Billings guitarist to perform at new Yellowstone Valley Brewing

Posted at 2:34 PM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 18:20:06-05

BILLINGS – Wes Urbaniak and the Mountain Folk will be performing at the newly Yellowstone Valley Brewery on Friday.

Ticket purchases enter attendees into a very special giveaway.

The show will be the first opportunity for people to be entered into this giveaway.

Wes Urbaniak builds stringed instruments. Not only does he build them, but he loves to give them away.

“Every year I give away an instrument to our local community, I give several away,” Urbaniak said, “So I started giving away the guitars I made for tour, and I did it in a ton of different ways, and then as I got better at building, I was like, man, we can actually give people real instruments not whatever this junk is I’m building now, and so I kept building, and kind of here we are.”

The instruments take months to build, and no two pieces are the same.

“Anybody that has played music knows that when they pick up a different guitar something different comes out of it, there’s a different soul or different presence that each one has,” Urbaniak said.

Why does he give these away?

Urbaniak was 19, and money was tight. He had purchased strings at a music shop.

“I was playing instruments beyond what I could afford. Man, I would really love a guitar that plugs in,” Urbaniak said.

He received a call from the shop owner, telling him to come back. He worried that his check had bounced for the strings he’d purchased, and returned, expecting the worst.

“He said, someone anonymously bought you any instrument you want,” Urbaniak said.

A stranger’s gesture changed his life forever.

“I bought the cheapest guitar with electronics he had, I was just beyond, beyond grateful that someone would do that and it became this really impactful thing, where I thought, man I’m going to do something in return, where I can give somebody else this gift of music, of being able to have something they otherwise wouldnt be able to have,” Urbaniak said.

He finds joy in giving these away, especially anonymously, even leaving one in an unlocked car once.

“Songwriting is really important because it lets us say things to people and to let them know that they’re not alone, we ask some heavy questions, and we give these answers that sometimes really bare and leave us really open, and that’s what we’re trying to do, is show people that it’s okay to find a way to communicate whatever your truths are, ” Urbaniak said, “A lot of us have the same truths and feel the same way, and we’re all way way connected,”.

He hopes to support dreams, the local music scene, and give others a chance like he was given.

“I had people in my life that affected me so much, that it changed my outcome, and they’re gone, they’re not here, but what they left me with is really impactful, really meaningful, and I still carry that stuff, and those are some of the things I want to pass on, and music is like this really amazing thing, and not just the opportunity to play music, but be connected to instrument, I wanted to make the opportunity for other people to make music,” Urbaniak said.

For details on the giveaway, or for more information on another way to win, visit

Reporting by Jenny Fick for MTN News