Joe Whaley and The Benders
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Joe Whaley and The Benders

Band Rock Singer/Songwriter

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Crowds get ready for headliners

"The lawn in front of the Coca-Cola Classic Stage was sparsely populated as Joe Whaley & The Benders took the stage at 2 p.m. Although it was likely to be more than eight hours until Hank Williams Jr. took the stage, several fans wearing Bocephus shirts began gathering in Linn Park as Whaley’s guitar brought people to their feet."

Jeremy Gray - al.com - The Birmingham News


Thursday, June 15, 2006

Local Band debuts at City Stages

In the April 19 Liner Notes, I got to tell you a bit about Joe Whaley and the Benders, one of our newest local bands - newcomer Joe teamed with veterans Robert Staggers, John Staggers and Lee Graham.

Over the past year the group has been recording an indie/folk rock album of original material written by Whaley but has yet to appear in public. That all changes this Saturday. Their strong demo netted them an invitation to perform at Birmingham's massive City Stages festival this weekend, at 2 p.m. on the Coca-Cola Stage.

“It's a little overwhelming and nerve-wracking, but we're so excited. It's a great opportunity, and I hope we'll make everyone proud,” the 27-year-old songwriter said.

The Benders follow City Stages up with two performances at Dave's Dark Horse Tavern in Starkville on July 1 and July 7. You can hear three tracks from the upcoming album at www.sonicbids.com/joewhaleyandthebenders or www.myspace.com/joewhaley.

City Stages is three days of music, nine stages, 126 performances, and a crowd estimated last year in excess of 100,000. Artists this weekend include the Allman Brothers, the Beach Boys, Los Lonely Boys, Snoop Dogg, Hank Williams, Jr., John Hiatt, Puddle of Mudd, Shinedown, Subdudes, Marty Stuart and oh, so many more.

For more details, explore www.citystages.org .

### - Jan Swoope, The Commercial Dispatch


Thursday, April 20, 2006
Joe Whaley and the Benders

In the customary course of things, most grassroots bands seem to form, work the grueling gig circuit until they've figured out (or not) what works, develop a following, large or small - then build up the material, confidence and bucks to record the demo, EP or album.

I'd like you to meet Columbus-based Joe Whaley and the Benders, a band that tossed that syllabus out the window.

For almost a year, singer/songwriter Whaley, 27, has been quietly visiting Music Alley Studios on Catfish Alley whenever he could - after work, at night, on weekends - patiently crafting and recording his original songs under the public radar and acquiring some well-seasoned bandmates in the process.

The Benders are the Staggers brothers - Robert at drums and John on bass - who own and operate Music Alley, and Lee Graham on lead guitar.

Combined, these three bring the heft of tenures with the Puerto Rican Rum Drunks, Maxwell Lummus Band, Soul Biscuit, Muzik, the Mississippi Bluebloods and more to back up newcomer Whaley.

And, as a precursor to an album expected later this year (working title: "For the Birds," co-produced by Robert), the group has made their first three songs public via www.sonicbids.com/joewhaleyandthebenders and www.myspace.com/joewhaley.

Dressed in descending tempos and textures, Joe's lyrics tackle the undertow of love in the pulsing "Intermission," the mid-tempo, subtly harmonied "Lullaby" and finally the aching, minimalist "Drive."

Listen to all three. The Internet sound quality may not be as rich as listening on disc, but you can get acquainted with one of the latest to come out of Columbus' music garden.

If you lack computer access and really want to give these a listen, please make it known; we'll find Plan B.

###
- Jan Swoope, The Commercial Dispatch


Discography

Currently recording.

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Joe Whaley and the Benders, comprised of multi-talented members from the Puerto Rican Rum Drunks and the Maxwell Lummus Band, have combined forces to backup newcomer Joe Whaley, a local singer-songwriter from the band's home base of Columbus, Mississippi. The band came together as singer-songwriter Joe Whaley began work in the studio to record a solo album. The studio, Music Alley – owned and operated by brothers Robert and John Staggers, is located in Columbus, MS. After enlisting help from John, Robert and former PRRD band mate Lee Graham, the group decided to give it a shot as a band. Joe Whaley and the Benders made their public debut on the Coca-Cola stage at the 2006 City Stages Festival in Birmingham, AL. Since then, they have steadily gained attention and fans in their local area, as well as nationally and internationally - thanks to the availability of digital distribution of music via the Internet. "We like to play to crowds that consist of music lovers…people that are there for the music, and hopefully we give them good music to listen to in return." The band is currently writing and recording new songs for a tentative 2007 album release.