The Bob Polding Band
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The Bob Polding Band

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The best kept secret in music




Scott Semet

Published: January 6, 2006
Section: At The Shore
Edition: All
Page: 23

The Atlantic City original music scene is about to get a little hotter this weekend, as the Bob Polding Band returns for another engagement at the Sands Casino. Riding high off a series of shows at the world-famous Stone Pony, Polding and his crew will perform at Swingers on Friday, Jan. 6. This time around, the rock will be mixed with some music of a more personal nature.

Polding has written some extremely intimate songs, canvassing topics that range from his relationship with his mother to the recent Katrina disaster. The band's most recent track is "Forever Free," a song written in response to the war in Iraq. Although it was inspired by a local man who lost his life in the Iraqi conflict, Polding stresses, "We're not a political band. That song is dedicated to the troops overseas, but it just kind of wrote itself. I'm the main songwriter, but that's not a slight to the other guys."

The group's sounds have been organically growing over time: "The unit that's together now has been together for three years, but my guitar player and I have been together for close to 15 years," he adds.

The Bob Polding Band doesn't rely on heavy emotional issues and current topics for all of their music, however. With a four-hour set of original material under their belts, the rocking commences rather quickly.

"We're very energetic; we put on a rock show where the music and the lyrics are from the heart," Polding says. "If you're looking to hear a dynamic rock band, that's what we are. We're not your typical cover band, and it's not the sound you're hearing every day on the radio."

What They Play: Classic rock 'n' roll.

Specialty: Soulful, rocking songs in the vain of Hootie and the Blowfish and Bruce Springsteen.

New to the setlist: "We're going to debut 'One More Night' at the Sands," says Polding, referring to his band's latest composition.

Roster: Bob Polding: lead vocal and guitar; Steve Klein: guitar and vocals; Mike Delikat: drums; Jason Vega: bass; John Forsdahl: piano and keyboards.

Why They're Cool: "Our strong point is definitely our live performances," says Polding. "I try to capture that, and not to overproduce stuff in the studio. We try to recreate the live feeling."

Originals: The band plays only originals, including songs from their upcoming CD, "There Were Times," due out this month.

Claim to Fame: The band has performed at Giants Stadium, as well as opening for Joe Piscopo in Atlantic City.

Go See Them: At Swingers, located inside the Sands Casino, from 8 p.m. to midnight on Friday, Jan. 6. You can also catch them at Swingers on Jan. 28 at 9 p.m.
Web Site: Bob Polding Band. Color photo provided by Bob Polding

Copyright, 2006, South Jersey Publishing Company t/a The Press of Atlantic City

- Atlantic City Press

"N.J. band gains attention with song for U.S. troops"

N.J. band gains attention with song for U.S. troops
Staff Writer

With lyrics written for soldiers serving overseas and Hurricane Katrina victims, the Bob Polding Band has turned these tragedies into inspirational songs which are featured on the band’s first album.

Bob Polding, Mike Delikat and Steve Klein along with newcomers John Forsdahl and Jason Vega have been touring local venues for the past year to promote their CD “There Were Times.”

The CD is expected to be available for sale by late January through the band’s Web site

Songs on the CD include “Take My Hand,” written about Hurricane Katrina, “Home Is Where the Hurt Is,” “Only Like a Mother Could,” written for Polding’s mom, and “Teenage Memories.”

The band’s song “Forever Free,” which is about a soldier who dies while fighting for his country, is being broadcast on military radio to soldiers serving overseas.

The band members, who hail from northern New Jersey, have spent the last year playing “Forever Free” at special performances that include support the troops rallies, Armed Forces Day at Giants Stadium, a Memorial Day parade in Pennsville, a Blue Star salute benefit concert in North Arlington, and an Honor the Troops Night in Pennsylvania.

Polding played a solo acoustic version of “Forever Free” at the wake of a soldier from his neighborhood who died in November.

The Bob Polding Band is scheduled to perform at the Sands Casino, Atlantic City, on Jan. 6 and Jan. 28, and at the Saint, Asbury Park, on Jan. 7. He has previously played at the Stone Pony, Asbury Park.

Polding said his band has been welcomed by Jersey Shore venues with open arms. The singer said his favorite place to play is the Stone Pony because of the bar’s history and nostalgia.

“[The Stone Pony] has its roots in rock and roll; it’s in the walls, it’s in the ceiling. It’s a historical kind of venue that Bruce (Springsteen) put on the map down there,” he said.

Although the band has been playing together for a while, Polding said they are finally starting to break ground in the industry.

“(2005) has been a breakout year for us from playing smaller bars and clubs to playing Giants Stadium,” Polding said.

With the help of New Jersey 101.5 afternoon hosts Craig Carton and Ray Rossi and actor-comedian Joe Piscopo, Polding said the band is attracting a lot of attention.

