About Rose City Kings
Established in Portland, OR in 2002, Rose City Kings is a well respected musical ensemble in the Pacific NW. They have performed seven times at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival (the second largest in the nation) and at some of the premier West Coast Blues venues such as Biscuit & Blues (San Francisco), Cafe Boogaloo (Los Angeles), Torch Club (Sacramento) and Highway 99 (Seattle).
Rose City Kings has received Real Blues Magazine’s awards for Best Pacific Northwest Blues Band, Best West Coast Blues/Rock Band. They were the Cascade Blues Association’s Muddy Award winner for Best Contemporary Act 2004 & Best New Act 2003; and were finalists for Best Contemporary Act in 2007 & 2008.
Guitar, Lead Vocals
Dan Berkery (also known as Kolvane) has been writing and performing original material for over two decades. Dan’s goal is to deliver the best possible performance, each and every night, leaving nothing left in the tank. And, that’s demonstrated by his well- known passionate delivery, animated physical performance, and searing slide guitar work.
Dan formed Rose City Kings in 2002 and was the front man, guitarist, and creative direction and vision behind Rose City Kings releasing Delta Hop, Up On It and the live album, Holler Out for More in quick succession. Then, he created the harder-edged, more Blues-Rock form of Rose City Kings, calling the band KOLVANE and releasing Kill These Blues and They Called Me Evil. Dan created a new vision for Rose City Kings in 2014, gathering an ensemble of Portland’s finest musician/performers familiar to fans from both Rose City Kings and KOLVANE as well adding some new faces.
“My focus is ensuring that we keep what makes Rose City Kings special – whether you’re playing a Rose City Kings album or coming to a live performance, it’s a great and memorable experience.”
Steve Kerin hails from Lafayette Louisana. Introduced to Piano at the age of 4, Steve is a monster at Blues and New Orleans style piano as well as a fine singer. While Steve studied classical music in college, today he identifies his greatest influences as Dr. John, Professor Longhair and James Booker. Steve’s professional work and personal musical interest extends into many genres including Rock, Classical, Jazz and Blues.
Gary has been drumming since a teenager and has spent time in orchestra settings, rock ‘n roll bands, and also studied music in college. Gary joined the band Kolvane in 2007, when he was new to PDX. As part of Kolvane, he performed with Dan and pianist Steve Kerin until the 2011 hiatus. When Dan asked Gary to join the re-envisioned Rose City Kings last year , Gary wholeheartedly jumped in. He’s enjoyed meeting the Rose City Kings fans: “There is an authenticity that doesn’t need to be spoken and comes out when the fans are around the venue, before, during and after the bands sets. It’s pure and really cool to be around.”
Gary’s most fulfilling experiences come from playing original music. He wants music that challenges him and he certainly found that challenge with his good friends in Rose City Kings! Gary says that not only are the songs challenging, but also the players in the band. “You have to bring it in this band or you’re going to get left in the dust or dragged along. Dan writes a lot of different forms too, so the variety is there to keep the band and the fans engaged.”
Gary describes his drumming style as complementary and foundational. He appreciates and is inspired most by soulful playing over virtuoso performances. Similar to bass player Tim Shaughnessy, Gary wants there to be plenty of room for everyone on stage to do what they do best musically and be heard by the audience. He says, “I don’t try to stay out of the way, but I try to stay in my lane.”
When Rose City Kings reformed last year, David was the band’s first choice to play harmonica. Without question, David is a unique and fresh voice in the harmonica world. He takes a diverse, versatile approach to the instrument, bringing in a broad range of influences. Since the early days of Rose City Kings in 2004, David has been on the band’s radar, even subbing on a few occasions. David comes by his tremendous harmonica skills by way of his family, which is steeped in harmonica players dating back to his grandfather. As a kid growing up in Saint Louis, David would go to Chuck Berry’s Club, Blueberry Hill, when he wasn’t hanging out at the local music store.
David likes Rose City Kings’ broad mix of music styles. David especially relishes the improvisational moments of the band – where each musician plays off the other. David has been enjoying getting to know RCK’s fans. He likes their loyalty and how they deeply listen to the music and dance. David says, “It’s really special how much Rose City Kings fans pick up on the fun and exciting moments of the show. Their energy feeds our performance.”
Katy Oberg joined Rose City Kings last year on percussion and vocals. With a diverse and varied musical background you’ll just as likely hear Katy torch up a traditional jazz standard or a raucous show tune, but her great love of soul runs deep and its influence is apparent. Katy especially loves the hardness and rawness of the Blues, and relishes the opportunity to express that rawness as a singer.
Katy first saw Rose City Kings in 2004 when the band competed in and won the Journey to Memphis competition at the Safeway Waterfront Blues festival. From that moment, she says, “I was blown away by the band.” She was drawn to its originality, freshness and power. When the band invited her to join last year, her response was a resounding “Yes!” It was only fitting then that her first public performance with RCK was at the Safeway Waterfront Bluesfest last year.
Katy has been getting to know our fans. She’s been struck by how much the RCK fans get involved in the performance. She says our fans give really good energy that then feeds back into our high energy performances.
Tim has the distinction of being one of the original and first fans of Rose City Kings. Indeed, the idea of forming Rose City Kings sprang up during a musical jam in Tim’s living room in April 2002. Tim was pursuing other musical avenues at the time. So, he wasn’t able to perform with RCK until 2005. Ever since, he’s been a key element of RCK’s rhythm section. Tim most enjoys sitting in the pocket and giving musical space to allow the other musicians to shine.
Tim likes the synergy among the band members and their free flowing humor. Tim echoes the sentiment of his band mates when he says, “We’re a family.” Tim enjoys performing RCK’s unique and original music because of its breadth. Songs have a variety of flavors from blues to rock to soul to gospel. He says the songs have the power to move the listener to dance with delight or occasionally to tears.
Of the fans, Tim is appreciative of their extreme loyalty. He notes that the fans have traveled near and far to see the band — from Memphis to Seattle. He says the fans have been loyal from the first day and readily embrace each of the musicians who have joined RCK. As a musician, “There’s nothing more fun than looking out and seeing the RCK fans’ smiling, happy faces.”