Dave (left) and Allison Altherr and Brian Sawyer jammed with Michael Butterfield (not pictured) at a house concert held last week at the Sawyer home where songs from Debbie’s new album were introduced.

Dave (left) and Allison Altherr and Brian Sawyer jammed with Michael Butterfield (not pictured) at a house concert held last week at the Sawyer home where songs from Debbie’s new album were introduced.

Allison Altherr songs introduced at Williams Lake house concert

Debbie Allison Altherr has been performing her bluesy-style music in Williams Lake and the Cariboo Chilcotin for many years now.

Debbie Allison Altherr has been performing her bluesy-style music in Williams Lake and the Cariboo Chilcotin for many years now.

Over the past two decades she has taken to the stage with the likes of Peter Gooch, Michael Butterfield, Brian Sawyer and others.

For the last two years she has teamed up with her husband Dave Altherr, accompanying her on stand-up bass.

This summer she released her first album, Casitaville.

Dave Altherr’s bass has its own interesting saga. At a recent house concert, Allison, (as Debbie likes to be known now), started introducing her fellow musicians.

“Who do you think is the oldest one up here? And what year was he born?” Brian Sawyer started shuffling his feet.

“I’ll give you a hint. He was born in 1935.” Brian stopped shuffling.

Then Allison introduced the stand-up bass Dave was playing as an instrument was rescued from an attic in Switzerland.

It was refurbished with its broken bridge replaced, and brought to Canada where Dave learned to play it.

In her 20 odd years of performing, Allison had never recorded an album. Two years ago she decided to do something about it.

She went to Vancouver with a list of cover songs to record, but friend and recording engineer Jim Woodyard encouraged her to write her own material.

“I bought a horse trailer in Arizona with living quarters in the front, and turned the back into a recording studio.”

This allowed her to pre-record songs and create arrangements while she travelled about the country seeking out the various artists she wanted on her album. She then recorded them in professional studios along the way.

“Rather than pay the cost of flying the musicians somewhere, I went to them.”

Her first stop was California where she recorded tracks with renowned bluegrass mandolin player Eric Uglum. Next it was over to Idaho to lay down tracks with Grammy award-winning guitarist Mike Dowling.

Back in Vancouver Allison recorded guitar tracks with Jim Woodyard, along with bass and piano tracks with other musicians.

Once she accumulated all the material she needed, she headed to Seattle to get David Lange to do the mixing.

“David is an outstanding engineer. He understood the feel I wanted.”

She says in Seattle there is a Northwest sound that isn’t heard anywhere else. Travelling around the country to record her album she feels she got the flavour of the various regions.

While Allison produced the album herself, writing most of the material, arranging it, and assisting with the cover design and layout, she is quick to credit the support and advice of all the wonderful engineers and musicians who helped her.

“I couldn’t have done it without their expertise.”

Recently Allison and Dave gave a house concert at the home of Brian and Linda Sawyer, backed up by Brian on guitar and Mike Butterfield on flute and recorder.

She hopes to do more house concerts so stay posted. It’s a great evening’s entertainment.

You can follow Allison on her casitaville.com website, to sample her music or buy her album.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

The first Chimney Creek Roadhouse, constructed in 1864. (Photo courtesy of the B.C. Provincial Archives)
HAPHAZARD HISTORY: The Isnardy family of Williams Lake

Amadee Isnardy was born in 1840 near Nice, France

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FOREST INK: Ecological economics not a popular topic for most people

The following is a review of the no (or slow) growth concept

Do you have a letter? Email us at editor@wltribune.com
LETTER: BC Liberals left ICBC a mess: Farnworth

Our BC NDP government has worked tirelessly to fix the mess that was left behind

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read