With its soulful rock and roll sound, Polding said the band’s next move will be to cross over into the country music scene by joining country singer Pat Green on tour in Texas. Polding said a duet with Green for “Forever Free” is what could really put the song on the map.

For more information visit the Web site

- News Transript

"This one's for the troops"

There is always a piece of paper in Bob Polding's car.

That's because when he hears a melody in his head, he has to pull over and write it down.

That, he says, is how he composed "Forever Free," his hit song in tribute to the troops.

"I had the melody in my head on River Road in North Arlington, no Lyndhurst. Actually, I had just taken my daughters to school at Sacred Heart. The song just poured out of me," he recalls, thinking back to late 2003.

To preserve it, Polding used a recorder on his cellphone.

"My mind was ahead of my pen. I couldn't write fast enough. I ripped an envelope from the visor. Once I was home, I picked up the guitar," he explains.

Polding says he writes songs for his band that stem from his life experiences. "Forever Free" is the exception.

"People were coming back injured or not coming back at all," he says. Polding says he was thinking of that just before the "Forever Free" melody sprung into his head, having heard the military death count from Iraq on an all-news radio station. The song is his way of paying tribute to the troops who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

"My wife is my biggest fan and best critic. When she says its good or you're on to something, she's usually right." His wife, Teresa, liked "Forever Free," and that prompted Polding to reunite his band.

By 2003, The Bob Polding Band, which Polding formed in 1991, had drifted apart. But "Forever Free" was the reason to bring everyone together again. Polding says he took the responsibility of booking and promoting the band as well as writing music.

Polding says he sent the song to Armed Forces Radio in Richmond, Va. "Once they listened to it, they put it on the rotation. It's been heard worldwide by the troops for a year. It was done for the military, and I gave it to the military," he says.

Last year on Armed Forces Day, May 21, Polding and his group performed "Forever Free" at halftime of a MetroStars game at Giants Stadium. The team, now known as the Red Bulls, had them back to sing the song again this year at halftime of its July 22 game, and the band is scheduled to make a return appearance on Sept. 16, according to its Web site (

The band also performed "Forever Free" July 2 before a reported crowd of 15,000 in Benbrook, Texas, at the "Wounded Warriors, Fallen Heroes" rally honoring the troops. The gathering, described by its organizers as "a non-political event," was dedicated to the service men and women from all branches of the U.S. military who risk their lives everyday to preserve freedoms often taken for granted.

The song "Forever Free" has had a profound effect both on both Polding and his band.

"This song spring boarded me and the whole band to the next level," he says. The song elevated the group from a bar band to one that has played at the Meadowlands, at Giants Stadium and in Atlantic City. Although he would like to be signed by a recording company, Polding, 41, says he is satisfied with what he has achieved from unlikely musical beginnings. His music can be purchased on a CD through his band's Web site.

He says although music has always been part of his life, until now, it remained a sideline.

Polding, a native of Harrison, studied guitar briefly with his brother and taught himself to play piano. However, after high school, he says, he headed straight for the docks and started working unloading cargo at Port Newark. He worked in shipyards for 11 years but switched to the telecommunications field when his first daughter was born in 1993. He says he found telecommunications to be a more suitable career for a family man. Polding learned how to build communications towers and find sites for antennas on buildings. That led to selling modular buildings to Verizon, Singular, Sprint and other communications companies to hold the equipment needed for transmission.

The original members of Polding's band are fellow dockworkers Mike Delikat and Steve Klein, while the newcomers are John Forsdahl and Jason Vega. The band's major financial supporter is Polding's brother-in-law, Gary Lawlette of Clifton, who is married to Polding's sister, Eileen.

"He just saw something in the music," Polding says. "The better the product became, the songs just came together and clicked. He has always supported us."

Polding says the group has a soulful sound and relies on meaningful lyrics. It has created its own blend of acoustic and straight ahead rock-and-roll.

With "Forever Free," the band is attracting a whole new audience. "Wives, mothers and comrades of fallen soldiers have been calling and sending e-mails thanking us for writing the song," Polding says in a statement on his Web site. "I'm deeply moved by their sincerity, but the soldiers and their families deserve all the thanks in the world."

In the past year, the band has played seven times at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, where Bruce Springsteen got his start with the E Street Band. Polding says he's flattered when he is compared to Springsteen.

Polding has also appeared on the popular Jersey Guys talk show on WKXW-FM (101.5) to promote his song and talk about how it can be used to raise funds for military charities.

Polding says he would like to work with the Jersey Boys, Craig Carton and Ray Rossi, to hold a major rally in New Jersey to honor the troops.

"I'm on a personal crusade now. I've seen it first hand," Polding says of the military tributes where he has been featured in Pennsylvania and Texas.

"We have to select a venue and get the troops here," he says about planning a major event. He says if he can get an event started, some people he met in Texas have said they will assist.

