JARED / GUITARIST
Originally from Indiana, Jared has traveled all over the U.S. and overseas in countries like Japan, Okinawa, Korea, Australia, and many more while serving in the Marine Corps. While traveling with his unit, he would mail his guitar and gear to where ever his unit went to play for USO events and other venues to entertain his fellow Marines along with other branches of service. After finishing his tour of duty, he traveled up and down the east coast playing any and all sorts of music genres in a wide variety of different bands ranging from Heavy Metal, Alt Rock, Classic Rock, R&B, Country, and even Celtic. Along the way, Jared also learned how to play other instruments like piano, bass guitar, drums, fiddle, mandolin, steel guitar, Dobro, and slide guitar. Now living in Pendleton, OR, Jared has established himself in the Music Community as a respected musician and music instructor for after school programs for teens as well as an instructor for Rock and Roll Camps at the Pendleton Center for the Arts, and in Walla Walla each year. Jared is also a Guitar Luthier who builds and repairs instruments at the Pendleton Music Co and is the owner/operator at Let 'er Rock Studios located in Pendleton giving the community 30 years experience in all manner of music production.
MIKE / GUITARIST
An alien born on Earth, Mike began musicing in the womb. Not sure of his place or purpose in life, Mike struggles to stay sane on a daily basis by keeping a tune going in his head.
With a Bachelors degree in music he teaches and plays in a variety of styles and on a variety of instruments. He is involved in community music programs, has gigged with classical chamber groups, country and bluegrass, pop and rock, jazz and fusion playing covers and original music.
CLAIM TO FAME - He played in bands that opened for Edgar Winters, The Romantics, and Loverboy.
TABITHA / LEAD SINGER
Tabitha's love for music started with piano lessons from her mom when she was 4 years old. Growing up, she sang in church and in the school choir. Since high school she has sang with a few different bands, performed in musicals and has won singing contests in the northwest including: Walla's "Hometown Idol", Milton Freewater's "Oasis Idol", Spokane's "Gimme the Mike" Contest, and was a finalist at Wildhorse Resort & Casino's X Factor auditions. She even won 1st place during a singing contest on a Norwegian Sky Cruiseship to Alaska. Tabitha spent a year touring the country with Re-Creation USA - "America's Ambassadors to Hospitalized Veterans", performing over 320 song and dance variety shows at VA hospitals nationwide.
Tabitha works full time as a hairstylist at Beehive Cut and Color Bar in Walla Walla, Washington. She feels blessed to be able to do the things she loves and is honored to be the lead singer of Shanks Pony since 2012.
JAMES / DRUMS
James Teske is a Walla Walla native and owner of Teske Automotive Services here in Walla Walla. James’ interest in drums began at a very young age. As a matter of fact, his mother would tell you he began drumming in the womb. Throughout his younger years James was always drawn to the drums. In 1980, he built his first drumset out of a bunch of junk he found in his father’s attic. The kit was no work of art, but it was functional and with it James was able to teach himself the actual mechanics of playing the drums. In 1981 James purchased his first drum kit, and in 1982 he began his formal music training by joining the school band under the direction of the late Carol Peterson. Carol Peterson was instrumental in making James the musician he is today, not only by teaching him the fundamentals of music but also by giving him the freedom to be creative. Under Mrs. Peterson’s direction James excelled at playing the drums, and earned numerous awards and recognition during his junior high and high school years. After college James joined a Hermiston based country group and played all over the northwest. In 1998 James went to Nashville and immersed himself in the Nashville music scene. During his time in Nashville James’ skills as a drummer grew by leaps and bounds and he was fortunate enough to play with many extraordinarily talented musicians. James attributes his musical success not only to the passion he has for music and drumming, but also to the many talented musicians, both past and present that he has been able to share the stage with. Aside from drumming, James’ passions include spending time with his wife and three children, working on the family home, and watching all types of motorsports.
TOPHER / BASS
At the age of thirteen Topher began playing music by ear. Starting with piano, he quickly moved on to drums and then at nineteen picked up bass guitar. Topher has played with hundreds of musicians in a wide variety of settings and genres. Jazz, gospel, rock and roll and country he enjoys all type of music and being a part of a high-energy band. Outside of his contribution to Shanks Pony he writes original music, and is videographer and multi-media producer.