Berry Duane Oakley on new band; Allman Bros

/ Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Berry Oakley SkylabSarasota-based rocker Berry Duane Oakley has been on stages around the nation playing bass. He's also been known to get behind the drum kit. But his main role these days is singer, lead guitarist and songwriter with Skylab. That's Oakley's latest project, which also features Zack Yoder (bass, vocals) and Mike Fender (drum, vocals).

"The concept behind Skylab is to take music to a new place," Oakley said. "Experiment with songs from our past, bring them to the people in new ways while building the Skylab sound."

Skylab performs at Cabana Inn in Sarasota from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Wednesday and then starting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Siesta Key Oyster Bar (SKOB).

"They'll be some Pink Floyd, blues, some Allman covers but in new ways, Beatles, a bunch of classic rock as well as some originals," Oakley said. "We plan to have a jam with musician friends that stop by in the last set."

Berry Oakley_Beacon_2013_2

Berry Duane Oakley, right, with Warren Haynes, left, and the rest of the Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon Theatre in New York, March 17, 2013. COURTESY PHOTO

Oakley performed with the Allman Brothers Band during the group's Beacon run in New York in March. He played bass on "One Way Out" (see clip below), "Trouble No More" and "You Don't Love Me," all songs that became Allman Brothers classic thanks, in large part, to the propulsive, pioneering bass playing of his father, Berry Oakley, one of the founding members of the Allman Brothers Band.

"Standing on that stage, looking down the line that my father helped build is such an honor and joy," Oakley said. "It's hard to put in words but once your up there on that stage it's like being home."

at The Coconut Teaszer

By Midnight Rider

THE OAKLEY-KRIEGER BAND's shows August 20 and August 27 at The Coconut Teaszer were great sets from these very talented guys, Berry Oakley, Jr. on vocals and bass, Waylon Krieger on guitar, Duane Betts on guitar and Alec Puro on drums. Their shows keep getting better and better each time they play.
During both shows, we were treated to some excellent music, both original and covers. Their originals songs, like "Locked," "Calling Me Back," "Believe Your Dreams," "Alone," "Honest Crime," "Room." "Love's My Enemy and "Impossible" stand out as true winners in today's music. And they play memorable covers like The Allman Brothers' "Hot Lanta'," The Door's "Back Door Man" and Cream's "White Room." On their Allman Brothers and Doors tunes, not only does it sound like the original song, but the feel and mood of that era has been astonishingly captured by the band! On the songs "Impossible" and "White Room" they end them with long, long jams that are most welcomed.
Their August 27 show was a rockin' and jammin' two hour set. They played this long because this was their last show at The Teasze for awhile cause they are going on tour around the country and into the studio. So it was nice to get a full dose of the guys to tide us over 'til they come back!
Be sure to keep a sharp eye out for their next rockin' gigs in the near future cause they are highly recommended!

In This Group, Scions Are There

Pop music: Berry Oakley Jr., Waylon Krieger and Duane Betts draw on their fathers' music and '80s and '90s trends to forge 'blueternative' band.


"Blueternative" is how singer-bassist Berry Oakley Jr. describes the music of his Oakley Krieger Band. It's a simple way of letting people know that the quartet is influenced by the classic blues-rock of the '60s and '70s as well as the alternative guitar rock of the '80s and '90s.

For the Los Angeles-based group, which plays Saturday at Hogue Barmichael's in Newport Beach, both dimensions of its sonic mix are a natural fit.

The band members, all in their early to middle 20s, came of age during the '90s heyday of grunge, yet find it impossible to escape the music of their parents' generation.

Maybe that's because Oakley's father was the Allman Brothers Band bassist. His guitar playing partner, Waylon Krieger, is the son of Robby Krieger, the Doors' guitarist. Rounding out the group is drummer Alec Puro and guitarist Duane Betts--and, yes, Betts is the son of longtime Allman guitarist Dickey Betts.

Given the band's name and lineage, it's no surprise that the young group has found an audience that crosses generations.

The Oakley Krieger Band was formed about a year ago and has been playing mostly at Los Angeles-area clubs such as the Coconut Teaszer, the Key Club and the Mint.

"We get a lot of people at our shows who were around when our fathers' bands started," Oakley, 25, said in a recent telephone conversation. "It's nice to see. They're enthusiastic about it and complimentary. It makes me think that we're doing the right thing. [They'll say things like] 'Oh, I bought your dad a beer in '69.' "

That's more contact than Oakley ever had with his father, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1972 just before Oakley was born. In 1971 Allman Brothers guitarist Duane Allman died in a similar motorcycle mishap. (Oakley said his parents were going to name him Duane until his father's death. Dickey Betts named his son after the celebrated guitarist.)

