The Checker Brothers - Image Courtesy of Johnny Mausen
The Checker Brothers
Portland, Oregon
1972 - 1980


Ron Carnes ~ Lead Guitar, Keyboards, Tenor Saxophone, Lead/Backing Vocals
Phil Jessen ~ Drums
John Mausen (a.k.a. Johnny Mau) ~ Rhythm Guitar, Slide Guitar, Flute, Lead/Backing Vocals
Dehner Patten ~ Lead Guitar, Tenor Saxophone, Lead/Backing Vocals
Rich Rubosky ~ Drums
Steve Sheffield ~ Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals


Dave George Sr.
Joe McIntyre

The Checker Brothers played in Portland and the Greater Northwest area  from about 1972 to approximately 1980.

Personnel of the band were:

John Mausen (a.k.a. "Johnny Mau"):  Lead/Background Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Slide Guitar, Flute
Ron Carnes:  Lead Guitar, Lead/Background Vocals, Keyboards, Tenor Sax
Dehner Patten: Lead Guitar, Lead/Background Vocals, Tenor Sax
Steve Sheffield: Bass Guitar, Background Vocals
Phil Jessen: Drums (1974 - 1980)
Rich Rubosky Drums (1972 - 1974)


Dave George Sr.
Joe McIntyre

The Checker Brothers were the ultimate Portland party band, modeling their style the party atmosphere style of the likes of the J. Geils Band. Founding members John Mausen and Ron Carnes started originally as an acoustic duo and quickly returned to their roots in hard rock. The band covered a variety of styles, sometimes a "Three Guitar Army" a la Lynyrd Synyrd and Molly Hatchet, at times urban rock giants such as Tom Petty and Bob Seger, classic rockers such as Deep Purple and ZZ Top, with the occasional venture into funk and fusion such as Toto and Larry Carlton.

The Checker Brothers - 1978    As lead singer and front man, Mausen at time exhibited panache with moves honed from emulating the likes of Jagger, Paul Rodgers, and Rod Stewart. The rough-and-ready vocal style of Coverdale, Seger, Cocker, and Rodgers were right in his wheelhouse. As a slide guitarist he fused the tone of Duane Allman and the reckless abandon of Johnny Winter.

Co-founder Carnes was a craftsman extraordinaire and covered the razor edge vocals and guitar work of ZZ Top and Keith Richards, and the plaintive blues style of B.B. King.

Dehner "Rockslide" Patten brought some California glitz and glam to the mix, equally at home covering such rock greats as Michael Campbell and Steve Hunter along with some great punk style vocals in vein of T. Rex and Lou Reed.

Steve Sheffield provided the ground pounding bottom end on bass that was both solid and innovative.

Phil Jessen, who replaced straight-ahead drummer Rich Rubosky, had a unique style of hard rock and funk that beautifully complemented and cut up beneath Sheffield's ripping bass.  Phil's entrance opened the gates for the band to explore various styles.

Mausen continues in the industry in San Jose, CA as a singer/songwriter/guitarist/engineer/producer with 3 CDs to his credit. He can be found on his website:

Samples of his music can be found on iTunes, Rhapsody, Spotify, and CD Baby under his stage name "Johnny Mau" and his 3rd solo album title Solo... Not Alone.

After a stint with Jimmy Lloyd Rea, Ronnie Carnes has formed his own power trio in the Portland area.

Dehner Patten continues to casually gig as a sideman and function as a writer/engineer.

John  Mausen, March 2014

The Checker Brothers - Image Courtesy of Johnny Mausen

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Last Update:  14 March 2014
Credits:  Johnny Mausen
Band # 3108