving success with her last release “Diamond On The Street,” Melody recently completed the long awaited “Dry The Rivers” album, Produced by famed musician and producer Michael Webb and recorded in Nashville, TN. She is currently on tour and will be making a stop here with stops throughout the Southwest and California. Join us.

Advance purchase of tickets is recommended.

Doors open at 6:30 pm. There are no printed tickets for Artichoke events. You will receive and email confirming your purchase and we will place your name on the will call list. Tables of 4 may are reserved in advance. Location of seating is first come first served.

This performance will be livestreamed free simultaneously and will include tip jar links for artist.

Kara Grainger August 12th

Kara Grainger August 12th at the Alberta St Pub. 8:30pm

(CBA co-sponsored event)

With Pat McDougall on keys, David Guy (from Nashville) bass and Simon Lucas, drums

Her music career began in a small suburban town of Sydney Australia and since then has taken her on an incredible journey throughout the globe.  Combining tasteful blues and slide guitar, soulful vocals and a heartfelt approach to songwriting, Kara’s truly unique sound will leave you uplifted, inspired and always wanting more.

At the age of 16 Kara joined with her brother Mitch Grainger to form the band “Papa Lips”. The band toured consistently throughout Australia and produced two studio albums that received national air play.

The band was heavily influenced by the sounds of Stax recording in Memphis, and by the Funky style of blues and soul that derived from New Orleans.

In 2008 Kara signed to Australian label “Craving Records” and was invited to the US by producer David Kalish where she recorded her debut solo album. The recording entitled “Grand and Green River” received critical acclaim and remained in the top 30 of the Americana Charts for 38 straight weeks.

Since then Kara has made three further albums whilst residing in the US. In 2011 “LA Blues” was recorded live at Studio City Sound. The cd paid tribute to some of Kara’s earliest blues inspirations and in 2013 Kara recorded and released” Shiver and Sigh” through Los Angeles record label “Eclecto Groove.” The album was produced by Grammy award winning producer David Z with some of LA’s finest musicians, including Mike Finnigan, Hutch Hutchinson, James Gadson and Kirk Fletcher among others.

One of Kara’s touring highlights was performing in Northeast India for the Himalayan Blues Foundation. Her performance at the “18 degrees cultural Festival” introduced the local community to roots and blues music for the very first time.

She has traveled to Indonesia several times to perform at the Jakarta International Blues Festival, performing together with her US band and as a special guest with “The Jakarta all Women Blues Review”.

In 2011 she toured Japan opening the show for “The Swampers and Donnie Fritts”, the infamous house Rhythm section for “Fame Recordings” in Muscle Shoals…She has taken her band to Switzerland where she performed at the “Sierre Blues Festival” as well as “Lucerne”. The band has also toured in Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Spain.

In 2015 Kara performed at the “Beautiful Swamp Festival” in Calais France and to sellout crowds on her debut tour of the UK. Another highlight was preforming at “Ronnie Scotts”, London’s premier blues and jazz venue.

In the US Kara has performed at several Festivals such as ‘The Portland Waterfront Blues Festival’, ‘Blues from the Top’ in Colorado and “Austin City Limits”. She has also opened the show for many extraordinary acts such as Peter Frampton, Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal and Jonny Lang, to name a few.

Tickets at

Key Events and Save the Dates! September 2021

August 2021 – Key Events and Save the Dates!

