Band members like to perform, connect with fans

Reporter and Reporter

Bethesda, a band from Akron, will play at Howard’s Club H Friday night.

The band got their name from a pool of healing in Jewish and Christian faiths that would heal someone if they dipped their hand or toe into it.

“We liked the imagery that came along with the name Bethesda,” the band’s guitarist, Eric Ling said. “We like to talk about things that are real, but also inject people with hope, and we thought it fit with the idea of this healing pool.”

Bethesda consists of Shanna Delaney, lead vocals; Ling, guitar; Jesse Sloan, guitar; Dan Corby, bass; Justin Rife, drums; and Christopher Black, violin.

Delaney and Ling met while attending Kent State University, started dating and are now married. They met the rest of the band members at church.

Each of the band members have a career outside of Bethesda, so touring has been difficult. Right now, Bethesda is doing a flower petal tour where they travel on weekends to perform outside in other areas.

Delaney and Ling both said it takes a lot of hard work to balance their work and their music career, but they enjoy it.

“We really love music and what we do,” Delaney said. “I wanted to perform and sing since I came out of the womb. I’ve always been a performer. I love writing too, but being in front of people, being an influence, making friends and talking to fans is definitely an honor.”

Ling was not born with the passion to perform like his wife, but has grown to love it.

“Performing gives a unique and intimate platform to connect with people on a musical level,” Ling said.

Bethesda plays all original songs mostly written by Ling with some help from Sloan.

“When I started writing it became infectious, and while music was just sort of a hobby, it was something I loved to do and wanted to work on,” Ling said.

Their songs relate to real life experiences, emotions they feel, difficulties they face and people who have been in their lives.

“They’re fantastic, their music is great and we’re excited to have them come,” said Howard’s bartender Ted Truman. “We hope everyone comes to check them out.”

The band finds it hard to classify themselves in a certain genre.

“All of us have brought different influences into the band and its created something unique and original,” Ling said.

Bethesda recently released their 2011 EP “Dreamtiger & Other Tails,” which was slated for 13 shows on various television channels including MTV, VH1, Showtime and E!. This means that their music could be used on TV shows such as “The Real World” and “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

“It doesn’t really hit you until you hear it on one of the shows,” Ling said.

Bethesda previously released an album “Love in a Time of Tra La La” in January 2010 and a self-titled EP in 2008. Their music has played on over 200 independent and college radio stations, and the band has played in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago as well as their local area.

Bethesda has never played in Bowling Green, but Ling and Delaney both said they were excited to come play.

Truman thinks Friday night’s show looks promising with Bethesda playing, and local bands Tree No Leaves and Balloon Messenger will also perform starting at 10 p.m.