Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Column for September 8, 2010

The Eastern Idaho Fair has the big concerts this year: on Thursday the 9th, an evening with Foreigner at the fair in Blackfoot (view on map), and on Friday the 10th, the legendary Kenny Rogers with the Oak Ridge Boys. Shows start at 6:00 p.m.; ticket information at

Foreigner is a classic rock band formed in New York City in 1976 by English musicians Mick Jones, ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald, and American vocalist Lou Gramm. Foreigner has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide, including over 37.5 million in the United States.

The six-piece band released their debut album in 1977, staying in the Top 20 for a year with the classic rock hits “Feels Like the First Time” and “Cold as Ice.” Their second album, certified 7x Platinum, had more hits with “Hot Blooded,” “Double Vision,” and “Blue Morning, Blue Day.” And their third followed up with “Dirty White Boy” and “Head Games.”

The early eighties saw Foreigner pare down to a 4-piece, when they released their biggest hit singles, “Urgent,” “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and “Juke Box Hero” and their only number 1 album, “4.” And in 1985, “I Want to Know What Love Is” arguably became The Rock Ballad of the eighties. The hits, they just kept a-comin’.

In 2009, Foreigner released their latest record, “Can’t Slow Down,” which peaked at #29 on the U.S. charts. They have recently toured with Def Leppard, Styx and Kansas. Current members of the band include vocalist Kelly Hansen, Mick Jones and Thom Gimbel on guitars, Michael Bluestein on keyboards, Jeff Pilson on bass and drummer Jason Sutter.

For more, visit their official website at

The Oak Ridge Boys were originally formed in 1945. They became popular in the 50’s as a gospel group, and in the 1970’s, concentrated more on country and pop music. The band's current lineup consists of lead Duane Allen, tenor Joe Bonsall, baritone William Lee Golden, and bass Richard Sterban.

Perhaps best known for the early eighties pop hit, “Elvira,” for which The Oak Ridge Boys won a Grammy, they have been awarded Top Vocal Group by the Academy of Country Music in 1978, Instrumental Group of the year by the Country Music Association in 1986.

The Oak Ridge Boys have charted three #1 country music albums and several in the top 50 on the country charts. Their most recent release, “The Boys Are Back,” released in 2009, peaked at number 16. For more, visit

Kenny Rogers, now 72 years old, is not only a singer and songwriter, but also a photographer, record producer, actor and entrepreneur. He has charted more than 120 hit singles across music genre map and has hit the country and pop album charts since the mid-1960’s.

Listeners of mainstream music first took note of Kenny Rogers in 1977 with his hit single, “Lucille.” It was a number one on the pop charts in 12 countries and has sold over 5 million copies. Rogers followed with a multi-million selling albums, “The Gambler” and “Kenny,” both considered highly influential albums in country music.

Rogers has paired with other music stars in what have become iconic music classics. In 1980, his duet with Kim Carnes, “Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer,” his collaboration with Lionel Richie on “Lady,” “We’ve Got Tonight” with Sheena Easton and “Islands in the Stream” with Dolly Parton are unforgettable music moments from the eighties.

Kenny Rogers has won more music awards than I have room here to mention. For more, visit

The southeast Idaho live music scene tends to slow down during the fair, but there are still some shows of interest in the area.

On Friday, The Starlings play at Portneuf Valley Brewing, located on S. 1st Ave., in Pocatello (view on map). Based from Seattle, WA, The Starlings play alternative country music and Americana. Music entertainment starts at 8:30 p.m., free and open to all ages. Visit them online at

And on Saturday night at the pub, Soul Full of Blues takes the stage, with vocalist Ramona Awes and Robert Miron on guitar. Find them online at

Plain Jane is scheduled to play rock and country covers that span from the 60’s to now at Rumors on Garrett Way (view on map), Friday and Saturday nights starting at 9:00 p.m. No cover, and open to those 21 and over.

In Lava, One Drop Redemption, an 8-piece Bob Marley tribute band, plays a reggae show from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday the 11th at the Swimming Complex. Find them at

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

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