Blues without Borders is Vermont’s hottest blues band rocking the Champlain Valley and beyond.

The powerful pipes of the phenomenal Deb Tier, the incendiary guitar styling of the uber talented Scotty Mac, backed by the solid rhythm section of “Special K” Kasia Karazim on keys, Mike “Uncle Joe” Burbank on bass and Dan “Freight Train of Rhythm” Whittemore on drums. Expect to hear covers of Danielle Nicole, Beth Hart, Janis, Bonnie,………who knows, we might even try a Prince tune. You might even be lucky enough to catch a bit of BWOB original music.

Meet the Band Below!

Electric Guitar

Scott MacDougal

Drums

Daniel Whittemore

Bass Guitar | Vocals

Michael Burbank

Vocals

Deb Tier

Keyboards

Kasia Karazim

Electric Guitar

Scott MacDougal

“Also known as ScottyMac”

I started my musical journey at the age of 14 when my mother bought me a red Stratocaster discovery for Christmas.

I played with a number of friends during high school including Walter Cheney, Bill Smith, Brian Rotella, and Cheech Rodriguez. Early in my musical career I played rhythm and some leads on everything from classic rock to 50’s Doo Wop where I gained a lot of experience as a rhythm player! There are many local musicians who have contributed to my playing over the years, some are John Laramore, Mike Espisito, Chris Lapointe Phil Henry, Robby Robinson, and Craig Johnson. I took lessons from Tom Lonnergan and also studied under Bob Levinson, where my music teachers exposed me to the blues.

I joined the service in 1997 and played in contemporary Christian ensembles, in various churches. I met some of the nicest people during this time, travelled, studied and eventually moved to Vermont and got introduced to blues jams playing with Dennis Wilmont, Bob Mackenzie, and other blues enthusiasts. I also found the Plattsburgh Blues and Jazz in Plattsburgh New York directed by Laura Carbone, where I was able to sit in and meet some of the artists following their shows or at other events. These after parties or other events were invaluable lessons and I met many very talented musicians. I was honored to play with Ronnie Earl in Shirley Massachusetts at the Bull Run, then again at Laura’s and finally at Daryl’s House in Pawling New York. After the show at Daryl’s House, Ronnie invited me to record with Ronnie and the Broadcasters on his album Beyond the Blue Door. An unimaginable thrill.  I look up to Ronnie and the Broadcasters as being true inspirations for my guitar playing! I have performed with Johhny Rawls, Paul Daluariers, Curtiss Salgodo band, Nick Snhebelin, Dawn Tyler Watson, Anikka Chambers (Deluariers). I continued taking lessons, most recently from Pat Harrington and Paul Delauriers.

I am starting a new chapter in my guitar journey following a devastating house fire that destroyed everything, including some special guitars and equipment. I want to thank family and friends and also the music community who donated or loaned me what I needed to get back on my feet. It helped restore my passion and energy in music. Following some ups and downs and a serious case of the blues, I am looking forward to what lies ahead. I’m also a new homeowner with my fiancée Connie and live not far from where I grew up. I am in three bands currently: Blues with Borders based out of Vermont, Uncle Joe with Dan, Mike, Glenn Goodwin and friends, and a new band based out of New York that has just been established so the later part of 2021 is hoping to be a promising year for music as the journey continues to climb that musical milky way of the musical unknown.

Drums

Daniel Whittemore

Dan started playing drums and studying music at nine years old.

His main focus was on jazz, primarily swing and Latin jazz. As a perennial participant in the Berklee Jazz Festival in the late seventies he devolved a natural feel for dynamics and playing “in the pocket”. At fifteen years old he started gigging, playing jazz standards with cats three times his age. At his first gig, in the ballroom of the Middlebury Inn, while trading fours, the rest of the quartet left the stage, walked out of the ballroom and crossed the hall to the tavern to have a cocktail while the youngster soloed for what to him seemed an eternity. After playing locally for many years the drums went into cases while Dan developed a career in the restaurant business.

It’s been almost twenty years now since he started playing again and under the tutelage of Simeon Chapin re-honed his skills, still with the obvious jazz influence and attention to dynamics but with a funkier bluesy style. When living and playing in Massachusetts Dan earned the moniker “Freight Train of Rhythm” while working as the beat keeper for Barefoot Bob and the Monkeyfish. Still his favorite compliment : “you play the drum kit like a musical instrument”.

