Monday, June 1, 2009

Bender plays the Bistro

Who: Bender
What: In Concert
Where: J Anna's Bistro - map*
When: Thursday, June 4, 2009, 7:30 - 10:00pm

*J Anna's Bistro is located on Main Street in downtown Pocatello, where the Continental Bistro used to be.

Ed Bala, a member of the local Pocatello band Bender, contacted me about their upcoming performance at J Anna's Bistro. The concert is part of a summer series of live music on the Bistro's outdoor deck. "It's a great atmosphere," Bala said, "and we'd like to make sure people know it's happening. It's kind of nice to see a sort of revitalization for downtown music." And I couldn't agree more.

On Main Street in Pocatello, I'm familiar with several establishments that host live music: Duffy's Bar, J Anna's Bistro, The Icon, the Vinyl Perk, the Eagle's Lodge and just off Main Street, the First National Bar. Add to that the Civitan's Revive @ Five summer concert series at the Old Town Pavilion, and I can imagine it's difficult to walk more than two blocks downtown without hearing live music.

Bala continued, "We've been playing around Poky since last fall and have been at Portneuf Valley quite a few times, as well as Hooligan's, the Bistro, Pebble Creek, etc. Our setlist includes about half original material. We touch a few different genres, but our sound is mostly roots & reggae."

Bender's members include Ken Aho and Will Peterson on lead guitars and vocals, Ed Bala on guitar and vocals, Dave Jones playing lead guitar and lap steel guitar, Rick Williams on the banjo, harmonica player Dan Lauer and TJ Latour on congas & percussion. Aho, Peterson and Bala are the band's songwriters for their original tunes.

Upcoming Bender shows:
Hooligan's on June 16th
the Portneuf Greenway Foundation Riverfest on June 20th
Portneuf Valley Brewing on June 27th
as well as a couple of private parties

People can call Ed Bala at 235-1352 if they need to get in touch with Bender.

Bala adds this note: "P.S. everybody in the band really enjoys reading your column. Thanks for writing it."

Sure thing, Ed! And thanks for reading it.

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