And after once opening for country musician Jake Owen at the Yamhill (Oregon) County Fair, Goss was invited onstage to play “Dixieland Delight” during Owen’s encore.
“He came off stage, sweating after just performing. And we’re B.S.-ing backstage and his band is still playing and I knew he was gonna go out for an encore,” Goss said. “He asked me ‘What songs do you know?’ I said ‘If you’re asking me to go on stage, I know all of ’em.’”
Owen invited him up, and Goss said the crowd went berserk.
Despite his moments of fame, Goss said he performs for his love of entertainment, and lacks a big ego that some other musicians possess.
“It’s about the people and the audience. Music comes first, but you always have to engage the crowd,” Goss said.
One year, Goss auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” but didn’t make the cut. Or, even come close. There were too many pianists auditioning that season.
“We were pushed around like cattle. It’s a casting show,” Goss said. “I decided I’d rather do it the hard way.”
The hard way means traveling and touring, as well as playing festivals and benefits, such as his Friday performance at the Lewiston Guitar Benefest.
Organizer Jay Wilson, owner of The Studio in Moscow and Wilson Promotions, not only booked Goss for the Lewiston festival, but periodically provides him work in venues around Moscow and Pullman.
For Wilson, this is the third year hosting a musical benefit in the quad-city area, and he previously hosted festivals in Walla Walla for homeless shelters and Habitat for Humanity.
This year, Wilson is helping the Idaho Food Bank, which will receive all funds over the cost of the festival. Plus, ticket purchases are discounted $5 for any food donations made at the Rosauers supermarkets in Moscow and Lewiston.
“It’s amazing how little they have there for so many people,” said Wilson, who highlighted a new food bank program that plans to send children home from school with six pounds of food.
A silent auction, which in previous years has featured signed guitars, CDs and T-shirts provided by performing musicians, will take place.
This year will feature eight performers, including Goss, Mark Shirtz and the Dirty Shirtz Band, the Dance Mobsters, The Dimestore Prophets, Bare Wires, Delta G, Daergan Guy and Renei Yarrow.
Mark Schurtz, or Shirtz, was the 2011 winner of Spokane’s Got Talent, and Wilson said Shirtz’s YouTube performance of “Apologize” is a must-see.
“I was looking at all his solo videos, and I was blown away,” Wilson said.
Barbecue food, beer and $1 Coca Cola products will be provided by Greyson’s Sandwich and Coffee House, formerly known as Paulucci’s Italia Coffee House. The festival runs 3-10 p.m. Friday at the Nez Perce County Fairgrounds.
Wilson said interested musicians can bring their instruments, and jam sessions will be allowed in a designated area during the benefest.
After a Rosauers food donation, tickets can be purchased for a $5 discount from Keeney Bros Music Centers in Moscow and Clarkston, Rosauers on Thain Road in Lewiston and The Studio in Moscow. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate for $15 or at www.TicketsWest.com for all credit card orders. Audience members should bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating, and no outside food or drink is permitted.
For more event information, call Wilson at (208) 596-8006.
->if you go:
WHAT: Summer Guitar Benefest
WHERE: Nez Perce County Fairgrounds, 1229 Burrell Ave., Lewiston
WHEN: 3-10 p.m. Friday
COST: $15, $10 pre-purchased with a Rosauers location donation to the Idaho Food Bank