Erik Berta… started playing guitar at the age of 12. When he was 15 he went to his first open mic held in a church. He played Sympathy for the Devil’ as his first public performance singing and playing guitar. As soon as he was done, a bat flew into the church through an open window. Everyone freaked out and the open mic was over. He took it as a sign. Erik has played in many original bands in the Philadelphia area and beyond over the last 30 years. Erik has written several albums of original music and still enjoys attending open mics, with or without bats.
Mark Betterly … Definitely flying to his own beat, Mark lays the down the bottom end for the Tabula Rasa. He grew up in the 60’s and 70’s listening to the funky sounds of the Ohio Players, Mandrill, Earth Wind and Fire and The Isley Brothers. He started playing guitar in the 10th grade until one day someone asked him to play bass in a small 3 piece, easy listening group. He was hooked. Through college, Mark played in a successful jazz group performing old time jazz standards mixed with quite a few originals. It was here that Mark learned to develop his own bass lines which pulled from his jazz knowledge and the need to groove. Influenced only by a groovy bass line, he never cared if the genre was rock, funk, jazz or country, “if it felt like it grooved, I liked it.”
“Doing cover tunes was never a path that I felt drawn towards. Developing unique bass lines that make people tap their feet is always the ultimate goal. When I’m presented with a new song, I try to keep it as simple as possible at first then add. Some of the best bass lines ever written are the simplest, but the hardest to achieve. I aspire to come up with something as simple. Over playing is easy, getting it “right” sometimes feels like an impossible task, but when you get it, you know it.” World Cafe, Hard Rock Cafe, 118 North, Dawson’s Street Pup, Steel City, the War3house are just some of the venues, in and around Philadelphia, he has worked.
Rebecca Cooper… Having grown up and sung all over the world, Rebecca gets her inspiration from many musical styles, but would tell you without blinking that her favorite spaces are Blues, Soul, and Funk. Influences like Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, Bill Withers, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Roberta Flack spanning to more current influences like Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, and Meshell Ndegeocello flow through in her performances. Never one to follow the road most traveled, Rebecca forged her own path musically… happily annoying her little brother as she sang loudly around the house… developing her style over the years as she experienced many musical influences and connected with musicians all over the world. You will find Rebecca Cooper’s name listed on many artists’ labels, and over recent years and she has become a ‘go to’ female singer for many artists in the Philadelphia area. In her early adult years, a passion for music lead to moving to Nashville to “live in a commune with a guy named Blue” (her father’s words), recording by day, and drinking way too much coffee and singing and writing at night. After she settled down into parenthood, Rebecca moved to the Keys where she had a solid run with The Moondogs, then went off to pursue her MBA, moonlighting with friends’ bands across the East Coast, and finally settling in Pennsylvania where she has continued her studio work, moonlights with several bands, and has played regularly at places like Dawson’s Street Pub, Tin Angel, KC’s Alley, Chambers19, Steel City, the War3house, and Chaplins, to name a few.
John Morgan… At an early age, John went to a Philadelphia Mummers parade and was amazed by the drummers. After playing on pots and pans for a while, his parents bought him a snare drum from Sears. While still in grade school, he progressed to taking lessons from Harry Yutzler, the local high school band director. After a bit of progress, Harry recommended that John take lessons with Bob Spangler who played drums with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey. Mr. Spangler gave John a solid foundation in the rudiments, swing, jazz and sight reading. After playing in a variety of Philly based bands, John moved to Boston to further his percussion studies at Berklee College of Music. While at Berklee, John gigged around Boston with various jazz bands and eventually returned to the Philadelphia area where he taught percussion and continued to play with a variety of bands. Currently, John loves playing with Tabula Rasa as the band provides opportunities for interesting and challenging improvisation. John is also an avid drum collector and enjoys experimenting with all types of gear.