Born in Blue Ridge, Georgia but raised in Manning listening to the people she admired most, among them Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac, Ericka Lynn Betler developed a love for music at a young age.
Betler said, “I was raised in a very electric music environment, being inspired by artists such as Etta James, Marvin Gaye, Janis Joplin, Grace Potter and so many more.”
Betler began singing at seven years old while in the children’s choir at Manning Methodist Church. “Reverend Debra Quilling was definitely my mentor and pushed me to audition for Spirit Singers when I was fifteen years old and that experience really pushed me to explore my musical talents and love for being part of a community of voices,” she said.
Betler just turned 33 years old, but she has been playing in bands for many years. She began in a band named Formally Unknown. “My time with Formally Unknown really helped me realize that performing is a part of who I am. I then moved to Greenville, SC many years later and randomly met the band Away Team. I played the tambourine and eventually began to sing with them, then I had the honor to become an official piece of the family. I have now been a part of this musical circus for almost five years,” Betler explained.
There are 21 members of Away Team. Betler explained how the large band operates, stating, “We are set up kind of like a baseball team. There are some real heavy hitters on this team, like Russ Moore, Tommy Casey, Brian Peters, Jose Ortiz, Kevin Lampson, Todd King, Andy Alling, and Don Gillmer, just to name a few. There are really so many amazing musicians within Away Team.”
On Thursday, Sept. 21, the citizens of Clarendon will have a chance to catch the hometown singer in concert, live and free of charge at the ‘End of Summer’ concert, along with members of Away Team. The concert will be held on Brooks Street beginning at 6:30pm. The band will also be performing the following night at the Mill Street restaurant.
“I am so excited and honored to be performing in Manning.” “It’s so awesome to come back to Manning to play in my hometown, the place that helped build a foundation for me and my music!”