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Weekend Warrior – The Salina Journal

By Gary Demuth


After 10 years on the road playing music, Jared “Pete” Gile is satisfied just being a weekend warrior.

After graduating from Kansas State University in 2002, the Scandia native spent the next decade playing guitar and singing his original country and rock compositions at bars, clubs and festivals throughout the Midwest.

He was happy to hit the road for his music, but after getting married, buying a home in Scandia and becoming a father to two boys, now ages 4 and 8 months, Gile decided to settle down a bit and get a day job.

During the weekdays, Gile now is assistant supervisor for the Kansas Bostwick Irrigation District in Courtland. On weekends, he still hits the road whenever he can book a gig.

“I have the best of both worlds,” he said. “I have a job I enjoy, and I can still play my music, but I’m not relying on music to support my family. The stress is off, so I can do it for fun now.”

A better songwriter

Gile said his new-found relaxation and focus has made him a better songwriter and performer, which is reflected on his recently released fourth CD, “Small Town Troubadour.”

The eight-song CD includes songs about life and life on the road, including the title track.

“It’s about going out after work on a Friday and being in bars on weekends and what happens there,” Gile said. “It’s reflective of my songs and concerts now that I’m relaxed and I don’t take it so seriously anymore.”

“Small Town Troubadour” costs $10 and is available at and and will be offered on iTunes soon after Christmas.

Songs on the CD also cover subjects such as the Second Amendment and Gile’s crush on a “female TV hunting show personality” named Tiffany Lakosky, he said.

“I even recorded a great song that my dad wrote when I was just a boy called ‘Republican River Valley,’ ” he said.

Recorded in Texas

Gile said “Small Town Troubadour” was recorded in Texas and co-produced by himself and Steve Palousek, who Gile called “a world-class pedal steel player who toured with (country singer) Ray Price for years.”

The CD was partially funded through Kickstarter, Gile said. Out of a requested $3,500, Gile raised $4,337 to help pay the expenses of musicians who performed on the album.

“I’m pleased at how it worked out,” Gile said. “It’s a tool I wish I had when I started. It’s a good shot in the arm.”

6 months, 10 years

Gile said he’s been playing and making music since attending Pike Valley High School in Scandia, where he said he was part of “a pretty bad garage band.” He hadn’t intended on making music a career. For two years, he attended Kansas State University at Salina, where he received an associate degree in professional pilot. In 2002, he graduated from K-State in Manhattan with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology.

“I always loved music, and I still played guitar in college,” he said. “After graduating, I was going to take six months to try to play music. Six months turned into 10 years.”

Gile released his first CD, “Modern Day Mountain Man,” in 2003, followed by “More of Me” in 2007. His third CD, 2009’s “Middle of the Midwest,” was produced by Rich Brotherton, lead guitarist of the Robert Earl Keen band. Keen and his band performed Dec. 6 at the Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts, 151 S. Santa Fe.

“My entire backing band on that project was the same group of guys that played at the Stiefel with Robert a couple weeks ago,” Gile said.

During his career, Gile has opened for Keen and several other top musicians, including Luke Bryan, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jerrod Niemann, Trent Wilmon, Darrel Scott, Jason Boland and Billy Joe Shaver.

Now, a one-man band

In Salina, Gile was a frequent performer at the former JC’s Bar and Grill (now SpeakEasy), as well as the Paramount Bar and former Blue Goat club. Gile said he mostly is on his own now.

“I still play guitar and harmonica and play drums with my feet and have a vocal harmonizer for background vocals,” he said. “I’m really a one-man band now.”

– See more at:

Life in Harmony – The Belleville Telescope


Scandia Musician Finds Hometown Offers

Right Blend of Career, Family, Lifestyle

By Deb Hadachek

Telescope Editor

When he graduated from Kansas State University in 2002, Jared “Pete” Gile chose a career path he’s still following today. “I decided to take six months off to see if I could make a living making music,” Gile says. “At the end of six months, I would know whether it was possible, or at least I could say I tried.” That road led Gile back home. Ten years later, he is settled in his hometown of Scandia, married, a father–and still making a living with his voice and a guitar. “I’m just totally in love with this part of the world,” Gile says. His bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology gives a clue to his love of rural life. “If I were somewhere where there were no hunting and fishing—I would lose the parts of my life that have kept me sane. “As far being an independent musician, this is not a bad part of the world to be in, either,” he says. “In places like Austin and Nashville, people like me are a dime a dozen. In some of places where I play here, I’m the only thing going on in town that evening. “Out here, I can make music, and I can make a living at it.”