"This has turned into something I never thought it would be," he says.

Reach Diane Haines at 973- 569-7046 or
- The Herald News

"Listen Up"

By Ken Barnes

More of the medley
A few more musical nuggets to toss your way....

The L.A. band Rock Kills Kid shows a lot of promise on its Are You Nervous? album, particularly in the catchy rocker Paralyzed. Look and listen right here.

Pearl Jam's World Wide Suicide is still rocking the airwaves even as the band tries pushing the excellent Life Wasted into the marketplace. Catch a live version of Suicide from their impressive VH1 Storytellers special, further evidence of Pearl Jam's stage clout.

The Raconteurs, the side project that White Stripes leader Jack White formed with Brendan Benson and other pals, have a rather droll video out for Steady, As She Goes. It's a soap box car scenario featuring a cameo by Paul Reubens.

Read more

Posted on July 06, 2006 in Playlists | Permalink | Comments (0)
A brand new grab-bag
With Ken unavailable to impose parameters, I'm winging the weekly playlist, which is going to be an audio/visual ricochet considering my dubious technical skills and the lack of a proper template. So what follows is a hodgepodge of sights and sounds assembled to distract, amuse and perhaps confound you.

Last week, I wrote a story about the resurgence of anti-war tunes, and one of the more clever entries this year is Todd Snider's You Got Away With It (A Tale of Two Fraternity Brothers) from his upcoming The Devil You Know album, out Aug. 8. The song is a hilarious skewering of Dubya, who is never mentioned by name. Highly recommended, but I'm having trouble finding it online. Duh, OK, first example of cyber disability. But you can hear Snider talk about Fraternity with his pal, country singer Patty Griffin, here and here.

In fairness, and for balance, and to thwart any hate mailers, may I suggest that the red-white-and-bluesy types sample a new pro-troops tune that is gaining momentum with military radio listeners. It's Forever Free by the Bob Polding Band.

© Copyright 2006 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
- USA Today

"Patriot Rock"

May 25, 2005
Patriot Rock

By Michael McDonnell
The Observer

It was no coincidence that Kearny musician, Bob Polding was asked to play his patriotic song “Forever Free” during the halftime show of the MetroStars soccer game at Giant Stadium on May 21 - Armed Forces Day.

“This is the first time ever that the MetroStars organization has brought in a rock and roll band to perform,” said Steven Samagaio, Senior Manager of Youth Soccer and Community Ticket Program for the MetroStars. “We’re very happy to have Bob (Polding) and his band play here today. It made perfect sense for Armed Forces Day.”

“Forever Free” is a rock ballad with a hint of “country” that embodies a sense of patriotism through the lyrics that tell a tale of a wife losing her husband in military conflict. Thousands of people had the chance to hear the band play the song that has been aired on Soldier’s Radio, a station dedicated to broadcasting songs about the military.

Two days before the Giant Stadium show, an unprecedented promotional event for the musicians also occurred on a “talk radio” station. While interviewing Polding and his band, talk show host, Dave Jensen, who airs before The Rush Limbaugh Show, took a moment to play the entire song on 1150 AM.

Since the song was released last year, it has sparked numerous gigs for the band and has received much attention.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” Polding said. “After the show today, we’re driving down to south Jersey to do a rally for the troops.”

Joining Polding, lead vocals and guitar, are Steve Klein, on lead guitar and background vocals, Mike DeLikat, on drums, Joe Orlando, bass and lead vocals, Johnny Forsdahl on keyboards and Belle Liao on background vocals.

“Bob and I played “Forever Free” acoustically at a festival for the troops on the courthouse steps of a town just outside of Shanksville, PA, where flight #93 went down on 9/11,” said Klein. “A lot of military wives were crying when we played it.”

Polding, Orlando and Liao together harmonized the Star Spangled Banner before the MetroStars faced off against the New England Revolution at 4 pm.

“Playing Giant Stadium is something I’ve been dreaming about since high school,” said DeLikat.

Orlando, who lives in Freehold, New Jersey, has played with such notable musicians as Paul McCartney and Wings.

“I actually met Bob through his daughter who was on the Internet looking for musicians to play with her father,” Orlando said.

Many veterans’ organizations have also embraced the song, and Polding said that the local American Legion on Belgrove Drive lent a gold star banner to the band, which was draped behind the stage.

“It’s an honor to support Bob and his music,” said Keith McMillan, Adjunct Commander of the post.

During the sound check, Polding ripped into a few other of his songs. The thrill of being projected on the “jumbotron” video screen, arriving by limousine, and playing to so many people at once did not mar the true meaning of the day’s performance.

“I wrote this song for those in the military and I’m the one who feels honored to be playing here today and sending ‘Forever Free’ out to members of the military and their family members,” Polding added.

