Continuous country: Riverbend plays long and from the heart

Country music lovers can enjoy hours of free music with the Riverbend Band.

For the first time, the Riverbend Band will be performing at the Pemberville Free Fair this year on Thursday.

The band is a local group from Northwest Ohio that was formed in 2009, with their first show happening in 2010. They are a five-piece band, with drums, keyboard, bass guitar, lead guitar and rhythm guitar that performs mostly country covers with some classic rock occasionally thrown in.

Dallis Lusk, the lead singer who also plays rhythm guitar, said the band plays a variety of different artists including Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks and Luke Bryan. In total, he said they have about 200 different songs they can choose from for a show and sometimes they even take requests.

Throughout a show, the band doesn’t take many breaks. Lusk said they usually only take a 10-minute break between sets. This allows them to get in as many songs as possible, which Lusk said could reach almost 60 songs depending on the length of the show.

While they are performing, Lusk said he likes to be able to get off the stage and mingle with the audience.

“I don’t like being tethered to the stage. I like getting off the stage and getting out and kind of mingling around,” he said. “Sometimes when you’re out there, there’s a good possibility you’re going to end up in part of the show.”

Lusk isn’t the only one who likes to interact with the audience. He said one of the reasons he thinks people enjoy watching their performances is because of how much the whole band tries to interact with the crowd.

“I think if you enjoy country music, I think that you’ll enjoy what we do,” he said. “I think they’ll just have an enjoyable evening if they come out.”

Performing is something Lusk has enjoyed doing for a long time. He said he first started performing in 2004, and before that he liked performing karaoke for his friends. One day he decided he wanted to sing while also playing guitar, since he figured that was something a lot of people couldn’t do.

“I started thinking to myself, how many people can actually play and sing at the same time,” he said. “Plus, if you go out and do karaoke, a lot of times you’re only doing four songs a night and I kind of wanted to do a whole lot more than just four songs a night.”

Since then, Lusk has been performing for others, which he said he continues to enjoy to this day. Some of his fellow band members also started performing before they started the Riverbend Band.

At the Pemberville Free Fair, the Riverbend Band will be performing at the main stage from 7:30-10 p.m.

“I think if Mother Nature cooperates, I think if people come out, I think they’ll have an enjoyable evening and they’ll get a lot of music in a short amount of time,” Lusk said.