Local musicians debut new collaboration

Seth and Andy

LA GRANDE — Two local musicians will debut their instrumental collaboration this weekend.

Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 11.07.55 AMSeth Kinzie, of Joseph, and Andy Steele, of La Grande, met through Bart Budwig, another well-known artist in the region.

“Funnily enough, we both did work on Bart’s tracks, but we never actually met through that process,” Steele said. “I did the drum tracks, Seth did keyboard and piano. We were both on it, but we didn’t actually meet until later.”

The drummer said it wasn’t until Kinzie appeared on his radio show that the two realized how much they had in common.

“We come from pretty different backgrounds,” Steele said. “He has classical training and I do not, but we’re both fans of Radiohead and Sigur Ros.”

Along with their interests in music, Kinzie and Steele found they had both recently had
projects put on hold.

“Catskills was on hiatus, and Seth’s drummer at the time was out of the picture,” Steele said. “We both had projects we were invested in that suddenly weren’t happening, so we got together and started playing.”

Screen Shot 2017-02-22 at 11.08.02 AMThe duo will perform mostly original work during its two upcoming performances, along with a few covers.

“With just a piano and drums, it’s not even a cover as much as it is a reimagining,” Steele said.

He said the duo does have one song with a guest vocalist, but everything else has just the two instruments.

“You can’t rely on lyrics to build the drama, so we’ve had fun threading bits together to create that,” Steele said.

He said the music is unique to the area.

“It isn’t super crazy experimental, but it is a format that doesn’t get explored very often,” Steele said. “We include qualities of jazz like improvisation and experimentation, but we certainly aren’t playing jazz standards.”

Upcoming shows

Steele said he and Kinzie joke that they are going on a Northeast Oregon tour, which consists of a Feb. 24 show in La Grande and a Feb. 25 show in Enterprise. Both shows have a “sliding scale” admission rate of $5-10.

“If someone can pay $10 and wants to give a bit more to the musicians, that’s cool,” Steele said. “We think $5 is fair.”

The shows are open to all ages, and children get in free.

The La Grande show will be held at 8 p.m. at Art Center East, 1006 Penn Ave., one of the only venues in La Grande with a piano.

“Seth wants a real piano. He likes the acoustic quality,” Steele said.

The Feb. 24 show will also include a performance by
Foxgloves, the project Mike Surber and Gregory Rawlins created prior to moving to Seattle, Washington, and starting Sons of Guns.

“This is unplugged, so it’ll be new for people who are used to them as co-fronts of a big rock band,” Steele said.

The Enterprise show will be held at 6 p.m. in the Odd Fellows Hall, 105 NE First St.

Steele said he hopes these shows are the start of a long-lasting collaboration.

“This is the first iteration of something that will continue, I think,” he said. “We’ve been working on this for a long time, and we’re excited to put it out there.”

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