Music and Life

Gile will play 100 shows a year, featuring original songs he’s written like 580 130 RD and Middle of the Midwest and In Between College and Kids, as well as covers by popular musicians. What people see–the three and four hour performances–are only part of the job. Behind the scenes, there’s marketing, learning new technologies, writing new songs, and planning new shows. He’s added equipment like electronic drums and a vocal harmonizer that allow a solo singer to sound like a group. During shows, he intersperses songs with story telling and humor. “I’ve been working to add a wider variety of material so it feels more like a show, instead of one guy and one guitar,” he says. He can expand his live music for longer events, like wedding receptions, as an emcee and disc jockey. Gile records his CDs at a studio in Texas, and plans to make a music video in the future. With the expertise of Jenny Russell and Luke Mahin of JenRus Freelance, Courtland, he’s expanded how he uses his website (, social media and YouTube to market his business. “Social media and YouTube are huge opportunities for independent musicians,” he says. Since most of his gigs are at night, Gile has pursued various day jobs–including carpentry, taxidermy, and in recent years, furniture making, using skills with Osage Orange (hedge) he and his dad, Duane, learned from Bud Hanzlick, Belleville. “I was doing shows when Haley (his wife, a school teacher) and I met, so this has always been a normal lifestyle for us,” he says. Their family has grown to include son, Bridger, 2. “There are other jobs, like truck driving, that also require families to adapt to unusual hours. “In this economy, I’m happy to pay the bills any way I can.”

Varied Experiences

Having 10 years experience in the music business under his belt provides Gile with important perspective on how to blend his career in a rapidly changing industry. He has little formal music training, outside of a few months of lessons with Steve Hanson music in Salina. Mostly, he and his brother, Kade, learned music from their dad and grandfather. He played off and on by himself and in garage bands in high school and college. Early in his career, Gile formed a cover band, and the group took off for Texas and Oklahoma, “where there’s lots of opportunities for independent musicians,” he says. When a motorcycle accident sidelined two members of the group in the middle of a full schedule of performances, Gile decided to return to a solo act. “With my writing style, the natural progression for me was to go back to performing by myself,” he says. “It seems the easiest to manage, and it fits what I do the best.”

Changing Industry

While some of the ways people buy music in the last decade have been a benefit to independent musicians like Gile, he says the changes also make it harder for an independent singer/songwriter to break into the industry on a large scale. “There’s only a handful of major music labels today, and most have in-house songwriters,” he says. “iTunes has changed the music industry a lot.” Few people buy entire albums of songs these days, Gile says. Most download their favorites on the internet–for 99-cents apiece—from iTunes. Gile makes his songs available as individual downloads, as well as extended play tracks of three or four songs.”

Furniture Making

Gile finds ways of tying his sideline business of making furniture from Osage Orange into his music career. One of his recent CD covers features him playing a guitar at a pub table he created. The craft of making furniture from hedge is one Gile and his dad hope to carry on from Hanzlick, Belleville, “who is the master”, he says. Hanzlick, now retired, became known across the US for the Osage Orange pieces he made. But the economy has affected the demand for all handcrafted one of-a-kind items. The Giles’ furniture is marketed mostly word-of mouth from customers who have seen it in use at TAGS in Scandia, or Jensik Insurance in Belleville, and through their website “We made a trip this year to test the market in Colorado, where we believed the demand for this type of rustic furniture would be greater,” he said. “Right now, we’ve found that people don’t have a lot of extra money to buy a piece that requires so many hours of labor.” The time required to build pieces from hedge, however, give him an opportunity to mull lyrics for new songs. Gile will write five to 10 original songs each year. “A lot of songwriting is about where you grew up and where you live,” he says. “You write what you know. “Right now, I don’t see myself ever moving just for my music career,” he says. “There are too many other things in life that are important to me.”


Pete was the entertainment for our bank’s farmer/rancher appreciation event and he was outstanding.  He is a talented songwriter, singer, and musician.  Pete does a nice job of interacting with the crowd and performed several entertaining songs that he wrote based upon his experiences of growing up in rural Kansas.  He also does a great job on the songs from the good ole’ boys of country music such as Hank, Merle, Waylon and Willie.  We received a lot of positive comments from our customers and we definitely recommend Pete Gile to anyone looking for quality country music entertainment.

Kent Buer


First Bank Kansas


Pete was the entertainment at one of our events during the national greyhound gathering in Abilene. Just took minutes before he had the crowded riveted and in the palm of his hand. Smiles were everywhere and toes were tapping. Had more comments afterward on how great he was than for any previous entertainment. He’s the best!

Gary Guccione

Executive Director

National Greyhound Association


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