Thursday, June 20, 2013

Turner travels West

Josh Turner will never forget the first time he drove through Idaho.

“I was in the car by myself and was actually intimidated by the vast, open space,” said the bass and baritone country singer.

Country singer Josh Turner performs Sunday
at the Clearwater River Casino Events Center.
Growing up in South Carolina, he was accustomed to lush, green land filled with palm trees, so the drive near Snake River canyon was new and beautiful to him.

“I went up toward McCall and Lewiston and all of that, and it was one of the most breathtaking drives I’ve been on,” he said.

Now, Turner is returning to Idaho, but not just for a summertime cruise. The Grammy, Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Awards nominee will be playing at 7 p.m. Sunday in the sold-out Clearwater River Casino Event Center. And unlike his drive through Idaho, this past year has been a wild one.

“It’s been a great year. The ‘Punching Bag’ record came out a year ago, last summer,” Turner said. “Shortly after that, I had a live record come out … We capped the year off with ‘Time is Love’ being the biggest song in 2012. We’ve been kind of riding on the high of that.”

Billboard rated the hit No. 1 for U.S. country songs in 2012, but it wasn’t the first time Turner had reached high on the charts. “Why Don’t We Just Dance” ended at No. 3 in 2010, and in the same year, “All Over Me” ended at No. 4. While “Your Man” didn’t end the year as a top country hit, it did reach No. 1 early in 2006, and was Turner’s first No. 1 of his career, followed by the multi-week chart topper, “Would You Go With Me.”

Turner became the second youngest Grand Ole Opry member, following Carrie Underwood, in 2007.

All the while, Turner has been married to his wife, Jennifer, and the two have had three sons — Hampton, Colby and Marion — all born between 2006 and 2010. His love of family is evident in his music video, “I Wouldn’t Be A Man,” which Turner said was his favorite one to film.

“Because my wife was in that video with me,” Turner said. “We revealed the fact that she was pregnant in the end of the video and that was the way we revealed it to the world. Instead of in a press release, we did it in a video.”

Now, Turner said he’s been working hard on the road.

“And toward the next record, honestly,” he said. “I’ve just been writing a lot.”

Two weeks ago, Turner was at the five-day CMA Music Festival, and said he was glad to know it’s over, being the busiest week of 2013.

Turner said his crew is traveling west, more than they ever have.

“Usually we may only go one time, maybe two at the most,” Turner said. “We’re going west three times this year. That’ll give me a chance to play for my fans out west a little bit more.”

Turner said the Clearwater River Casino audience will get a great sounding show and because Turner brings his own crew and set, it will look good, too.

“We worked up a brand new show for the year,” Turner said.

He promised a performance that none of his fans have seen before.
-If you go:
WHAT: Josh Turner performs
WHEN: 7 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Clearwater River Casino Event Center
COST: Sold out

Turner answered fan questions from the Inland360 Facebook page.
Turner answered fan questions
from the Inland360 Facebook page.
You Asked, Josh Answered
Josh Turner fans had an opportunity to ask questions by posting inquires on Inland 360’s Facebook page. Here’s what Turner had to say:
Q: If he could do a duet with anyone, who would he choose? Does Idaho remind him of home? -Kelsey Saintz
A: “I’ve done a lot of duets already whether it was on a record or just on stage. One thing that I’ve never really made happen yet is actually singing with Randy Travis on one of my records. I was part of a duet record he did last year, on one of his records celebrating his 20 years. That to me would be really cool for me, because he was the one that inspired me in the first place.” … “It’s as different from home as can be. That’s why I like it though.”

Q: Who are his top 3 favorite music artists? -Jake Wykes
A: I’d have to say five. Randy Travis, Vern Gosdin, John Anderson, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.

As seen in the June 20 issue of Inland360.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Punk rock pair finds love in Lewiston

Lindsey Treffry |

Mandi Jordan used to have a huge crush on Nathan Golla.

Now she’s Mandi Golla and her admiration obviously turned to love, which may be due to their combined interest in music and tattoos.

Nathan and Mandi Golla, of the band
The Khind, perform together and co-own
Crimson Reign Tattoo in Lewiston.
“We knew each other back in high school, and we were friends, and she used to come to the concerts and watch us play,” said Nathan, a member of Lewiston’s hard rock band The Khind.

While it never worked out in high school, Mandi found Nathan years later on Myspace from California, struck up a conversation and surprised him one day on his Lewiston doorstep.