Berry Oakley Jr. and Waylon Krieger have been playing together since they were infants. Oakley's mother, Julia, had been married to Doors' drummer John Densmore before Oakley.

Though the marriage didn't last, she did forge a strong friendship with Robby Krieger and his wife, and the boys developed a tight childhood camaraderie that grew into a musical partnership.

"When we were born, we were stuck in a crib together a lot," Oakley said. "Later, we learned how to play music together. We've been in bands together, and we write songs together."

Oakley grew up in a strong rock 'n' roll environment. When he was 3, his mother married Three Dog Night singer Chuck Negron. It wasn't until he was in his teens that Oakley began to really learn about his father's contributions to the Allman Brothers Band.

"I spent a lot of time with [band members], collectively and individually, when [they reunited about the time] their 'Dreams' box set came out in '89," he said. "I got to know everybody [for the first time]. They told me all the stories about my father and the stuff they did when they were kids. I just connected with everyone. From that point on, I've kept in touch with everyone, and I see them whenever I can."

Oakley began to develop as a musician then. In 1992, a management company asked Oakley and Krieger to start a band with drummer Aaron Davis, son of jazz legend Miles. They seized the opportunity.

The group, Bloodline, released an album of Southern rock on EMI Records in 1994 and toured in support of bands such as Tesla and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Oakley said Epic lost interest in Bloodline after the band tried to exert more control over its career. The group dissolved in 1995.

"The band was definitely contrived," Oakley said. "We also had this 13-year-old guitar prodigy in the group. It was all about the different points that they could sell. We were too young to understand that at first. We were just eager to play. We jumped into it without really knowing."

The Oakley Krieger Band is managed by Oakley's mother, but a primary goal is to find a professional manager to negotiate a recording contract. Still, Oakley said the group isn't willing to strike just any deal.

"We're taking it slow," he said. "We want to make sure the band is perfect, that we're playing well and that we have the right material. Going through the Bloodline experience was great, but if someone wants to sign us, we want to make sure they really want us."


Oakley and Krieger's financial support comes from longtime positions in the Robby Krieger Band. That group performs a bevy of Doors' covers from "Break on Through" to "Love Her Madly." Oakley also splits lead vocal duties with the elder Krieger.

In the Oakley Krieger Band, the Allman Brothers Band and Doors material is kept to a minimum, although the group often performs the Doors' "Back Door Man"/"Five to One" medley and the Allmans' "Hot'Lanta."

"Of course we're the kids of [prominent rock musicians]. We're not ashamed of that," Oakley said. "But our ultimate goal is for us to make it on our own. Rather than people saying, 'You're the kid of so and so,' I want them to say, 'Isn't your dad Berry Oakley?' I want it to be the other way around."

* The Oakley Krieger Band performs Saturday at Hogue Barmichael's, 3950 Campus Drive, Newport Beach. 11 p.m. $8. (949) 261-6270.

Robby Krieger
OKB: The Oakley Krieger Band

Berry Oakley * Waylon Krieger * Duane Betts * Alex Puro

By sheer bulk, this group represents a good fraction of the rock offspring trend. The O.K. Band has made quite a name for itself on the L.A. club circuit with its classic-rock sound, landing among Music Connection magazine's Hot 100 unsigned bands for 1997.

Currently, the quartet is recording demos for Ark 21 Records, although a deal has yet to be inked. "The name might get an A&R person to listen to the tape," says guitarist Waylon. "But when it comes down to it, it can also be a hindrance because people prejudge you and compare you with your old man."

Featuring scions of some of rock & roll's most influential players -- Berry Oakley, son of the original Allman Brothers bassist; Waylon Krieger, son of Doors-man Robby Krieger; and Duane Betts, sired by none other than Allmans' guitar monster Dickley Betts -- this combo has been cranking out a sound they call "blueternative music," drawing strong crowds and impressive guest talent (Robby Krieger frequently sits in on shows.) It's essentially an Allman-informed brand of blues/rock and Doors-associated covers, delivered with crunch and a veracity that prompts a new understanding of how pervasive the genetic code can be.

The story of how the band came together is a tale of fate. Childhood friends, Berry and Waylon grew up playing together. Since Waylon's dad, Door's guitarist Robby Krieger -- (Berry's godfather, by the way) -- had a studio full of guitars, they would hand around at Robby's and play music whenever they could.

After short turns in various Los Angeles bands, Berry (at 16 years old) hooked up with his late father Barry Oakley's band The Allman Brothers -- in 1989 he toured the U.S. as a guest bassist -- taking the same position his father did many years before, and hasn't stopped playing since.

Waylon Krieger also was playing around L.A. with various local bands. Hooking up again after Berry's Allman Brothers stint, the two found themselves playing together again for the Robby Krieger Band.

