Tunesmith Night showcases original music


Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 2.48.39 PMJOSEPH — The Wallowa Valley Music Alliance presents another edition of Tunesmith Night, a monthly showcase of original music. The Jan. 13 show features songwriters Kory Quinn, James Dean Kindle and Bourbon Bill Rockwell.

Like the steady pendulum of a land oil rig, Americana songwriter Kory Quinn is tapped inspiration. His new EP,  “Black Gold Blues,” is sharp and critical, according to a press release from the Wallowa Valley Music Alliance. It swings between the misery and pride of the working class. He explores the complex relationships inherent in the immorality of modern capitalism and the individual purpose found in their work. With uncanny awareness he understands the exact point where two disparate paradigms collide.

“Black Gold Blues” bobs between the melancholy and the irrepressibility of humanity in the face of widespread corruption and exploitation. This coincides with the greater implications of society’s current reliance on oil and fossil fuels, corrupt political leaders and fear. But even as it tackles such heaviness, its music is boisterous and driving, a perfect rallying call for humanity from the heart of a working man, the press release reads.

James Dean Kindle is a Pendleton singer-songwriter. With his longtime backing band, The Eastern Playboys, he has recently released “Roaming Charges May Apply,” a high desert rock album recorded at the OK Theatre in Enterprise.

Thematically the album touches upon finding a sense of community and belonging amidst the anxiety of a decaying rural West. He is currently working on a solo album tentatively titled “Trail Songs of Love.” James also works as the executive director of the Oregon East Symphony and as a contributing columnist to the East Oregonian.

  Bourbon Bill Rockwell has been writing songs and performing them on stage for nearly 25 years. His old-time style of songwriting landed him in a trio before the turn of the century with two friends who played banjo and mandolin. They busked the Washington State Ferry system for a while before crossing the pond and playing in Europe.

Those days have passed, but Bourbon Bill’s passion for writing has not. After tens of thousands of miles, he’s discovered the wonders of Northeast Oregon and has been playing and performing out of La Grande. One can hear the grit and gravel of a well-traveled road in his voice and those same miles are strongly reflected in his lyrics, giving Bourbon Bill Rockwell his uniqueness and flavor, like a good bottle of whiskey, according to the press release.

Tunesmith Night is presented in a round-robin format for a varied performance. The Gold Room at the historic Jennings Hotel provides a cozy atmosphere for listening. Admission is $10 at the door or by season pass. Doors open at 6 p.m., and music at 7 p.m. All ages are welcome. No food or beverage service is provided — BYO.

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