“Yeah, it was a total surprise,” Nathan said. “We were inseparable ever since she moved (back) here.”
After high school, Mandi had left for California, and spent eight years studying tattooing, body piercing, acting, modeling and music.

“I started out in the underground punk scene when I was about 19 down in L.A.,” Mandi said. “I was trained by old school punk rockers on how to play.”

She trained under a tattoo artist, who handed her a bass guitar and told her she needed to be a rock star.
“I practiced playing bass 12 to 14 hours a day for months to months on end and then I got hired to play for Yoshiki Hayashi and the band Violet UK,” Mandi said.

The Tokyo Dome hosted 50,000 people each night she played for three nights in a row, she said.

“There’s people that have played their whole life that have never played the Tokyo Dome,” Nathan said. “And here we have Mandi, at 30, that’s played the Tokyo Dome three nights in a row. As a musician, I’d be like, I could quit, I could die the next day and feel happy about that.”

So it was no surprise upon Mandi’s return in 2009 that Nathan’s band, The Khind, opened their arms to her. At the time, Nathan had been balancing guitar with lead vocals.

“I didn’t feel like I was doing either of them justice, so we were definitely looking for a singer. And at the point she came back, it was pretty much perfect timing,” Nathan said.

Mandi was thrilled when The Khind asked her to try out as lead vocalist, because she had followed the band since it’s formation in 1996. The band also includes bass player Brian Ochoa and drummer David “Chip” Clifford.

“The guys were hesitant about having my girlfriend at the time being the singer, just because we all know how those politics work out,” Nathan said.

But once they found out Nathan and Mandi were on the marriage fast-track — and they heard Mandi sing — Ochoa and Clifford welcomed a new member.

Nathan describes The Khind’s music as heavy, diverse and dynamic, while Mandi said she works to enunciate her singing, or melodic screaming, she calls it.

“There’s something about the way we do (music) that makes it a little more accessible than just someone screaming and flailing on the drums the whole time,” Nathan said. “We’ve been called too heavy for the light crowd and too light for the heavy crowd. And they said that as a bad thing, but that sounds like a niche area where we can thrive.”

In 2010, Mandi and Nathan bought an old tattoo shop, remodeled it and opened Lewiston’s Crimson Reign Tattoo, 326 1/2 Main St.

“Mandi runs the shop,” said Nathan, who also runs a recording studio out of their house and teaches guitar and bass lessons at Seidel Music and Repair. “We both invested in the (tattoo) shop and started it together, but she definitely is the one that’s pulling the ropes around there and making things happen. On the flip side of that, we both do the band, too, but that’s kind of my area.”

Nathan said Mandi’s private studio and her tattoo work has a lot of attitude — a punk rock attitude.
“It’s really bright and bold and colorful,” Nathan said of her tattoo designs. “The kind of stuff you can see from across the parking lot.”

Mandi said tattooing and music have worked well together.

“That’s one of the reasons I got into it,” Mandi said. “All of my musician buddies always need a tattoo. It’s a lifestyle.”

Some day, she said she’d love to have a tattoo station inside a tour bus, where she can tattoo fans with a hidden anarchy symbol, which is a way Mandi has signed her fan’s skin in the past.

Touring is a dream that Nathan shares, too.

“We want to get as big as we can and share our music with as many people as possible,” Nathan said.

The Khind plans to release a CD in late August called “Chaotic Symmetry,” but in the meantime Nathan said they will be releasing a five-song EP dubbed “EPicist,” which can be streamed online at or

On Saturday, The Khind will play at The Hop in Spokane, and by that time, Nathan said they hope to have released a hard-copy of “EPicist.”

While Nathan and Mandi work together every day, they do fight.

“We were jokingly arguing about finding our socks,” Nathan said.

But matching black socks are the extent of their conflicts.

“Surprisingly, with as much time as we spend together … we really don’t have issues,” Nathan said. “It doesn’t even feel like a professional and a personal relationship, it just feels kind of one and the same. We’re on the same page, communication-wise. We never really had to work on getting it there. That’s why it’s always felt right. It just feels the way it should be.”

-If you go:
WHAT: The Khind performs
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: The Hop, 706 N. Monroe St., Spokane
COST: $10
NOTE: All ages, full bar available for those over 21 with ID

As seen in June 13 issue of Inland360.