8/3 Johnny Burgin Band with Joel Astley, Backroom/Catfish Lou’s

8/4 Johnny Burgin & Joel Astley CBA Livestream Membership Meeting at Artichoke Music

8/6 Johnny Burgin Band with Joel Astley, Murphy’s Watering Hole, Bingen

8/8 Melody Guy-Ketcham, Artichoke Music

8/11 Carlton Jackson-Celebration of Life-CANCELLED DUE TO COVID CONCERNS

8/21 Curtis Salgado Band, Billy Blues

8/26 Too Slim & the Taildraggers, Billy Blues

8/28 Lloyd Jones Band, The Pines Estate, Hood River

8/28 Curtis Salgado Band, The Garages

9/9 Allman Betts, Roseland Theater

8/12 Kara Grainger Band, Alberta St. Pub

9/11 CBA Journey to Memphis Competition, Artichoke Music

9/11 Sonny Hess Birthday Bash, Blue Diamond

9/24 Duffy Bishop, Alberta Rose Theatre

9/29 Too Slim & the Taildraggers, Alberta Rose Theatre

9/30 Ruthie Foster, Mary Flower, Alberta Rose Theatre

10/7 Booker T Jones, Alberta Rose Theatre

10/10 Oregon Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Concert, Aladdin Theater

10/15 Robert Cray, Aladdin Theater

10/17 Blues for Slim Lively, A Benefit for Greg “Slim Lively” Johnson, Crystal Ballroom

10/18 John Hiatt and the Jerry Douglas Band, Revolution Hall

11/7 Chris Hamann Celebration of Life, Catfish Lou’s

11/9 Paul Thorn, Alberta Rose Theatre

11/14 Los Lobos, Aladdin Theater

11/11 JJ Grey & Mofro, Crystal Ballroom

11/18 The Record Company, Roseland Theater

12/1 Marc Broussard, Revolution Hall

12/12 CBA Holiday Party, Moose Lodge



3/23 Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Revolution Hall

4/21 Buddy Guy, Tom Hambridge Duo, Revolution Hall



Thanks to Mike & Debra Penk for editing this!

Key Events and Save the Dates! September 2021

Key Events and Save the Dates! July 2021

7/1 – Jonn Del Toro Richardson & Dean Mueller at Strum Guitars

7/4 – Frank “Paris Slim” Goldwasser, Tony Coleman & John Mazzocco, Double Barrel Brewing, Hood River

7/7 – Adam Scramstad, CBA Livestream Membership Meeting at Artichoke (see the member newsletter for the process to win reservations. This is a members-only FREE show, but seating is limited, and reservations are required,)

7/16 – Cathedral Park Jazz Festival Blues Night

7/17 – First Benefit for CBA President Greg Johnson, Mulino Blues Festival

7/21 – The CBA Presents Johnny Wheels & the Swamp Donkeys at The Botanist House

8/4 – Johnny Bergin & Joel Astley CBA Livestream Membership Meeting at Artichoke (see members newsletter for the process to win reservations)

9/11 – CBA Journey to Memphis Competition

9/28 – Too Slim & the Taildraggers at the Alberta Rose Theatre

10/10 – Oregon Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Concert, The Aladdin Theater

10/17 – Benefit for Greg “Slim Lively” Johnson, Crystal Ballroom

11/7 – Chris Hamann Celebration of Life, Catfish Lou’s

11/18 – The Record Company, Roseland Theater

11/18 – John Hiatt & Jerry Douglas, Revolution Hall

1/21/22 – Tommy Castro & the Painkillers, Jack London

34th Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Virtual Festival

34th Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Virtual Festival
Sunday, July 18, at 5 p.m.

This free virtual festival is a gift to you, our beloved fans, and will feature amazing performances recorded especially for this year’s Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival.

Artists include:

The Mavericks

The War and Treaty

Larkin Poe

Sugaray Rayford

Methow Juke Joint Allstars featuring Lady A, Polly O’Keary, Tommy Cook, John Oliver III and David Miller

Joe Louis Walker

Ruthie Foster

Cedric Burnside

Tia Carroll

Too Slim and the Taildraggers

Pine Leaf Boys

LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends

The festival will be streamed on both Facebook and YouTube.

Gratitude to all who are making this possible and to Christoffer Lund Andersen, who will be heading the streaming on launch day.


