about us

Linda Martin - Keyboard, Vocals
Ron Pagan - Guitar, Keyboard, Vocals
Eric Stever - Saxophone, Vocals
Mark Walters - Bass, Vocals
Don Utterback - Drums, Vocals                                                                                                                                                      Matt Vargo - Sound, Guitar, Vocals

Linda Martin grew up on the back bay in Los Osos climbing oak trees and losing boots in the sticky mud. A classical pianist by training, she sang and played the piano and organ at her childhood church ...until she discovered the blues. Now Linda considers herself "a good girl gone bad." She is a dynamic and soulful singer with contagious high-energy that brings a unique groove to Back Bay Betty.
 

Ron Pagan is a self-taught musician who never took lessons. He grew up in the New York/New Jersey area and was surrounded by the music of many cultures. His father used to bring home records by artists such as Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Ike and Tina Turner, Temptations, Aretha, Ray Charles, etc. so Ron was immersed in many of the great artists at an early age. He started playing guitar at age 12 and never stopped. He also acquired a keyboard and taught himself to play by ear. He used to come home from school, put on a record, and play it over and over until he figured out every song. He still does that but uses a computer these days. Ron writes, reads, and improvises music. "It's my fountain of youth", he says. He records many of his compositions at his home studio. "These days, all you need is a Laptop, guitar or three, and a keyboard to do a whole album". Oh, and let's not forget talent! To Ron, it's all about getting into a groove and playing tastefully to serve the song. He wants people to feel what he feels when he is vibing to something that grooves. What a perfect addition to Back Bay Betty... welcome to the family Ron!

Eric Stever has played with multiple bands on the Central Coast including The Big Daddy's Blues Band, The Usual Suspects, Run For Cover, Backstreet Blues Band, Dave  Miller, The William Wingfield Quartet and now with Back Bay Betty.  A multiple instrumentalist and teacher he has now focused primarily on saxophone.  Influences include David Sanborn, Michael Brecker and Stanley Turrentine. From an early age he has exhibited the ability to find the groove in any setting to enhance his surrounding vibe. He will tickle your senses and make you feel like dancing.

Mark Walters spent decades trolling the seedy back alleys and dive bars of Hollywood in search of "the dream", but after countless heartbreaks and one too many gridlocked mornings he managed to scrape together bus fare to the Central Coast. There, Back Bay Betty found him drooling and playing bass to no one outside of the Greyhound bus station in SLO. Lured by promises of warm milk and some day old bread, he joined this musical family where he happily plays the bass and makes merry at every opportunity. 

Don Utterback didn't start playing drums until he was 21. He says it all happened at the farewell appearance of The Cream at The Forum in LA. His senses were more than slightly enhanced that night as Ginger Baker "drummed" him into the ranks. Don said that living in The Canyon of Sierra Madre in the 60's was like living in Middle Earth without the Hobbits. "There was music and "celebration" everywhere. We put a band together and practiced day and night. After about a year, we began playing in the Pasadena and Glendale area. We had an agent and were playing some good events when we had a chance to travel to the San Luis Obispo and play at the "Irishman" across from the Courthouse. We fell in love with the area and in 1972 we all moved up here. " Don has played in dozens of groups over the past years including Motherball, Living Stone, Woodrose, and The Backstreet Blues Band, all steady working bands. He has jammed with many of the best players in town. Don is very happy to have joined Back Bay Betty in August of 2018 and he looks forward to many great times together!

Matt Vargo grew up near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has lived in many places around the country before finding his "promised land" in the Central Coast. He started learning about sound for a simple reason - to write and record his own music. After his parents wouldn't let him get a drumset as a kid, he bought a guitar and immediately started writing songs on it. Then, to complete the songs he would record them on the computer and layer drums (played from a cheesy Casio keyboard) over the guitars. Follow this development to the current day and Matt is a guitarist, drummer, songwriter, recordist, and sound guy! All of these can be heard on his album "Weather" where he exercised all of those skills. His story wouldn't be complete without mentioning that he's obsessed with hockey (watching and playing), and also does photography as a part-time hobby/job. He has also recently started a podcast dedicated to Central Coast musicians called CCM Podcast. Check it out anywhere podcasts are streamed or downloaded.



 

Linda Martin

Linda Martin

Ron Pagan

Ron Pagan

Eric Stever

Eric Stever

Mark Walters

Mark Walters

Don Utterback

Don Utterback

Matt Vargo