The Valley’s own Vindys

By John Ostapowicz 

The City of Youngstown is considered a home to many, including the local band, The Vindys. 

Since 2014, The Vindys have provided a variety of music to the Mahoning Valley with two full-length albums and an EP. The band blends combinations of rock, pop and soul genres together to form its own sound.

With a scheduled re-release of the band’s debut album, “Keep Going” in vinyl, on Record Store Day 2023. The band will be performing in the Mahoning Valley at The Record Connection in Niles, April 22.

The sound of The Vindys can be attributed to vocalist, singer-songwriter and guitarist Jackie Popovec accompanied by guitarists John Anthony and Rick Deak.

At a young age, Popovec fell in love with music with the help of her father, who pushed her to pursue music professionally. From that point forward, she started writing songs and performing at local venues.

“From there, I started networking and playing since I was 14,” Popovec said. “It has been a long road since then.”

Although Popovec went on a brief hiatus from music as a child, her return was met with an opportunity to open for a Frank Sinatra tribute band. This prompted her to record demo tapes at Peppermint Records on the southside of Youngstown.

“That was my first experience of meeting professional musicians in town,” Popovec said. 

After a few years, Popovec found herself in a position to join a band, which shortly after her inclusion, became The Vindys. 

During that span, Anthony met Popovec at a gig and from there, a partnership between the two expanded.

“That’s when I met Jackie — when my friend’s and I were starting a new group — and she saw that band and wanted to be a part of it,” Anthony said. 

Anthony is a trained musician, with an undergraduate degree from Slippery Rock University and a master’s degree at Youngstown State University in the Dana School of Music in Jazz Studies. 

Deak also graduated from YSU with a Bachelor of Science in computer science. Prior to earning his degree, he was a member of the band Sinomatic from 1999 to 2003.

In a short time, The Vindys started to perform in the local area with a mix of cover songs and original music.

The demand for the band’s original music led to the release of the band’s EP, “Red Wine,” in late 2014. The collection of seven songs, was picked up by Summit 91.3 FM with the EP’s titular track garnering the most attention. 

“We were not even thinking it was going to be a real thing and it got picked up by the Summit,” Popovec said.

The success of The Vindys EP, sparked the band’s freshman album “Keep Going,” in 2017. Its release quickly turned The Vindys from cover songs to original music. The song, “Classic” is the band’s most listened to song on Spotify and Apple Music. 

At Federal Frenzy 2017, hosted by Penguin Productions, the band took the stage with the new album.

“That was such a turning point for us and we never looked back to the cover thing,” Popovec said.

The band quickly got to work on its second album, “Bugs” which was released in 2021. The album has received countless praises from media outlets and has earned radio play. 

The Vindys have gone on to perform at several venues, most recently with the Canton Symphony, March 18. For Deak, it was a high point in his career. 

“That was a major highlight because it’s very rare that you have an opportunity to play a rock band with a full symphony,” Deak said. 

Besides local venues, the Vindys announced a three-day tour in Texas which includes San Antonio, Austin and Kyle, May 5 to 7. 

Besides Popovec, Anthony and Deak, several other musicians collaborate with the band  such as drummer Owen Davis, bassist Brendan Burke and keyboardist Nathan Anthony. 

The band also features a horn section that includes trumpet player Kyle O’Donnell, trombone player Brian Mayle and saxophonist Garret Kuchmaner. 

To RSVP for the event, visit The Vindys music is available on Spotify and Apple Music.