Hit and miss: Music shows at festival are not all amazing

BY ALEX SIDDONS | Evergreen columnist

The National Lentil Festival returns to Pullman for the 26th time this weekend and along with the city’s favorite legume are 12 musical acts from country bands to “American Idol” winners. Some of these acts are worth your time, but others aren’t at all.

Headlining the second day of the festival is The Olson Bros Band, a country band from Olympia. The quartet won the Lakefair Battle of the Bands as well as the Texaco Country Showdown Songwriting Contest for its song “Sunrise.” That aforementioned song is tame, albeit a bit cheesy and stereotypical, but another one of the band’s songs, titled “Another Beer,” is more troublesome.

“Another Beer” displays blatant disrespect to women with the hook, “She looks like I need another beer,” to describe a woman the singer puts on the low end of a numerical scale. If misogyny and objectifying women is something you’re into, The Olson Bros Band will be there to appeal to your lesser sensibilities. Otherwise, do what you can to steer clear of them.

Headlining on Friday will be Eclectic Approach, a band with a sound that follows their name. Originally a hip-hop group, Eclectic Approach now has a wider range of styles from pop rock to electro-funk and everything in between. The band’s biggest success thus far has been appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live. This band will probably be one of the better acts you can see all weekend. The Moscow, Idaho group Igor & The Swamp Donkeys has hands down the best name and hopes to get things going with its blend of R&B and soul.

Tacoma-based band, The BGP, will also play on Friday and bring its self-described “modern Hall & Oates” sound with it. While the band’s music itself is a very non-offensive modern take on blue-eyed soul, the members can really put together an energetic live show. In a large or small crowd, The BGP knows how to get people dancing, which is an invaluable skill for a band to have. The BGP manage to capture your attention, but the performers can also engage the crowd on a personal level given the right scenario.

For a healthy dose of tried and true rock and roll, catch Whiskey Syndicate as well as Cody Beebe & The Crooks. Seattle indie folk group The Horde and the Harem bring its melodically catchy sound to the festival on Saturday as well. Fans of Beirut and The Head and The Heart would be right at home with the five-piece band.

“American Idol” season eight winner Kris Allen will perform Saturday in support of his new album “Horizons.” If you’re a fan of music like Allen’s or singer-songwriters then you will have no shortage of choices. From country to pop, Blake Noble, Dylan Jakobsen, Kara Hesse and Tommy Simmons will all make appearances at the festival.

If none of these acts interests you, interactive magician Jeff Evans will perform twice on Saturday. Aimed more toward children, Evans is still entertaining for kids of all ages and is a nice bit of variation from the other acts.