Image Courtesy of Angus MacGrain
Left to right are: (back row) Lloyd Spoon, Ray Downey, Michael Trullinger, Ed Reynolds, Gary Evans, Kevin Chalk.
(front row - seated): Linda Asher, Jerry Ranger, Bill Majkut
New Deal Rhythm Band
Seattle, Washington
1973 ~ 1983


Steve Allen ~ Upright Bass (76-77)
Lon "The Happy Slapper" Alsman ~ Upright Bass (74-76)
Tom Anastasio ~ Bass
Linda Asher ~ Vocals (77-81)
Cheryl Bentyne ~ Vocals (74-77)
Eric "Nimrod" Bjorklund  ~ Trombone  (78-81)
Chris Cannard, Trombone  (81-82)
Kevin Chalk ~ Piano (77-81)
Mark "Sparky" Clark ~ Drums
Chris Cole ~ Baritone Saxophone (79-80)
Phil DeBasket "Shallat" ~ Vocals
Ray Downey ~ Tenor Saxophone (77-78)
Gary Evans ~ Trumpet (77-78)
Bill "Boston Bob" Grey ~ Vocals, Guitar  (81- 83)
Park Hall ~ Tenor Saxophone  (79-80)
Mary Cleare Harron ~ Vocals (77)
Louie DeSax (Healy) ~ Tenor Saxophone
Gail Hebert ~ Vocals (73-74)
John "Purple Dog" Holte ~ Alto Saxophone, Clarinet (74)
Dave Keim ~ Trombone (76-78)
Jim Kerl ~ Trumpet (79-82)
Art Langston ~ Upright Bass, Tuba (78-79)
Lori Larsen ~ Vocals (73-74)
Mark Larson ~ Drums
Bill Majkut ~ Upright Bass (77-78)
Gary McKaig "Tommy Brone" ~ Trombone
Peter Montalbano ~ Trumpet, Vocals (78-80)
Ron "Froggy" Nations ~ Alto & Soprano Saxophone
Bill "Jr. Blackout" Owens ~ Guitar
Jerry Ranger ~ Alto Saxophone (75-79)
Ed Reynolds ~ Baritone Saxophone (75-81)
Steve Ryals ~ Tenor Saxophone (80-81)
Craig "Tiny Sforzando" Schroeder ~ Trumpet, Vocals (74-77)
Kura Shepard ~ Vocals (73-74)
Lloyd Spoon ~ Trombone (77-78)
Michael Trullinger ~ Drums (74-79)
Jim Vaughn ~  Bass
Steve Yamasaki ~ Baritone Saxophone (80-83)
Chuck ? ~ Guitar (75-77)

In Memory of

John Holte
Kevin Chalk Christopher


Click Here to Hear a New Deal Rhythm Band Sound Clip

New Deal Rhythm Band - 1973 - Photo Courtesy of Bill Owens
New Deal Rhythm Band - 1973

The band was actually formed circa 1972-73 by John Holte. John was the founder and guiding light of the band. The original vocalist was Phil DeBasket (Shallot). The above photo is a postcard with the original line-up. The following is the list of musicians:

Ron "Froggy" Nations ~ Alto and Soprano Saxophone
John "Purple Dog" Holte ~ Alto Saxophone, Clarinet
Louie DeSax (Healy) ~ Tenor Saxophone
Craig "Tiny Sforzando" Schroeder ~ Trumpet, Vocals
Phil DeBasket (Shallat) ~ Vocals
Mark Larson ~ Drums
Lon "The Happy Slapper" Alsman ~ Stand-up Bass
Bill "Jr. Blackout" Owens ~ Guitar

Cheryl Bentyne, currently with Manhattan Transfer, replaced Phil Shallot as vocalist when Phil joined the Empty Space theatre troupe in Seattle. 

The below photo is the same line-up as above with Cheryl, Gary McKaig ("Tommy Brone") on the trombone, and Michael Trullinger on drums.

It was these two bands that were successful throughout the Northwest in the early seventies. The band played throughout Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and Canada. It was featured in a Rolling Stone article in 1974, toured showrooms in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, recorded national radio commercials for Levi-Strauss, etc. It's Seattle "home" for a number of years was the McGovern's Dinner Club on Lake Union. The band was managed for most of the early years by Angus MacGrain (SAM Productions). 

Bill Owens, May 2005

The band was started in 1973 as you see the photo with the original line up. That was taken by Louie deSax's brother in law at the Inside Passage Tavern in the Pioneer Square Area.

Craig Schroeder, October 2005
Craig Schroeder

This is Lon Alsman, bass player from The New Deal Rhythm Band 1974-76.   I am alive and well living in Tacoma.

Lon Alsman, July 2006

This is Eric “Nimrod” Bjorklund, trombone player for The New Deal Rhythm Band 1978 – 81, alive and very well in Spokane WA.  Any former “New Dealers”, drop me a line at
Eric “Nimrod” Bjorklund, August 2006

Hello from New York.  This is Michael Trullinger checking in.  My seven years with the NDRB are a most special time. I am still playing drums, although for fun now, two gigs this week.  Drop me a line:

Michael Trullinger, November 2007

From 1973 to 1974 the New Deal Rhythm Band had a "girl group", The Boombah Sisters, singing with them along with Phil DeBasket.  The Boombah Sisters consisted of Lori Larsen (Lola Boombah), Gail Hebert (Gay-Gay Boombah) and Kura Shepard (Koo-Koo Boombah).

Kura Shepard, January 2011

New Deal Rhythm Band - 1975 - Photo Courtesy of BIll Owens
New Deal Rhythm Band - 1975 - Photo Courtesy of BIll Owens

The New Deal Rhythm Band on Blog Spot

Buy Their Music at CD Baby

The White Album - 2011
Available at CD Baby

Hep! Hep - 2011
Available at CD Baby

Swing Out in The Groove - 2011
Available at CD Baby

New Deal Rhythm Band - 1982
Available at CD Baby
The New Deal Rhythm Band, Formed by John Holte in 1973.  Jerry Ranger took over in about 1975.  The band played to packed houses across the USA and Canada throughout most ot he 70's.  They finally disbanded in about 1981.
The Original lineup included Cheryl Bentyne who has been with Manhattan Transfer from 1978 to the present day.  The N.D.R.B recorded one album with Cheryl.

The horn sections were composed of almost entirely of veteran musicians from military big bands or internationally acclaimed big bands such as The Stan Kenton Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson, etc.  They smoked!

Page 2

If you have corrections, a neat photo or more information, please send it to:

Make a donation using PayPal.  It is fast, free and secure.
Last Update:  15 March 2017
Credits:  Bill Majkut, Gary Syers, Jim Kerl, Doug Rice, Maia Santell, Art Langston, Bill Owens, Rose Forinash, Craig Schroeder, Lon Alsman, Eric Bjorklund, Michael Trullinger, Kura Shepard, Linda B. Hurevitz, Angus MacGrain

Band # 505