The audience is the common denominator

Musical performers can be inspired by a combination of static and fluid musical influences, but for some the best performances are the ones in which the audience feels like they’re a part of the action.

Musicians Brady Goss and Bart Budwig will share their own unique take on influential music styles at 8 p.m. this Thursday at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center in Moscow.

“I’ve always wanted to be a performer, it’s all I’ve ever known,” Goss said. “My dad was obsessed with Jerry Lee Lewis. I started playing covers that I heard Jerry Lee do first, it all just evolved from there.”

At age 16, Goss said he started developing a taste for a diverse selection of music and styles including The Eagles, Elvis Presley and John Mayer. By age 18, he was on the road and under the wing of Oregonian country singer Marty Davis. Goss said that from that time on, his own musical career began to snowball.

Goss opened for “The Voice” contestant Jared Blake at the Kenworthy in 2012, and his performance made an unforgettable impression on Christine Gilmore, executive director of the Kenworthy Performing Arts Center.

“The people who attended really enjoyed his personality and charisma onstage,” Gilmore said. “He’s just a good old soul with a great energy and style that the patrons at the Kenworthy love.”

After seeing Goss perform, Gilmore said they were both determined to get him back for a second show. She said she has kept in contact for the last couple years and it’s finally paid off, as her hopes finally come to fruition this Thursday evening.

“I’m excited about engaging the crowd,” Goss said. “When they buy a ticket to a show, they’re there to see what I have. I give it 110 percent.”

Local Moscow singer-songwriter Budwig met Goss through performing in Moscow. They were immediately fans of one another’s passion and individuality onstage, Budwig said.

“I thought he was a super cool guy and he’s really good at what he does,” Budwig said. “Brady’s incredibly talented. We both have fun, energetic sets, and we both really enjoy interacting with the audience.”

For Goss, it was an easy choice as to who should be his opening act in the Moscow area.

“I like to see someone onstage who doesn’t let their inhibitions get in the way, and Bart is a perfect example of that,” Goss said.

Budwig said for him influence isn’t a constant. Most recently he finds inspiration in the country stars of the ‘60s and ‘70s. In addition to his original solo material, Budwig said he has been working on duets of classic songs, which he will showcase in his performance.

“Bart is a local favorite. Their styles are different but they crossover and appeal to a similar audience,” Gilmore said. “It’s an opportunity to see two great artists. We’re lucky to live in a community that is heavy-handed with music culture and live music. I’d like this event to open our doors for other musicians as well.”

Although they come from different backgrounds and musical tastes, both Goss and Budwig have a passion that lies in bringing an element of personal connection to their audience, and in that, the performance will be one of unified enjoyment for everyone, she said.

“The crowd reaction is my favorite thing, both when I’m in the crowd and when I’m onstage,” Goss said. “I can guarantee that everyone will have a good time.”

General admission for this event costs $10. Tickets will be available at the Kenworthy box office at 7 p.m. on the day of the show. Doors open at 7 p.m.