""Cascade Rye brings shelter and release to itinerant hearts in any condition." -The Gazette, Corvallis, OR. 


"The real deal. Cascade Rye has great sensibilities." -Gurf Morlix (producer- Lucinda Williams, Robert Earl Keen)       


In an old mobile home serving as a rehearsal space, Oregon-based Roots/Americana act, Cascade Rye, sit in a semi-circle in the living room, the space dimly lit by a couple of lamps. Scattered across the floor and laying upon couches and chairs are sheets of music with lyrics and chord charts scrawled in faded pencil. All manner of instruments including acoustic guitars, violins, mandolins, banjos, a dobro, and accompanying instrument cases punctuate the room like some kind of musical-themed décor.  Husband and wife Jake and Kalyn Payne, have invited their long time friends and fellow musicians Chris Arellano and Scott Eastburn, for a rehearsal. There is an obvious camaraderie inherent with this quartet that is reflected in the ease with which the band launches into an improvised tune, a sort of warm-up for the day's work ahead. Jake Payne plays acoustic bass guitar, his sinewy bass lines simultaneously melodic and solid as Kalyn punctuates the piece with foundational guitar chords providing the bedrock for Arellano to trade mandolin solos with Eastburn's banjo. The melodic ideas conjure up a sort of soaring anthem with which the band seems simultaneously comfortable and amused and pleased.
    Man that felt pretty good, Arellano says at the conclusion of the warm-up. Everyone affirms the appraisal, but ultimately the extemporaneous flexibility of the band gives way to more efficient concerns. Let's play something we know, suggests Kalyn. The band kicks into one of its own numbers. The song has a driving momentum, the kind of thing that makes you tap your foot or move your body even if the tune is a lower tempo ballad.  The song is the achingly painful, "John Wayne", Kalyn sings,

"He must've been born with the world on his shoulders

I don't think he knows any other way

And he's been running his whole life, in the wrong direction

Just chasing those demons away


White lines and whiskey, guitars and petty women

Anything to ease the pain

On a one lane road that leads to nothin'

He's chasing those demons away"                    


This is for all intents and purposes heavy music; not depressing, but certainly addressing emotion of heartache, faith, the existential existence of life with all it's ups and downs, digging beneath the banality and monotony of life's daily grind.  This is music firmly entrenched in the bardic tradition, as ancient as humanity's penchant for telling tales, when minstrels and musicians would weave tales of love and honor and ribaldry around a pub's fire.

The musicianship of this band is well documented. These aren't monotonous singer/songwriter numbers, strumming the same predictable chords in a day and age when every town or city in America has an open mic night, a Sunday afternoon jam, or in the current time where pop culture has reduced the art of music to a weekly televised contest spectacle. At coffee houses, vineyards and venues throughout the country, singer/songwriters of every age and background wear their heart and soul on sleeve, certainly an expressive and vulnerable place to be. However, the actual instrumental compositions of Cascade Rye stand alongside the lyrical content, and this is an excruciatingly important detail that is often overlooked by so many aspiring songwriters and bands; the instrumentation, key choice, placement of notes and instrumental execution or technique affect the mood and support the story line of the song, much like lighting, camera angle and set- dressing affects the visual feel of a movie. Rhythmic urgency, mandolin and violin flourishes, guitar chord structures, and multi-harmony vocals executed at just the right moment provide an explicit artistic imagery that seems simply neglected in today's saturated singer/songwriter market.


Jake and fellow musician Scott Eastburn moved to Austin, Texas in 2007 to partake in that cities burgeoning music scene and the pair shared the stage or opened for some of the biggest names in country and roots music including Merle Haggard, Pat Green and Kevin Fowler, to name a few. Upon returning home to Oregon, Jake met Kalyn while on the search for a replacement drummer in his hard hitting original Folk/Rock band. Little did he know he was hiring his future wife.

 Kalyn was born to a family of Oregon Pioneers, who settled in the Willamette Valley 8 generations ago. Music runs just as deeply in her veins as the desire for bigger and better horizons. Kalyn is proficient on guitar, banjo, piano, drums and more. Someday, her grandmother's 1956 Les Paul Jr. will be handed down to her, via Kalyn's Aunt, who was also an aspiring songstress. It's a family thing, and some things just run in the blood. Kalyn's song "Home" was featured at Oregon's 150th birthday celebration at the State Capitol. She has also won placements in international songwriting contests.


Cascade Rye's authenticity is achieved by the depth and conviction of their storytelling and by the quality of the accompanying music.  They explore the pantheon of human emotional predicaments, lessons to be learned, love lost and found, the angst and joy of life, all addressed with compelling reality. The music is roots, not genuine country, not specifically pop/rock. It is its own music, the instrumentation and arrangements conjuring the image of dusty and desolate back roads, driving a convertible in the country with the wind rustling your hair and thoughts of love lost sweetly lingering on your memory.