The Bob Ross of Music | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

The Bob Ross of Music

Local artist Pete Kartsounes on his creative identity after 19 years of singing and songwriting

Bluegrass balladeer Pete Kartsounes continues to provide amazing music the same way he has for the past two decades — authentically. The artist's unbridled style and storm-cloud voice will be on full display on Friday, Nov. 17 at Unity Community of Central Oregon.

click to enlarge The Bob Ross of Music
Courtesy Pete Kartsounes
Pete Kartsounes’ music combines world influences and healthy improvisation for a distinct in-concert energy.

On the subject of how he has managed to create such a vast discography, the award-winning singer/songwriter has never wanted to deny his connection to the natural world. In fact, Kartsounes believes that his appreciation for the beauty of nature is integral to his vision as a creator.

"Nature inspires me to do it all," said Kartsounes. "All of it is entwined for me personally. I get my inspiration mainly when I'm out hiking. That's why I live in Bend."

With several years as a professional musician under his fingers, Kartsounes recalls that he received a looper pedal from his girlfriend, which he admits changed the game. "I love creating pictures with my music," he stated. "With the pedal, it's kind of like being the Bob Ross of music," Kartsounes likened, "building on what you've done. It allows you time to improvise."

Many modern artists utilize looper pedals in their music. World-renowned names like Ed Sheeran, Red Hot Chili Peppers ex-guitarist Josh Klinghoffer and Jacob Collier are some of the few who use loopers to build fields of sound and replicate a multi-instrumental band within their solo acts.

Yet Kartsounes insists that his means of creation is both a visual as well as a musical expression. "I just create; it's just on autopilot. Any kind of artistic expression, visual or sonic, that's what I like to swim in," Kartsounes divulged. No telling if his successful videography/photography career has had any role in his philosophy.

After focusing his efforts in the world of music and instrumentals and releasing six albums since 2020, Kartsounes let slip that he is currently in production on new singer/songwriter material with a secret Nashville-based producer, eyeing a return to his recording roots. "It hasn't been difficult at all to switch back in. I'm back in the songwriting vehicle. I've been writing a lot. A whole slew of songs, like almost an album's worth of material, kind of spilled out over the last few months," said Kartsounes.

Pete Kartsounes' 2022 album, "Revelation," mastered by Grammy-winning engineer David Glasser and released this past spring, has been lauded as a soundscape experience that paints a picture of dance, full of heart and meditation. Kartsounes is also a proud local artist, playing Preston Thompson acoustic guitars, made in Sisters.

An Evening with Award-winning Singer/Songwriter Pete Kartsounes
Fri., Nov. 17, 7-9pm
Unity of Community of Central Oregon
63645 Scenic Dr., Bend

About The Author

Armando Borrego

Armando is a California transplant who moved to Bend in search of adventure. He enjoys stories that shed light on local events, and loves keeping up with the modern music scene. In his free time, you can find him riding his bike, watching movies, and painting large murals that he doesn't have space for.
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