Creswell, Scene & Heard

The Minors band crashes bar for retirement sendoff

Lead guitarist Jim Pray, who founded The Minors with his brother, Jake, while in their teens, leads the band through a rollicking set this past Saturday. The Pleasant Hill native is now 22, and The Minors are major players in the local music scene. Noel Nash/The Chronicle

CRESWELL – The Minors were the perfect band for this party.
The Round-Up Saloon hosted a combo retirement/birthday bash Saturday night, Jan. 4, to celebrate the 25-year career of Chris Joyce, one of Cottage Grove’s favorite police officers.
Joyce obviously enjoyed the young band from Pleasant Hill, as anybody who was watching the dance floor could attest. But as a longtime youth mentor throughout his career, Joyce would surely lead a round of cheers for the maturity of The Minors.
As they finished playing Jimi Hendrix’s ”Purple Haze” – a term that most commonly refers to taking acid – guitar player Jim Pray pointed to the crowd and yelled, ”We don’t do drugs!”
”I’ve seen too many bands get wasted,” Pray said. ”None of us do drugs. What we play comes from the heart.”
Pray is 22 and his brother, Jake, the drummer, is just 19. Bass player Caleb Selander is 20. They’ve been together for four years, and call themselves The Minors because none of them could legally enter a bar when the band was formed.
”I got a drum set in the third grade because Jim needed somebody to play with,” Jake said. ”I had the same drum set until last summer. I grew up just teaching myself how to play with him.”
Selander got to know the Pray brothers as they all played in the jazz band at Pleasant Hill High School. Selander said he took jazz class seriously from the get-go, but it took Jim awhile to really latch on.
”I didn’t take it super-serious at first, but then when I went to Lane (Community College), I started studying it more and it opened my eyes to a lot of different things,” Jim said. ”I think jazz is the intellectual music. It unlocks the capability to play other genres.”
The band plays a wide variety of genres, thanks to the trio’s wide range of musical taste. Jim is a big fan of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Brad Paisley, while his main guitar heroes are Eric Johnson and Joe Satriani. Jake is more of an outlaw country fan, and likes Cody Jinks, Tyler Childers and Red Shahan. Caleb prefers 90s rock and alternative; his go-to bands are Green Day, Nirvana and the Pixies. They also threw in a nice mix of guitar-friendly hits by Dire Straits, Stevie Ray Vaughan and B.B. King to spice things up.
”With all of our influences, country was not my style, but after a while there’s some Brad Paisley that I like quite a bit now,” Caleb said.
Jim has worked with several other bands, including playing lead for the up-and-coming Trevor Tagle. He’s done booking and managing, because he wants to learn all the ropes of the music business.
His brother, Jake, wants to become an athletic trainer. (Jake and Jim both wrestled throughout high school.) He plans to major in exercise and sports science, and if all goes well, get a job at Oregon State.
Caleb has an even more important mission. ”I want to be the pastor at my (Crossfire) church,” he said. ”I’m involved in my worship team. We’ll see how it plays out. I believe it’s my calling.”
Jim Pray is hosting a free acoustic show this Friday, Jan. 10, at 5 p.m. at the Emerald Valley Golf Club. He’ll be playing along with special guests Mckayla Marie and Isaac Barrager.



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