On May 27, Polding will be representing Kearny as well as Harrison – where he went to high school – during the Newark Bears baseball game.

For more information on the band, their touring dates and the sogn “Forever Free” interested parties can check out:
- The Observer

"Embracing freedom in a song"

Embracing freedom in a song

By Michael McDonnell
For The Observer

HARRISON – The Soldier’s Radio and Television Network has chosen a “red, white and blue” rock song written by resident Bob Polding to fit into the rotation of inspirational music transmitted to military personnel overseas.

“Forever Free” is dedicated to the brave men and women who have given their lives for freedom. And it’s written in honor of the families they leave behind.

Polding showcased the song with his band last weekend at Fatso Fogarty’s on Ridge Road in North Arlington.

“I’ve always had a great deal of respect for anyone who is willing to put their lives on the line for our freedom,” Polding said. His father and best friend, Jack Polding, was a former U.S. Marine and longtime Harrison resident who passed away recently.

Last month, after finishing the recording of “Forever Free,” Polding sent a copy to Army Sergeant David Green, who runs SRTN out of Alexandria, Virginia under the auspices of the Department of the Army.

While Green left for active military duty in Iraq this week, Sergeant Matthew Howard, who is running the radio station in Green’s absence, explained that the “Forever Free” had the patriotic message necessary to be selected out of the most recent submissions.

“The quality of the song was very impressive and we knew the theme would be something that the troops really enjoyed,” said Howard noting SRTN receives dozens of songs from independent artists per week and the few selected are broadcasted to our troops worldwide via “Each military post can then transmit the songs through their own radio capabilities.”

Through the help of Alicia Devitz of Quakertown, PA, Polding was able to have the song linked to the websites: and

Devitz runs a support group through the websites for military family members of about 32 husbands and fathers throughout the state of Pennsylvania, who have been deployed overseas.

“I heard “Forever Free” on Soldier’s Radio and thought it was phenomenal.,” said Devitz, whose husband Carl is a civilian solider with the National Guard has been stationed in Afghanistan for the past twelve months.

The lyrics of “Forever Free” tell a story about the worse case scenario for a wife or mother of a soldier but there is an uplifting message of hope, explained Devitz.

“Soldiers in Afghanistan are very much in harms way. Being a wife of a soldier, I went through briefings by the military on how to deal with the death of a spouse,” she added. “I really want to commend Bob on writing such a great song. It really deserves its place on Soldier’s Radio.”

The response to the song has been tremendous and numerous e-mails pour in on a daily basis requesting how one could access the song or buy a CD explained Polding.

“I’ve been asked by The Military Wives to perform at a rally and a homecoming for the soldiers in PA,” Polding said. “I have also been asked by The Armed Forces Foundation to perform at the military hospital in Bethesda, MD.”

For over thirty years, Soldiers Radio has supplied troops with the story of the military through songs explained Sergeant Green.

“Back in the day when Soldier’s Radio started, we would ship tapes of songs to some of the military posts around the globe, but through technology we’re reaching all of our military men and women,” said Green. “We know that they’re out there listening.”

Along with Polding on lead vocals and guitar, The Bob Polding Band is comprised of; Steve Klein on lead guitar and background vocals, and Mike Delikat on drums, both of whom are longtime friends of the singer/songwriter from Harrison as well as newcomers, John Forsdahl on keyboards and Jason Vega on bass.

“Music has always been a part of my life and it’s a proud feeling knowing that your music is inspiring people,” Polding added.

The band plans to release “Forever Free along with two additional songs as an EP, which will be available for purchase on our website: on Jan 1st.
- The Observer


New LP: "There Were Times"
* available on iTunes and CD Baby.

1) There Were Times
2) Home Is Where The Hurt Is
3) Take My Hand
4) Only Like A Mother Could
5) Forever Free
6) Teenage Memories


Feeling a bit camera shy


With a soulful sound and meaningful lyrics the band has created their own unique blend of acoustic rock. Never straying far from their roots, the band credits each member for bringing a part of themselves into every song. Being from New Jersey, the band's sound is influenced by many of the great acts that hail from the Garden State.

One of the band's songs, "Forever Free", written for the men and women who have given their lives for our freedom, is currently being broadcasted to our troops overseas via Military radio.

The band has been enjoying local success and has opened for some of Rock's lengendary performers such as Leslie West, Nils Lofgren, and Southside Johnny.

The band always plays with the same level of intensity whether performing at intimate local clubs like The Stone Pony, The Saint, The Wonder Bar and The Starland Ballroom, or larger venues such as The Sands Casino, The Paramount Theatre and GIANTS Stadium.

The band recently had the opportunity to perform in Texas for 15,000 people, and to open for country music artist Pat Green, the bands is attracting a new fan base, where Rock meets Conrtry...

Their energetic live performances have help to attract new fans one show at a time.