Old bar bands never die, they just…well, they don’t always just fade away, either. There are no doubt countless bands who have been playing together for years, slogging it out in bars and clubs, all for the love of the music, friendship, and camaraderie. I had the opportunity to take in a show by one such combo recently in Arlington, TX – the Pengwins.

The Pengwins were originally formed in Texas in 1976 by singer/songwriter Lannie...

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Sage King is one busy guy. The Hartford, CT singer/songwriter is readying the release of his new album, Blossom, in addition to getting back in the swing of performing live in the post-pandemic world. Sage is also the 2020 winner of the Jack Daniel’s Battle of the Bar Bands contest, and he used his $10,000 cash prize to assist in the recording of his new album. He took a short break from his busy schedule to answer a...

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In 2019, the San Diego, California-based rock combo Offshore Impact was the first ever winner of the Jack Daniel’s Battle of the Bar Bands contest. The hard-rockin’ quartet won a performance at the Jack Daniel’s Room No. 7 in Los Angeles, a photo shoot with noted rock photographer Henry Diltz, and a performance on an iHeartRadio Stage.

Offshore Impact drummer Dylan Voelker spent a few minutes chatting with us about the...


Five Songs That Belong in the (Mythical) Bar Band Hall of Fame, Pt. 2

“Roadhouse Blues” – The Doors

Jim Morrison and company never rocked harder than they did on this track, nor did they ever provide more of a singalong vibe for a thirsty crowd. Let it roll, baby, roll…

“You Really Got Me” – The Kinks

That lead guitar riff. It sounded monstrous when the...


“Move It on Over” – George Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers

Thorogood’s 1978 update of an old Hank Williams number about a guy banished to the doghouse is everything a great bar band song should be: rockin’, easy to sing along to, and a hell of a lot of fun.

“Runnin’ Down a Dream” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

There are tons of Petty tunes that could fit the bill here, but this one in particular...


For many up-and-coming musicians, an invitation to perform at a festival can sometimes act as a springboard that can jump start a career. David Bash, the founder and CEO of the International Pop Overthrow festival, knows this to be true: in the late ‘90s, a California-based band called Kara’s Flowers played his festival and a few years later they began their ascent up the charts. Of course, this was after a name change: Kara’s Flowers would...


Playing music in a bar can be fun, exciting, exhilarating, and…well, let’s just say that it can often be quite interesting. Like most musicians, I have my fair share of bar/music stories, both good and not so good—but even the not so good tales usually have a humorous bent to them.

Not long before the pandemic, I was DJing at an indie pop showcase in the Los Angeles area. Each band played a 45-minute set of...


This past weekend I had the opportunity to venture out of the house and do something that had not been possible for over a year – witness live music being played in a bar.

The place was a bit off the beaten path (and smack dab in the middle of an upper middle-class suburb of Orange County, CA) and it was packed with a boisterous crowd who had been waiting since the Spring of 2020 to get their live music fix. I was beyond impressed as...


According to the Oxford Dictionary (yes, it’s really in there):

Bar band: “A (local or amateur) rock group of a kind that typically performs in bars or other small venues.”

According to our friends at Oxford, the term came to be in the 1970s, with the earliest use found being found in The Washington Post. (From 200-2008, the Post boasted a publisher/CEO by the name of Boisfeuillet Jones Jr. That’s...


Every musician or band must start somewhere, but did you know that none other than the Beatles began life as a bar band, playing clubs in their native Britain as well as Germany? The Beatles made five trips to Hamburg, Germany between 1960 and 1962 and played 281 shows, and as their first manager/booking agent Allan Williams noted, “The Beatles were created in Hamburg. Seven days and nights a week for months. It would make or break any band...