Rose City Kings
Gig Seeker Pro

Rose City Kings

Portland, OR | Established. Jan 01, 2002

Portland, OR
Established on Jan, 2002
Band Blues Americana




"Rose City Kings"

A Love So Strong represents the return of the Rose City Kings after a hiatus of several years after band leader Dan Berkery decided to step away from music for a little while. Always an exceptional songwriter with a knack for catchy, sing-along, and danceable tunes, Berkery steps right back into the fold with a new collection of material every bit as fun and exciting as before.

The revised band includes some old friends and newer members, but they’re all right in line with Berkery’s mindset. Well-known local players like keyboardist Steve Kerin, harmonica ace David Lipkind, bass man Tim Shaughnessy, Blues Music Award winner Jimi Bott, trumpet player Joe McCarthy, conga player Heidi Shuler, and vocalist Katy Oberg are amongst this star-studded cast behind the music here. This diverse grouping brings a lot of history and different approaches to the format. The recording were laid down at Jimi Bott’s Roseleaf Studios, with all but three tracks penned by Berkery.

There’s a lot of kick behind these numbers and right off the bat you’re going to hear the strong impact that Lipkind provides with his harp. Also front and center is the voice of Oberg, whether teaming alongside Berkery on a piece like “All Your Love” or taking the lead on her own as she does in “Working Girl Blues” where Steve Kerin and Berkery offer some exceptional accompaniment.

The title track “A Love So Strong” is classic Berkery at his best. With his soaring vocals and lyrics that invite you to join in on the chorus. The group throws down a funky little jazz instrumental on “Superbee” where several musicians get a bit of spotlight. “A Sight To See” brings a little flavor of Louisiana to the mix, with Steve Kerin working the accordion and harmonies from the band. There is a bit of humor as Berkery sings about being knocked out by the girl with the “Love Karate Chop” who grabbed his full attention with such ease and gained his attraction beyond his own belief. The album closes out with another fun number titeld “Nah Nah Nah” where the storyteller speaks about the women he has known, lounge-like backing from Kerin, Shaughnessy and Bott stand out nicely.

This is a welcome return from the Rose City Kings, one of Portland’s favorite bands from the past who should step right back into place from where they left off. With a recording like “A Love So Strong” it should be an easy step. Very much recommended.

Total Time: 54:14

One Lonely Morning / A Love So Strong / Just Like I Treat You / Working Girl Blues / My People / Superbee / All Your Love / Love Karate Chop / Rumba All Night / Sight To See / No Justice / Nah Nah Nah - Cascade Blues Association

"Powerful Band Release Strong, New CD"

