Backdraft: balancing life while keeping the country tradition

By Chase Myers

Bands form for an assortment of reasons. Usually it’s because they revolve around a mutual love for producing the same kind of music.

Members from country rock band Backdraft share this love for traditional country while balancing their careers and music.

Backdraft consists of Lesley Stoffel on vocals, Gary Kinder on rhythm guitar and vocals, Rudy Wheaton on lead guitar and vocals, Bobby Kinder on drums and Preston Dallas on bass and vocals.


All members of the band have separate jobs during the week and perform predominantly on the weekend for their own personal enjoyment and the people watching, vocalist Lesley Stoffel said.

“When you hear and see people out there singing along and tapping their foot, they may not get up and dance but when you see them all interacting at the table, it’s pretty cool just to know that you’re keeping some history alive,” she said.

The band came about initially from the mutual desire to create music.

“We got out there and did a show outside of practicing in 2010 for one of our friends who had cancer. We did a benefit for him,” vocalist Lesley Stoffel said. “That was our first show.”

The band grabs influence from ‘80s country music as well as artists such as Johnny Cash, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Bob Segar, Stoffel said.

The band does not play original songs when they perform, but plays country songs from their past, she said.

“I want to play music in what I grew up in and what was instilled in me as a kid. That’s who I am,” she said. “When I think back, I listened to my grandpa’s radio come on in the mornings and those are the songs that came on. Those memories are what take you back in time.”


Wineries in southern Illinois have given Backdraft an opportunity to play for a more diverse audience.

“Different wineries draw different crowds from different towns,” she said. “We get a variety of different people.”

In some instances, the crowd’s age ranges from older to younger audiences that would seem unfamiliar with the tunes Backdraft plays.

“I have really been surprised about how the younger crowd actually grasps the music,” she said.

The band used to play in Cobden at what is now known as Walker’s Bluff, which would draw a younger crowd late at night, she said.

“It’s funny how older music, I guess from your parents listening to it, becomes a part of you whether you realize it or not,” she said.

The future for the band looks pretty comfortable, with shows scheduled at various wineries and bars on weekends in the area.

You can catch Backdraft live at the Tasting Room at Walker’s Bluff this Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m.

Chase Myers can be reached at [email protected]on Twitter @chasemyers_DE or at 536-3311 ext. 273.