For more information go to




41st Annual Cathedral Park Jazz Festival July 16-18

41st Annual Cathedral Park
Jazz Festival July 16-18

Festival Line Up

The Cathedral Park Jazz Festival lives on LIVE IN THE PARK for our 41st annual jazz festival. The festival kicks off at 4:30 p.m. Friday, July 16.

Check out our 2021 lineup — see you there!

Friday, July 16 – 4:30 p.m. kickoff (Blues Night July 16)

4:30 – 5:30
Steve Cheseborough

6:00 – 7:00
Sonny Hess & Lady Kat “Smokin’ True Blue”

7:30 – 8:30
Fenix Rising

9:00 – 10:00
Lloyd Jones with The Atlas Horns

Saturday, July 17

1:00 – 2:00
Collective Combo from PSU Jazz

2:30 – 3:30
Michael Raynor Quartet

4:00 – 5:00
Andrew Oliver Trio

5:30 – 6:30
Melao de Cuba

7:00 – 8:00
Korgy & Bass

8:30 – 9:45
Jarrod Lawson

Sunday, July 18

1:00 – 2:00
Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra

2:30 – 3:30
Tony Pacini Trio

4:00 – 5:00
Julianne Johnson with the Ron Steen Quartet 

5:30 – 6:30
500 Miles High (a tribute to Chick Corea)

7:00 – 8:15
Soul Vaccination

Per the Oregon Health Authority, all guests will be asked to wear masks when they enter and leave the area or are visiting common areas like the restrooms or food booths.

For more Information about the Jazz Society of Oregon visit their website:




Jonn Del Toro Richardson

Jonn Del Toro Richardson
July 1 at 7 p.m. Strum Guitars

Please join Jonn Del Toro Richardson & Dean Mueller for a mix of low-down blues and country from Texas.

Based out of Texas, Jonn is an internationally renowned guitar player with a Blues Music Award for Best New Artist Debut Award for his album “Tengo Blues.” He also won the “Rising Star” award at the International Blues competition and has picked up many other national awards and nominations along the way. Jonn continues to tour extensively both in the U.S. and Europe.

Based in Oregon, Dean Mueller earned a Blues Music Award nomination as the bassist with The Insomniacs and has numerous other national awards of his own. Dean is a Pacific NW Journey to Memphis winner and has toured extensively throughout the U.S.

Jonn and Dean have performed many shows together over the years and are excited to team up as a duo for this event.

Tickets are $20 — Covid safety guidelines will be followed, and attendance will be limited. Reservations are highly recommended. You can reserve your spot by stopping by the store, calling them at 971-229-0161 or dropping them an email at

Mulino Blues Festival Benefit

Mulino Blues Festival Benefit for Greg “Slim Lively” Johnson

Saturday, July 17, 1-7 p.m.

Minimum $10 donation requested

BYOB and chair

1-2 p.m. — Young Guns of the Blues (Ben Rice, Tevis Hodge, Timothy James, Justus Reece, Kivett Bednar)

2:15-3:15 — Lisa Ma

3:30-4:30 — Josh Makosky Band

4:45-5:45 — Generation Headstrong

6-7 — All-Star Jam (Dover Weinberg, Timmer Blakely, Don Shultz, Franco Paletta, and surprise guests)

Dano’s Dogs will be on site and is donating all sales from the event to Greg’s GoFundMe:

Parking available on site.

Gates open at 12:30 p.m.

Fun info about how the Young Guns of the Blues got started: Greg’s wife Cherie originally put it together for Greg’s birthday celebration, but then they went on to play additional sold-out shows!

The Young Guns of the Blues are:

Ben Rice, multiple Blues Music Award winner and nominee, CBA Hall of Fame,

Kivett Bednar 2018 Willamette Week Best of Portland winner

Tevis Hodge Jr, traditional American music historian and recreator

Justus Reece, blues & jazz finger-stylist

Timothy James, singer songwriter, and youth representative for the CBA at the International Blues Challenge

Each musician has represented the Cascade Blues Association in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge over the years.