“A Love So Strong….;” It sounds like a sweet, heartfelt ballad. Heartfelt, yes; it’s the title song of their latest CD release. It may surprise you. A Love So Strong is a very strong tune, performed by the Rose City Kings, at their recent CD release party.
RCK is a powerful band. The core group is Dan Berkery, lead guitar, vocals, composer and band leader; Katy Oberg, vocals and percussion; Steve Kerin, piano; Tim Shaughnessy, bass; Gary Keeney, drums; and the amazing David Lipkind on harmonica. There is a horn section on the recording, performing arrangements by Joe McCarthy. Hefty horn section also stood in this evening for part of the show.
Berkery started out with a smaller outfit in 2002, as the “founder” of the group. They featured guitar, bass, drums, keyboard and harp. They then added vocalist Oberg, to their benefit.
Berkery writes and arranges most tunes. All their recordings contain 100% original music except for one historical exception. For the first time, they included an old Howlin’ Wolf song, Just Like I Treat You. The band does observe and incorporate influences that people love. Berkery says, ”Respect the past and embrace the future.” He continues, “It’s fun to play other peoples’ music, but not this band.”
RCK is a primo dance band. People just start moving. Berkery tries to maintain a good balance in writing parts, mid-range instrumentals. He recalls that his brother played all instruments in the school band. A middle schoolteacher was teaching Berkery to play piano but he merely memorized the tunes without reading the chart. He later moved to guitar, what he plays now, and leads the band. He states that his mom’s love for music and his brother’s high aptitude in music were the inspirations that pushed him forward. In an early age (‘70s), songwriters were “the thing.” They could put words and feelings into music and get girls. (Berkery says that never worked for him). He did continue to explore his fascination with the creation of songs and recording them. In the ‘90s, he could get a home recording system, but still needed engineering and a good room. “You still need to know how to play.”
The 2014 Waterfront Blues Festival provided the site for a serious reunion of band members and they all wanted to keep on. “We have a long and successful track record, “he adds. 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 2007and 2008. The next CD to come is already in the works.“
The thing that distinguishes us is that band members have given everything up,” Berkery notes, in order to present an exciting show. The energy and intent pour forth out into the room to entice and charm audiences. A person can feel the warmth and truly enjoy the soul-baring authenticity of these performing artists. It is as if one is inside the music. Berkery notes that the show does have an improvisational nature and “(You get) a different show every night. “They try to make each performance a special event.
Of special note here is the gift of Lipkind on harmonica. He can make it sound like just about any instrument, and always has the right stuff ready to play in any tune.
Berkery rates the musicianship of the band members as five-star. They perform well-crafted songs, backing vocals and a somewhat improvisational delivery. Berkery says he loves to surf, but he wanted most to be with his friends creating and performing music. “We have a lot of fun and great fans,” he says. “Come and be a part of it. You’ll have a great time.” Regarding the practice of composing and performing original music, Berkery adds, “Portland’s got a great spirit for art. How do you keep that going forward?” The world changes, people’s habits and knowledge change, access to various kinds of art changes, but the Rose City Kings will always be lighting the way with the best of the past and present, anticipating and applying the future. For a fun evening of music and friendliness, especially if you like to dance, come see the Rose City Kings Band.
See performance schedule in Bandstand, Page 2. For more details and a way to purchase A Love So Strong, see their website, They are also on Facebook. Contact info: P.O. Box2433, Portland, OR 97208; Bandleader: Dan Berkery 503.804.7966; Booking and office: 503.799.6247. - Positively Entertainment


2016 “A Love So Strong” – Self Released
#1 – Title Track debuted as #1 Roots Music Report’s Contemporary Blues Song Chart
6 consecutive weeks on the Roots Music Report’s Blues Song Chart, Contemporary Blues Album and Contemporary Blues Song charts
One Lonely Morning, A Love so Strong, Just Like I Treat You, Working Girl Blues, My People, Superbee, All Your Love, Love Karate Chop, Rumba All Night,Sight to See, No Justice, Nah Nah Nah.

2008 “Kill These Blues”
# 1 Single Roadhouse Blues & Boogie ~ Cool Baby for December 2008 & January 2009 and in Top 5 for 5 months; Cool Baby peaked at #19 on Beach Music Chart with 7 weeks in its Top 40
Top 30 Roots~Rock ~ Kill These Blues (8/2008)
Dying on the Vine, Backslide, Kill These Blues, Under the Honey Moon, Goodbye Sweet Harriet, Sun Song, Cards, Cool Baby, Whiplashed, Let Me Love You Tonight, Megaton, Sun Song (Extended)

2007 “They Called Me Evil” – Self Released under Kolvane iteration of Rose City Kings
They Called Me Evil  ~ debuted at #18 (11/2007)
They Called Me Evil, Reckless Sinner

2005 "Holler Out for More - Rose City Kings Live"
#30 on RMR National Blues Radio. 
Delta Hop, Devil In My Shoes, Biscuits and Gravy, Up On It, Tequila Blues, Baybelline, Coffee Blues, way Down Low, Put A Wiggle In It, Double Belly Twist, Sweet Nothings, Reckless Sinner. 

2004 - “Up On It” - Self Released
The following tracks have been played in each of the following states and countries:
OR, WA, TX, IL, MS, CT, France - 
Put A Wiggle In It, Best Friend, Double Belly Twist, Dark Cloud, Sweet Nothings, Temptation. 

2003 - “Delta Hop” - Self Released
The following tracks have been played in each of the following states and countries:
OR, WA, TX, IL, MS, FL, CT, France, Belgium - 
Coffee Blues, Fire It Up, Biscuits & Gravy, Amy, Catch That Train
Devil In My Shoes, Can’t Fool Me, What a Shame.



Great songs, gritty vocals, innovative guitar, rollicking piano and a powerful rhythm section are the hallmarks of Rose City Kings. They take no prisoners when performing live. This band is infectious.

Band Members