Piano man returns home

photo Pianist Brady Goss.

Piano artist Brady Goss of the Brady Goss Band, is returning to the area with his band for a rock n roll show at the OK Theatre on Sept. 10. Goss was a longtime Wallowa County resident who moved with his parents to the area in the 1990s, when his father, Mike Goss, bought the Food City grocery store in Wallowa. Goss’ mother is Becky Schaeffer of Wallowa.

“I grew up catching grasshoppers and stuff as a kid, but I always had piano on my mind. My dad was a huge Jerry Lee Lewis fan, and that’s pretty much what we listened to. I was the only one of his kids who didn’t get tired of it” Goss said.

Goss started playing around the age of 5. “There’s a picture of me as a toddler reaching for the keys, and I think I’ve always loved it,” Goss said.

Jerry Lee Lewis remains Goss’ main inspiration as a piano player. “He was just a genius, musically, vocally and as an entertainer,” he said.

Other musicians who influence Goss include bluesman Stevie Ray Vaughan and the soft rock group, The Eagles. Hank Williams Sr. and Frank Sinatra received mention as well.

Goss plays guitar as well as piano, but said neither instrument cross-influences the other. “They’re nothing alike — they’re two different loves,” Goss said.

As much as Goss loves the Wallowa Valley, he moved to Oregon City about five years ago to pursue his art. Unlike many toiling musicians, Goss actually makes a living at his profession. “There’s more opportunities here, and I’m getting a lot more gigs. I am slammed busy this year, which is great,” he said.

Goss said he always knew he wanted to become a professional musician and started pursuing music as a profession as soon as he graduated high school. He said he was fortunate to gain access to people who showed him the ropes to becoming a professional musician.

“I didn’t meet people who could get me hooked up with a high-end record label, but I met people who helped me get regional popularity where I’m always in demand as an entertainer. I’m a solo artist with his own show who knows how to do business,” Goss said.

While Goss enjoys returning to the Wallowa Valley for gigs, he’s only been back once this year, to play to a packed house at Embers. “I used to come back a lot more. I’d have a gig in La Grande, then I’d have a gig at Lear’s, and then a gig at Embers. I’ve got so much stuff going on over here, it’s hard to find the time,” he said.

Venues vary depending on the time of year. “Summertime is full of fairs, and they’re multi-day deals, which keeps me real busy. I’m playing fairs in Yakima, Washington and even as far away as Fresno, California. The only danger is getting burnout, but I keep my mind set against that,” he said.”

Winter gigs include American Legion, Eagles Lodges and performing arts centers and rural theaters. “Rural theaters pay super good and they dig up guys like me without a record label. You may not draw people on your own, but people will come to see whatever is there,” Goss said.

The piano man promises a rock n roll extravaganza, playing a history of the music from Jerry Lee Lewis to The Eagles and Prince. “I don’t have a lot of original material because I’ve been so busy working, when I get home, I don’t feel like picking up the guitar and forcing out original material,” he said. Goss hopes to take time off from performing this spring and work on original material.

Goss’ band consists of a drummer, bass player, lead guitar player and himself, and Goss is excited to let his audience see what he has to offer. “I know I can put on a hell of a live show if the audience is into it,” Goss said.

Goss’ show starts at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at Wallowa Food City, Dollar Stretcher, Lear’s and ticketsWest.com.

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