Photo Michael Ging
TOM BERTLING - Lead Vocals, Song Writer, Acoustic & Electric Guitars
At the age of seven, Tom traded his brand new 007 Secret Agent Spy Case that he got for Christmas to a neighborhood
friend for a beat up acoustic guitar that had a large hole in the back. He came home and proudly showed the trade
to his parents, who immediately told him to take back the guitar and get his 007 spy case. Tom refused. When his
parents realized that he was not going to return the guitar, they put strings on it with the condition that he learn
to play the Marine Hymn, he did. He perfected his craft, sitting on the front porch for hours on end. Number 8 of 12
children, Tom was raised in Delphos, a small town in northern Ohio. Some of his earliest musical influences were
listening to his grandmother play guitar and sing old songs from the 20’s and 30’s, and tuning in to CKLW, an AM
radio station in the Windsor/Detroit area. With an appreciation for all kinds of musical styles, Toms’ original
music cannot be categorized. He writes a little bit of everything and he calls it “Mutt Music.” He has played in
smokey dark corners of more pubs, dives, and roadhouses than he can remember. Tom lived in Nashville for 7 years
and had the honor of playing on the Grand Ole Opry stage twice, and numerous showcase clubs such as The Bluebird
Cafe and Douglas’ Corner. The Nashville experience enabled him to live and work with some of the best song writers
in the industry. His unique guitar and vocal style has won him fans from around the world. It’s not uncommon to
hear such accolades as “What an incredible singer,” or “You wrote that song, why aren’t you famous?” He always asks
if they own a record company. The simple truth is, that he pursued the gift he was given and stayed true to the
dreams of his youth. He actually gets to do what he loves, play music full time, and get paid to do it. “It doesn’t
get any better than that!”
INCARNATIONS OF SMOOTMAHOOTY
Over the years Tom has had the honor of playing with many gifted and talented musicians, below are just a few:
JOEY WEISSGERBER - Lead Guitar Electric-Harmony Vocals
Joey has played in bands since the 1960s in Upper Mich , NE Wisc, North and South Dakota ,Montana , Texas and now an Arizona resident since 1986. He has backed up the likes of REO Speedwagon , The Coasters , The world famous Platters ,and shared the stage with Johnny Rodriguez. His many influences include The Beatles , Chuck Berry , Eric Clapton and Alvin Lee.
PRISCILLA BERTLING - Harmony Vocals
You know that old saying, "Behind every great man there's a great Woman?" Yep, that would be correct. Not only is
Priscilla Tom's biggest fan, she is also his wife. Priscilla Bertling is a native Phoenician, born and raised in the
beautiful state of Arizona. She grew up dancing, singing, and performing, and when asked will tell you that she's
not really supposed to be working a regular job, she's really supposed to be in movies, on television, or performing
on Broadway. Yet, if she had, she probably would not have met the love of her life, while singing harmony vocals
with a girlfriend in 1987. Priscilla has been singing with Tom ever since. With an uncanny skill to match harmony
vocals with anyone's style, she especially takes pride in her ability to match Tom's. Those who come out and support Smootmahooty have heard many an original tune written for or dedicated to Priscilla. They continue to celebrate
their love and life together. Since 2013, Priscilla has gone back to her first love, performing in local musical
theater and plays throughout the Valley. She still performs with Tom, and you can hear her harmony vocals
sprinkled throughout all of the CD's.
ROBBY ROBERSON - Mandolin, Dobro, Banjo, Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Resonator Guitar, Harmonica,
and Harmony Vocals
Robby Roberson was born in south Texas and started playing guitar in the mid-sixties after hearing the Beatles
play “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” In 2007 the passion for writing and performing songs came into focus and now
performs regularly at local venues, benefits, and music festivals in the Tempe/Phoenix area and around Arizona.
Robby's songs are stories of fact, fiction, joy, and sorrow; all set against a backdrop of the various acoustic
stringed instruments he plays. He feels that the instruments are not only a means of accompaniment, but an equal
performer. Along side his various styles of instrumentation are his lyrics and vocals that create a balanced
harmonic, organic, and original musical style. Robby is often joined by Ed Garnero (bass, vocal), Michael Mulryan
(fiddle) and Jim Banister (percussion) (aka, The Robby Roberson Quartet-www.robbyroberson.com).
KEVIN MAUCH - Fretless, Fretted and Electric Upright Basses, Vocals
Kevin plays full time with "The Brazen Heads," a great Irish Celtic Rock band that plays everywhere in the valley.
Check out www.thebrazenheads.comto catch Kevin doing what he does best.
GREG AHMAN - Lead Guitar Electric & Acoustic
Greg is an extremely talented lead guitar player that plays with so many local musicians, it's hard to keep up with
him. Good news...you can hear him plays most any night of the week.
Born in Ft Wayne Indiana, Greg moved west with his family and found home in the small town of Winslow, AZ. Drawn
to music at an early age, Greg began playing saxophone in the elementary school band but not long after picked up
his older brothers guitar and quickly absorbed anything his brother (or anyone else for that matter) would show
him. Taking up bass to fill a spot with a local band, Greg played his first gig at 15, but would eventually return
to guitar, gigging around the local dives of Winslow and Northern Arizona. In 1987, Greg moved to Hollywood,
to attend Musician’s Institute, but moved back to Arizona in ’89 after graduation and found his home in the here
in the Valley of the Sun. Over the last 20 years, Greg has taught guitar lessons, played and recorded with several
local bands around the Valley, and in January 2008, played his first gig with SmootMahooty.
MATT MYERS - Drums & Percussion
Matt has been playing some sort of percussion his whole life. He officially began playing drums at age 8. Matt’s
first teacher was his older brother Ed, who was the drummer in a popular touring Indiana rock band during the mid
1960’s. Matt has over 30 years of professional stage and studio experience. He is most influenced by; Buddy Rich,
Alex Acuna, Vinnie Colaluta, John Bonham, Steve Gadd, Neil Peart, Danny Carey and many others! His playing is an
ever-evolving tribute to all of the great drummers who continually inspire him. Matt has been teaching drum set
and percussion for over a decade. For more information check out www.arizonadrumlessons.com
BRID DOWER - Vocals
Tom is always thrilled to have Brid Dower join him onstage. Brid has her own great Irish band "The Big Fellah's"
which she began in 2011. To hear Brid and a great group of players check out www.thebigfellahs.com
Bríd Dower is known as the premiere Irish singer here in the Valley of the Sun. Brid has appeared as a guest
vocalist on all three of SmootMahooty's CDs. Brid was born & raised in Waterford, Ireland, and moved to Phoenix
in 1992. Check out Brid's music at www.briddower.com