Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Column for November 25, 2009

With ISU students on fall break and many out of town over the holiday, local live music venues know attendance may be down. Fortunately for the concert-goer, this may inspire venues to book the best talent they can find for the weekend after Thanksgiving, and the audience is sure to get the most personal and best performance from musicians.

On Friday the 27th, Portneuf Valley Brewing on S. 1st Avenue in Pocatello (map) welcomes a regular favorite to the stage; Swingshift performs jazz, rock and pop in the brewery. On the following night, Saturday the 28th, Zach Freiwald, from Baker City, OR, is in the pub, playing Americana, folk and roots music. Both shows are from 8:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., free and open to all ages.

This is a returning engagement to the pub for Freiwald. After a performance almost a year ago, he wrote in his blog, “had a great night in Pocatello at Portneuf Valley Brewing... I played a solid set without a break from 8:30pm to just after 11pm. The owner Penny was fun to get to know….”

At the time, Freiwald was touring in support of a self-titled CD, now available for purchase at his shows or online at He now counts four full albums under his belt since the first release, “Into the Sea.”

Like many solo artists, he began his career in coffeehouses and small venues. Becoming a favorite along the northern California coast, he scored some coveted opening spots for Canada’s James Keelaghan and Alabama’s Dave Potts, and traveled as far north as Alaska to perform. Find out more at

Also this weekend, the locally-based rock cover band Kaught Lookin’ is hosting the party at Taps Bar on Garrett Way (map). Kaught Lookin’ is fronted by vocalist Ed Horn, and backed by Mark Clawson on bass, Tony Roberts on drums and guitarist Rick Veilleux.

Kaught Lookin was formed in 2006 with past members of Exit 69. They play classic rock favorites from ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Foghat, Cheap Trick, 3 Doors Down, Nickelback, and more, as well as reviving Exit 69 originals from their 2002 CD. Keep up to date with Kaught Lookin at

But for me, at least, the big show this weekend is Royal Bliss’ CD release party at the Peppertree Lounge in Idaho Falls (map). Get there by 8:00 p.m., the place is sure to be packed; open to those 21+.

Royal Bliss, based from Salt Lake City, UT, has made a firm claim on the most popular regional rock band in the Mountain Region. Formed in 1997, Bliss quickly garnered a devout following in northern Utah, southern Idaho and in the Reno, Nevada area. A grass-roots effort caught the notice of Capitol Records, who signed the band in 2008.

The resulting major-label release, “Life In-Between,” (January 2009) found two singles with national attention: “Save Me” reached #25 on Billboard’s chart and “We Did Nothing Wrong” hung on at #28 for several weeks. In support of the CD, Royal Bliss toured from coast to coast with Candlebox and Buckcherry this past year.

Royal Bliss is touring the area now in support of a new, limited-edition, 7-song EP, “Live and Acoustic in Studio A,” just released yesterday, the 24th. The album has many fan favorites; “Save Me,” “We Did Nothing Wrong,” “Pocket Of Dreams,” “By and By,” “Devils and Angels,” “I Was Drunk” and the never-before-recorded “Folsom Prison Blues.” Also just released: two new singles available on iTunes, “Music Man” and “I Just Want You (For Christmas).”

Perhaps best known as an electric rock band, Royal Bliss frequently plays all-acoustic gigs, and if time allows, is known for an all-acoustic set embedded in a longer electric show. “Fine Wine” and “Sweet Rosie” are always crowd favorites.

In March of 2009, Royal Bliss played an exclusive showcase at the iconic Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles, CA for record executives and VIP’s. The set was recorded in the renowned Studio A, designed by Les Paul, where legends Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, Merle Haggard and more recently Big Bad Voodoo Daddy have recorded.

To bump the successes Royal Bliss has enjoyed this past year, Capitol Records is releasing this EP in time for the holiday season, exclusively through online sales at, at live performances and at Greywhale Record stores in Utah.

In Idaho, you can catch Royal Bliss live in Idaho Falls on the 28th, in Jerome on December 18th or at the Knitting Factory in Boise on December 19th. For more, visit

Linda Alexander
a.k.a. Lana Banana for Idaho Local Live Music

No comments:

Tell Your Friends

Bookmark and Share