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Musician and aspiring doctor find Pendleton hits the right note

Antonio Sierra

East Oregonian

Published on December 25, 2017 3:17PM

Last changed on December 25, 2017 6:10PM

Seattle musician Lincoln Barr moved to Pendleton last June with his wife, Christian, while she does her medical residency at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston.

Staff photo by E.J. Harris

Seattle musician Lincoln Barr moved to Pendleton last June with his wife, Christian, while she does her medical residency at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston.

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Lincoln Barr and his wife Christian were at a point in their lives where there was a variety of places they could choose to reside.

They settled on Pendleton.

While Christian was in the midst of a 12-hour clinical rotation, Barr, 35, explained the couple’s winding road to Eastern Oregon at the Great Pacific Wine & Coffee Co.

Having grown up in the Midwest and Southeast, the pair met in college at Southeast Missouri State University.

After graduating, they began looking toward the Northwest to help advance Barr’s music career, relocating to Seattle in 2004 over their second choice, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Barr formed and fronted a band called Red Jacket Mine while working a day job at a guitar store. One of his coworkers was a friend of Thomas Paul, a Boise musician who often performed in Pendleton.

Paul convinced Barr of the charms of Pendleton and Red Jacket Mine began doing shows in the Round-Up City in 2010. He met J.D. Kindle and began to integrate with the rest of the Pendleton music scene as the years went on.

“I didn’t even know this place existed,” he said.

Five years later, Barr moved closer to Pendleton when he followed his wife to Yakima as she attended medical school at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences.

By the time Christian was ready to continue her medical training with clinic rotations, the Barrs had no desire to immediately return to Seattle, where it was more expensive and more congested.

Pendleton held a small town feel that was hard to replicate. Other towns may have seemed similar to Pendleton on paper, but the supportiveness and uniqueness of the Pendleton community drew them in.

“It’s an easy place to live,” he said.

They moved to Pendleton in June as Christian started her rotations at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston. Barr now works as a technology consultant from home while continuing to work on his music. Almost as soon as he completed his move, Barr opened for Ural Thomas and The Pain as a part of a Main Street block party in June. Having released a solo album in February, Barr performs occasionally while he considers his next step musically.

As much as the couple enjoys living in Pendleton, their stay isn’t permanent.

After Christian’s clinical rotations end in two years, she’ll have to seek a residency to complete a medical degree. With no local hospitals offering residencies, the Barrs will have to move again.

Although it’s hard to figure out what the future has in store, Barr can imagine returning to Pendleton after Christian’s residency.

“It’s a beautiful part of the world,” he said.

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Contact Antonio Sierra at asierra@eastoregonian.com or 541-966-0836.



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