John Jardine and Randy Bartoshevich came to music in different ways.
Jardine started performing as a kid, taking the stage for the first time in a church talent show.
Bartoshevich didn’t seriously pick up a guitar until a few years back. His first public performance was at a jam night in 2015 at Emerald of Siam.
But the two friends now both are passionately pursuing music — and finding success.
They’ve joined forces in Dirty River Entertainment, a music production and promotion company that’s gaining buzz and building a resume of events.
They already have one ringing endorsement: Dara Quinn, co-owner of Emerald of Siam, said the guys are “full of energy, focus and drive.”
“They love music and contributing to the community. They have lots of great things coming for them and the Tri-Cities,” she said.
Dirty River’s next big event is a partnership with Quinn’s Richland venue.
Jardine and Bartoshevich, known as Barefoot Randy, are coordinating the six-week Rage at the Stage battle of the bands, which runs in May and June. The city of Richland also is a partner.
Categories are junior acts, solo/duos and bands. Winners of preliminary and semi-final rounds will face off at the finals on June17 at the HAPO Community Stage at John Dam Plaza.
Jardine and Bartoshevich both competed in last year’s battle of the bands and did well, with Jardine’s ska-pop-reggae-rock band The Coast earning top honors.
A battle of the bands event is good for the music scene and the community, the Dirty River guys said.
“It was something I benefited from last year,” said Bartoshevich, 25, of Richland. “It was a night that was pretty packed and inspiring to be part of. It gave people the opportunity to shine.”
I started being able to translate my feelings through the guitar and lyrics and things, and people started to like it.
Randy Bartoshevich, Dirty River Entertainment
Jardine, 24, of Kennewick, said it was an important moment for his band. They’d sacrificed a lot to work on their music, and “to come out on top was really cool. It gave us a lot of motivation,” he said.
Jardine and Bartoshevich started Dirty River Entertainment as a way to promote their own music, but also to lift up other musicians and enhance the local music scene.
“We want to do our part to help it grow,” Jardine said.
Their first event was a reggae concert at Emerald last year, featuring Bartoshevich’s band Naughty Pine and other groups.
They’ve coordinated several events since, from Water2Wine Cruise performances to shows at various venues.
One of their biggest was the Filthy Famous Fest, featuring nearly 20 bands from around the region.
While Jardine and Bartoshevich came to music in different ways, they’ve both found in it a passion.
Bartoshevich was born in Southern California and grew up in Texas, moving to the Tri-Cities at age 20 after he had “too much fun” at Texas Tech University.
They have serious direction and drive. It’s really cool and I highly approve.
Dara Quinn, co-owner of Emerald of Siam
He began writing poetry a few years back and friends bought him a guitar for Christmas. “I started being able to translate my feelings through the guitar and lyrics and things, and people started to like it,” he said.
In music and on stage, he found a way to express himself.
For Jardine, the stage is “my place to dance,” he said with a laugh, meaning it’s the place where he can let loose and be himself.
Jardine grew up in the Tri-Cities, attending Richland High, where he was part of the jazz band, concert band and jazz choir. After four years in the Air Force, he returned to the area to pursue music.
The Coast is taking a break at the moment, but the hope is the band will reunite soon. Jardine also is working on a new band.
He and Bartoshevich said they’re excited about the future of Dirty River Entertainment — about what it means for their own music pursuits, for other bands and the community.
Quinn is excited, too. She feels like a mentor to the guys, she said.
For such young guys, “they have serious direction and drive,” she said. “It’s really cool and I highly approve.”
To learn more about the Rage at the battle of the bands, find the event on Facebook under Rage at the Stage - Tri-Cities Battle of the Bands 2017.
Registration is available in person at Emerald of Siam, 1314 Jadwin Ave.