Next came Bloodline and all the hoopla that surrounds a major record label debut. Touring for four years with Bloodline (EMI Records), Berry and Waylon crisscrossed the country many times over playing clubs, theaters and major venues. Although a critical success with a number of charting single releases, the band eventually broke up.

In1996 Barry and Waylon moved back to Los Angeles and started thinking about forming their own band. After a magical late night jam session with another childhood friend Duane Betts, Berry knew they had found what they were looking for. Originally a drummer, Duane had recently taken to the guitar, stunning the 500,000+ crowd at Woodstock '94 when he sat in with The Allman Brothers Band.

With the addition of Alec Puro, one of Los Angeles' hardest working and most sought after drummers, the band was ready to go. As their fathers had before them, they started by paying their dues working the live music clubs up and down the Sunset Strip. Several blistering performances at the Whiskey A Go-Go (The Doors regular haunt) landed them smack in the middle of the L.A., club scene.

Although newly formed, The Oakley Krieger Band already has the music industry in Los Angeles buzzing. In the last year the band has kept very busy. They have toured the Midwest as well as opening several major concerts in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. Television includes appearances for VH-1, Lifetime Television and MGM's new series FAME L.A.

Bloodline: Second-generation Rock


Four Sons Of Famed Musicians Are The Core Of A New Band Ready To Make Its Own Name.

July 24, 1992|By Deborah Wilker, Fort Lauderdale Sun-sentinel

They are unwinding backstage, confidently swigging Evian after a show as if they were born to rock stardom.

And in a sense, they were.

Although you don't know their names and they aren't famous (yet), the guys in the band Bloodline already have the star act down pat.

They aren't cocky just knowledgeable. They wear their laminated all-access passes like second skins. They discuss gigs and rehearsals and light meters and sound checks with the offhandish slang of veterans.

They do this all with such ease because they are the sons of some very famous musicians: the late Miles Davis, Sammy Hagar (Van Halen), Robby Krieger (the Doors) and the late Berry Oakley (the original Allman Brothers Band).

These kids have been around tour buses and studios and TV cameras since they were little, which, when you think about it, wasn't so long ago.

Drummer Erin Davis is 20. Bassist Berry Oakley Jr. is 19. Guitarist Waylon Krieger is 18. Lead vocalist Aaron Hagar, who doubles as the band's ebullient spokesman (no surprise there), is 22.

And at the center of all this is 15-year-old blues guitar prodigy Smokin' Joe Bonamassa - a critical sensation from Utica, N.Y.

There's also Lou Segreti, a keyboardist Smokin' Joe has brought along from a former band to be Bloodline's musical director. At 30, he seems about ready for his pension.

Now in the midst of a string of Florida club dates (including performances tonight and Saturday night at the Station in Fern Park), Bloodline hasn't gone unnoticed by the music in-dustry. Several record-company

labels, including Warner Bros., have expressed interest.

Veteran producer Phil Ramone is guiding the band's first official studio tracks to be recorded in Fort Lauderdale in coming days.

''As soon as I heard them, I knew it wasn't going to be a novelty act and that this would be a true musical attempt,'' Ramone said. ''They're good kids. I really believe in them. There's no time in this world to play around. The business is much too critical today.''

Of Smokin' Joe, Ramone said comparisons to Eric Clapton are not out of line.

''He's extremely talented and a very good student, both in school and in the studio. If he can just stay sane and sober . . . you know, its so unnatural all the applause and money that gets thrown at you in this business.''

That's where the other guys in the band probably can lend Smokin' Joe some guidance. All have seen firsthand the trail of destruction left upon families by drugs, alcohol and fast living.

Couple that with the scrutiny this band is likely to endure, and Ramone says the setting is ripe for difficulty.

''Things will definitely be much harder for them,'' he said.

Second-generation bands and pop singers - an inevitable product of the aging rock era - have come and gone with varying degrees of success for years. The best known at the moment is probably Wilson Phillips, whose members are the daughters of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and John Phillips and Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas.

There are many others, including the twin sons of Rick Nelson, who call themselves Nelson. Beatles kids Sean Lennon, Julian Lennon and Zak Starkey all have dabbled in musical careers. Drummer Starkey is now touring with his dad, Ringo.

Another ''Allman'' kid, Elijah Blue, son of Cher and Gregg Allman (and Oakley's friend), has been playing guitar in his mom's backup band for the past two years.

This year's big Grammy winner, Natalie Cole (daughter of Nat), and Whitney Houston, whose mother is gospel singer Cissy Houston and whose aunt is Dionne Warwick, also are second-generation success stories.

Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, has his own heavy-metal band. The R&B vocal group LeVert owes its heritage to the O'Jays, and now the two sons of old rivals Lou Rawls and Marvin Gaye have united to form an act called Nu Breed.

Of course, the hallowed doors to the entertainment kingdom open much more easily to those with a friend or a relative inside, but once there, it seems the standards are much loftier, the stakes increased.

Says young Hagar, ''Yes, people are gonna look at you twice as hard. We're always gonna feel it. It's a mind game, but whether or not you allow it to get you is what counts.''

Although the members of Bloodline hail from New York and California, the band's headquarters for the moment is a Fort Lauderdale motor inn.

They're running a sort of creative think tank here - writing, rehearsing and recording under the guidance of their management company, Premier Artists Services of Coral Springs.

The guys say Bloodline clicked from the start - just as if they had been thrown together in a new dorm the first day of college.

''I think we all want to make our own name,'' says Berry Oakley Jr., who also has a famous stepfather - Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night. ''People are coming in with expectations of Miles Davis, Van Halen, the Doors and the Allmans.

''The pressure factor is there,'' he said. ''We just want to create something with a sense of the old days but mixed in with a modern ear.''

Bloodline was a great band which only released this one great CD. And there are some pretty interesting bloodlines at work here. Berry Oakley, Jr., son of The Allman Brothers Band bassist Berry Oakley. The son of The Doors' Robby Krieger, Waylon Krieger and son of Miles Davis, Erin Davis. This was also the first band featuring Joe Bonamassa. So, plenty good reason for checking this out. Or maybe the fact that Warren Haynes joins in on a couple songs may grab your attention? And if I told you this is terrific funky yet in-your-face Southern Rock, would that do it for ya? It's a Southern Rock classic that time has yet to discover. And thanks to Shmoopatties this now comes with two live bonus tracks. Dixie peach!

Allmans & Sons article Rolling Stone 11/11/99

The following appeared in the November 11th, 1999 ROLLING STONE..........


The story of The Allman Brothers Band is one of the most glorious and the
most tragic in rock. On this year's tour celebrating the band's Thirtieth
Anniversary, founding members Gregg Allman & Dickey Betts are joined by
three musical heirs: Gregg's son Devon, 27, who sings; guitarist Duane
Betts, 21, son to Dickey and bearing the name of Gregg's guitar-genius
brother, who died in a motorcycle accident in 1971; and bassist Berry
Oakley, Jr., 26, who was born after the death of his father, the Allmans'
bass player, in another  motorcycle accident a year later.

The three sons(as well as Elijah Blue, Gregg's son by Cher) play in bands of
their own but reserve time to tour with the elder Allmans.All three are
clear-eyed live wires; backstage in LA they (along with Dickey Betts) offer
insights into a heritage they call "sacred."

DICKEY: When my son Duane was young, he wouldn't let me show him anything. He wanted to sit in his room and learn [the Allmans song]"Jessica"himself. I said "Why don't you let me help you with this?""Well"he says, "I want to play my own way.I don't want to sound like you." And I said, "Son, listen.You talk like I do, you laugh like I do, you even like the same food, you know?You walk like me. You're gonna  to play guitar like I do. You've got the same kind of voicing-your ideas.Don't fight it." And Duane-at the time he was fourteen-was saying, "Yeah, but..."And I said "But you're gonna be twice as good as I am."And he went, "AWWW."

DEVON: Our parents were really supportive, but the most important thing is that they also give us the distance we need to just be our own musicians and our own people. Because you want to pay homage, but you don't want to ride the coattail. Berry & I were born right when the Allmans were at the pinnacle.Their first record came out in 1969. It's a sacred club, that thirty-years club.

BERRY: My dad passed away before I was born, but I've had a love affair with music, and lots of support, since I was four or five. I think music just speaks to certain individuals. I quit high school to go on the band's twentieth anniversary in 1989. It was my senior thesis right there.

DUANE: My earliest memory is when my dad bought me a guitar. I didn't take to it very well; I wanted to play drums. Then I got in my first childhood bands, started playing guitar and said "Wait Man, I kinda like this."

BERRY: My ex-stepfather [Chuck Negron] and I did a lot of touring with Three Dog Night. I saw the demise of Three Dog Night, basically as a child. The three singers used to physically fight, on a nightly basis. It was a lesson in what not to do. There's certain [substances] that should not be touched, certain things that should just be left alone. Very cut and dried; it's not worth it, because people have lost a lot-some lost riches and fame, some lost families. I'd love to be around doing this 30 years from now.

DEVON: Our dads are really wonderful guys. Their story is pretty sad, a deep history. They take the punches and keep going. My dad said something that really hit me: If I can learn from his mistakes, then he didn't really make them in vain. RS


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