Photo contributed by Tristan Paiige
Playing everywhere from dive bars and rodeo arenas to prisons and concert halls, James Dean Kindle & the Eastern Oregon Playboys is celebrating its 10th birthday as a band.
The group is hosting a roller skating party, complete with music and an ice cream cake. The celebration is Friday from 9:30 p.m. to midnight at Pendleton Skate City, 407 Highway 11. In addition to a performance by Kindle and the Playboys — Peter Walters, Brian Baird and Adam Mack — several special guests will play. Tickets are $7 and can be purchased in advance at Great Pacific Wine & Coffee Co., 403 S. Main St., Pendleton.
Singer-songwriter J.D. Kindle always wanted to front a Western swing band dubbed “The Eastern Oregon Playboys.” While the group isn’t exclusively in that category, he said they do embrace elements of the genre. Prior to the official name, Kindle said it came with several variations along with his name.
“We are from Eastern Oregon and it felt like a nice way to take some regional pride,” he said. “The boys weren’t that hot on it initially but I was pretty insistent. We kept using the name, and it has stuck by now.”
Starting as a duo with Peter Walters, Kindle intended on fleshing out arrangements of songs he had been performing in a solo capacity. Kindle had relocated back to Pendleton and the high school buddies started inviting a few friends to attend rehearsals, including Brian Baird with his bass, Cody Nash on guitar and drummer Matt Van Sickle. Kindle said the band performed as a five-piece group for a few months until Nash left to join the Air Force. They’ve remained a four-piece band since that time.
Kindle, Walters and Baird are all products of the Pendleton High School music department. In January 2015, Mack, the newest Playboy, relocated with his family from the Portland area around the same time Van Sickle left to pursue other opportunities. Kindle had previously toured with Mack as a substitute bass player during gigs with Sean Flinn & The Royal We. They became familiar with each other while cooped up for hours together on the road.
“Since we already had a good rapport and I knew he was a solid musician it was a natural arrangement,” Kindle said.
Kindle likened being in a band as having multiple significant others simultaneously. With the exception of Mack, Kindle said the connection between bandmates is probably the longest relationship they’ve been involved in. The key, Kindle said, is that they are friends — while they sometimes fight like brothers, they also look out for each other.
“Also, it helps that we all really like burritos and beer,” Walters added.
As individuals, the members of the group are often involved with other musical projects, whether as a solo artist, promoting shows or performing with other bands or choirs. The group has collaborated with the Oregon East Symphony on several occasions, and has been featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting, Boise State Public Radio and as part of an ad campaign for Travel Pendleton. In addition, when the group performs local gigs, they share stage time to further introduce other musicians to Eastern Oregon audiences.
James Dean Kindle & the Eastern Oregon Playboys is releasing its fourth album, “Roaming Charges May Apply,” this winter. For a sneak peek, hit up the jukebox at The Packard Tavern in Pendleton. Also, Kindle will release a live solo album later this month that was recorded during an August residency at Great Pacific.
For more about the band, visit www.facebook.com/jamesdeankindle.EO.
Contact Community Editor Tammy Malgesini at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-564-4539