Allen's Landing Band
Bobby Nichols, vocals, lead guitar, is well known throughout Texas as much for the original stylings of his baritone voice as for the incendiary moves of his flat pick guitar. He has opened for Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver. His controlled and complex harmonies draw on an upbringing in the rich a cappella vocal celebrations of the Church of Christ. He frequently performs in Houston in both solo engagements and with the bands Lone Star and Tejas. He is highly sought after for studio work with local and national performers, and teaches students of guitar and voice. Bobby is a founder of Allen’s Landing Band.
Bettie Anderson, vocals, rhythm guitar, wasn’t born in Texas but she got here as soon as she could. Growing up in Central America, she developed deep appreciation of world and folk music, as well as receiving early classical music training. Her eclectic sensibilities, sensitive vocal interpretations and instinct for harmony blend elements of folk, bluegrass, Celtic, and traditional music. Her voice has been described as “unique and distinctive” and a “voice with character”. Before turning to bluegrass performance, Bettie worked in interior design, clothing design, and started a company importing high-end ethnic arts and crafts. She is past president of Houston Early Music and remains active in the early classical music community of Houston. She is a founder of Allen’s Landing Band and co-produced the band’s first album, “Dimming of the Day”.
Renna Rauch, vocals, bass, took naturally and early to performing, entertaining family and friends with guitar and voice at eight years of age. She has performed frequently at venues and festivals in and around Houston, often with the band “Western Dream”. Renna’s musical progression has led her from pop through country and finally to her real love, bluegrass. Her strong bass playing compliments sensitive vocalizations reminiscent of Alison Krause, Patsy Cline, and the Cheryholmes family. Somehow Renna has managed to balance her musical achievements with a multi-tasking life as a registered OR nurse, wife and mother (of two daughters, budding musicians also), and inspiration to her community of worship through singing of sacred music. She joined Allen’s Landing Band in 2009, replacing George Hanson on bass and vocals.
Kelly Lancaster, mandolin, guitar grew up surrounded by music in Nacogdoches, Texas. His earliest musical influence was his grandmother, Alice Joyce Lancster Frye who played saxophone and clarinet in an all-girl orchestra that traveled the U.S. in the 1930’s.
When Alice Frye was 88 years old she and Kelly recorded a series of lively and tender swing style piano-guitar duets.Not long after he first picked up a guitar at age 12, Kelly became a regular at the Oldtime String Shop with Steve Hartz and other talented musicians in Nacogdoches. Kelly went on to compete nationally in guitar and mandolin flatpicking contests and began a lifelong career as a professional musician. Kelly developed virtuosity in bluegrass and jazz, particularly gypsy jazz and swing. Each of these musical communities can claim him. He has been recorded on numerous CDs.Kelly’s playing is characterized by dazzling technical wizardry, light-speed invention and shear exuberance. But the breadth and depth of his ability are revealed when the fireworks are set aside and he develops meditative, sensitive arrangements, in which each note is rich in meaning and deeply felt.