Bass Guitar | Vocals

Michael Burbank

I began playing bass during the folk-rock era and the new wave and punk period, mid 70’s and late 70’s. My first band was with songwriter Doug Powell, Paul Cassarino, and Chris Casey. Chris sold me my first bass amp, a Standel combo and I’ve collaborated with him for over 40 years. This past summer I was able to sit in with Chris’s band the Fan Mountain Frog Dogs at the oldest running saloon in Montana, the Bale of Hay in Virginia City.

In the late 80’s I joined the band Equinox in Burlington, VT—an up and coming jam band similar to Phish that covered blues, 70’s progressive, and hard rock bands. Equinox had two primary songwriters, the late Brendan Murphy and Ken Norden, who provided more than half of our live material. One of my highlights was performing at John’s Party, Starkstock 12 and Starkstock 13. Equinox was short lived because Ken and then myself moved out of Vermont, but we reconnected a few years later and we collaborated in a band called Tractor, along with Chris Casey, the late Tom Jenny and Kenny Burton. Working with Ken and Brendan helped me develop a few compositions of my own. I continue writing and recording original material. I come to Blues Without Borders by having previously worked with Dan Whittemore in a Grateful Dead/Allman Brothers cover band and Equanimity, a blues/rock band formed and lead by Michael Castelli. I enjoy being able to include original compositions in my shows as well as covering a variety of music.

My passion is studying the history of rock music and understanding the roots of American music. The bus came by and I got on, that’s when it all began.

Vocals

Deb Tier

I’ve been singing since I was a child. My dad played guitar and sang. My mom was a classically trained pianist and also sang. Music was in my blood.

Music to me is an unspoken language. It can move you in a way only you can experience. It’s an expression of ones self. I didn’t find a group to sing with until 1994. A bakery customer named Sid heard a demo of mine playing at the bakery where I worked. He said my son is a musician and I’d like for him to hear you sing. The rest is history. Sid introduced me to his son Bob Levinson and I played with his group for over 6 years.

I have many thanks to give to Bob for giving me the opportunity and helping me realize my voice. Bob Levinson taught me how to harmonize. We played many originals and a mix of cover tunes. I was the singer for L.C.Jazz which was another learning experience. Having a whole orchestra behind you is an unbelievable feeling. My biggest thrill was performing with Lester Bowie and Fontella Bass and L.C. Jazz at the Vergennes Opera House.

I have performed on stage at the Town Hall theatre in Middlebury singing a Tina Turner song and Janis Joplin song. I have also performed on stage at the Paramount theatre in Rutland Vermont.

Currently I am with The Dough Boys over 13 years now. We are a 10 piece band that plays soul rock pop and originals. I have learned a lot from singing with this lively bunch of guys. We played a lot of events at the Middlebury College. And have done some pretty special weddings.

The most current band I play with is called Blues Without Borders. We play blues rock . I think I had always had my foot in the door with the Blues but my eyes and ears have been opened to some absolutely amazing musicians. We are fairly new just over a year now but we came together pretty quickly and are playing some great blues rock tunes.

Influences:

Motown:    Gladys Knight and the Pips Jackson 5
Rock:     Janis Joplin
Soul:     Aretha Franklin
Blues:     Beth Hart, Danielle Nicole

Keyboards

Kasia Karazim

Kasia started playing piano at the age of 8, wholly focused on classical composers including Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven and Bach. She studied classical piano through college with some amazing teachers.

A lifetime lover of classic rock-n-roll, over the last 20 years Kasia started to work on her knowledge of musical theory and ear training so she could play “fun” music with friends. She started out in a Grateful Dead Cover Band, and listened to lots Dead shows where Bruce Hornsby played. Recently Kasia played piano with the Castleton University Jazz Ensemble studying Jazz greats including Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter.

Over the years, Kasia has contributed her musical talents to a number of charity events. She was the pianist for the FOLA Follies for a couple of years (Friends of the Ludlow Auditorium) playing classic selections from Broadway musicals—new and old—accompanying a variety of vocalists. She has also performed on stage at the Paramount Theatre in Rutland, VT with a few bands as opening acts for charity events including Dancing with the Rutland Stars and, Rutland’s Newlywed Game.

She is delighted to be playing with Blues without Borders. She also performs with Uncle Joe, a few duos in Killington & Ludlow, a jam band in Rutland, and occasionally plays with her friends down in Florida in Trackside Band.

Some of her favorite bands/artists of all time include Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, the Alman Brothers, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews, and ACDC among others. Chuck Leavell, Billy Payne of Little Feat, and Roy Bittan (Bruce Springsteen’s pianist), and Ray Charles are some of her all time favorite piano rock heroes.

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