It's shocking that this Rose City vintage rock band has been away from Bend for years now. It's perfect for this town. Lead singer Adam Shearer is a beard-toting, city-fied mountain man. He fronts one of Portland's most likeable bands and writes '70s rock songs that blend acoustic and electric guitar with harmonies that run the gamut of emotion. The fourth album, Los Processaur, landed at 33 on our list of top 200 albums from 2012.
The only time Derby played the High Desert was on one of the coldest Winterfest nights ever. Not nearly enough people turned out to see this band known for wickedly sweet rock ditties like "If Ever There's a Reason"—a hand-clapping tune recognizable from a Ford Explorer commercial. Lead singer and guitarist Nat Johnson towers on stage with all the overstated moves of an 80's rocker.
Technically, Leigh Marble hasn't been to Bend as a solo artist. In fact, he's only appeared here once as a guest backing member for The Ascetic Junkies at Silver Moon Tap Room. But the minimalist punk rocker has been making his own albums since 1997. In 2012, his first release in five years, Where the Knives Meet Between the Rows, made CD Baby's list of 2012's best records. The album is awash in dark rock with flashes of tongue-in-cheek sing-alongs. SW