A fabulous flashback: Moscow band celebrates 30 years of music

Lindsey Treffry | Inland360

Matching bowling shirts, a retro Harley Davidson motorcycle keyboard, flashing lights, reverberating amps and the electric slide may evoke the ‘80s, and so do The Fabulous Kingpins, a Moscow band celebrating its 30th anniversary Saturday.

Founded by Cliff Miller, Bill Willoby, Mark Lamoureux, Dale Keeney and John Colby, the band has been through many  transitions, but Miller and Keeney said the band is still going strong.

From left to right, Cliff Miller, Bill Willoby, Mark Lamoureux,
Dale Keeney, and John Colby made up the original Kingpins
in 1983. The Fabulous Kingpins are celebrating their
30th anniversary Saturday at Mingles Bar and Grill.
“Thirty years ago when I started this, I was a young guy,” said Miller, the lead singer and saxophonist, who was 20 at the time.

Keeney, the drummer, was 30.

“The reason why this works is both him and I wanted to be in a band since we were boys,” Keeney said. “When we found a partner that wanted to be in a band, we were already living the dream.”

The dream began when Miller got his saxophone serviced at Keeney Bros. a few weeks after Keeney and Lamoureux had spawned the idea of forming a band. Miller tried out and made the cut.

“When it started, I think Mark (Lamoureux) had more of a vision of what he wanted to do, musically,” Miller said.

Keeney said Lamoureux liked blues-based music, but Miller said the ‘80s audience didn’t as much.
“So our initial set, I would not really call super audience friendly,” Miller said. “It was more of musician’s music to begin with.”

At that time, Miller said there were 28 bars in Moscow and 16 to 18 of those venues had live music.

“Live music was big big big business through the 1980s,” Keeney said. “Venues would have bands five, six, seven nights a week.”

Campuses constantly hired bands and Miller said the first Kingpins show was at a Washington State University fraternity.

“Music was everywhere,” Miller said. “For us, it was great.”

But what was once a constant string of cars down Main Street, emptied, as Idaho raised its drinking age to 21 and venues closed down.

“That business just crashed,” Keeney said.

MTV gained popularity and Keeney said people stayed at home to watch “live” music.

Because the audience was completely unfamiliar with the jazz and blues music they played, Keeney said the band had to find a way to make itself marketable.

Miller said he finally decided the band needed to do something “that’s more marketable, more appealing to the masses.”

Although there have been many members throughout the years, the current band has been stable since the late ‘90s. Bass player Randy Reis, singer and dancer Suzanne Piel Miller and guitar player James Dence signed on.

“Costuming became more important for us, a little bit of dance, a lot more actual crowd interaction than what we’d done,” said Miller, who introduced their bowling garb and 8-foot tall bowling pin decor. “And people love that.”

Dance music became their genre, and hits such as “Jessie’s Girl,” “Footloose” and band favorites, like AC/DC and The Rolling Stones, made their playlist.

“To be a musician on stage, for me, it’s more to be the drive of the party and actually be the reason why people come out and have a good time,” Miller said. “Going from the, ‘God, that was the best we ever played’ and people going, ‘Ehh,’ to playing something that everybody knows and people going berserk, I love that. You just feed on the energy that comes out of the crowd.”

The Kingpins often synchronize dance moves on stage and some of their sets can last four hours.

“Where we’re at now, is where I want to be. It’s more of a whole package for me and it really fulfills what I wanted to do and I think what everyone wants to do. We’re traveling a lot more than we ever have,” said Miller, who has traveled with the band from Seattle to Boise as well as Phoenix, Ariz.

Arbor Crest Winery in Spokane, is a favorite for Keeney, while both men love performing at Pullman’s Fourth of July show, which will happen again this year. The band plays two to three gigs each month.
The Fabulous Kingpins will play their anniversary show at 8 p.m. Saturday at Mingles Bar and Grill.

“People have said, ‘Are you ever going to retire from that?’ ‘Retire from what?’” Keeney would respond. “All I ever do is play music with my friends.”

The current band will also reunite with past members, who will play at the Saturday show.

“It’s been a good run, it’s been a lot of fun and I’ve still got a little bit longer left in me. We’ll see if the leather pants hold up when I’m 50,” Miller said. “At this point and time, we really enjoy what we do.”

-If you go:
WHAT: The Fabulous Kingpins 30th anniversary celebration, performance
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Mingles Bar and Grill, 102 S. Main St., Moscow
COST: Free

As seen in June 13 issue of Inland360.