Where Oil Meets Music: How Greg Vadnais Jr. Successfully Balances Careers in Both Industries



“It’s something that I confront all the time, in music circles and in oil and gas circles. You know, these people are sitting across from each other with misconceptions about the other person, and at the end of the day, they have more in common than they could possibly know. I feel like I’m fortunate to be able to see that and walk in both of those worlds.”

— Greg Vadnais Jr.

Greg Vadnais Jr. and I have a lot in common. We both grew up in East Lansing, MI. Our dads are close friends. We both work in commodity-driven industries. Both of our industries are often misunderstood. We both continue to pursue side careers in music; he as an incredibly talented drummer, and myself as an acoustic guitarist. It only makes sense that we sit down for a chat over coffee in his camper in northern Michigan.

Greg works for Paxton Resources, which is a family-owned oil and gas company located in Gaylord, Michigan. Paxton was started by Scott Lampert, and soon thereafter run by both Scott and Greg’s father, Greg Vadnais Sr. Greg Jr. sees both Scott and his father as mentors.

When someone asks you what you do, and you say you’re in the oil and gas industry, there’s always the potential of receiving a deer-in-headlights reaction. However, Greg views these moments as opportunities to explain the functions of an often misunderstood line of work. After all, as is the case with many industries, behemoth conglomerates function far differently than small, family-owned companies. Because of this, Greg expresses the importance of PR. I couldn’t agree more. Resolve to tell your own story! If you don’t, you can bet that someone else will.

We didn’t only discuss oil, though. We also talk about Greg’s career as (phenomenal) drummer, and how he balances this with his career in oil; what often seem like two opposite ends of the career-path spectrum. We also discuss how he balances all of this while having a family.

Overall, we had a great conversation, and I’m glad I get to share it with all of you! Here’s the full interview:


Listen to this episode on iTunes!

Hidden Gems

Here are some of the hidden gems from the interview with Greg:

Helpful Organizations


Michigan Oil and Gas Association (MOGA)

Michigan Association of Professional Landmen (MAPL)

Have questions about the oil and gas industry? These two organizations are happy to answer them. Greg is also the current Chairman of the Board for MAPL.


Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund

Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (Current Status of Development Projects)

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) is a fund paid for by the Michigan oil and gas industry solely for the development of things like outdoor parks and trails.

Have an idea for an outdoor development project in Michigan? You can apply for this grant!



Crooked Tree Arts Center



Greg’s Favorite Podcast(s)

For an independent, “Martian” look at history and politics, check out Dan Carlin’s works:

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

Dan Carlin’s Common Sense


Where You Can Reach Greg Online


MAPL Board Bio

Galactic Sherpas

Galactic Sherpas on Facebook

Old Mission Collective

Jon Archambault Band


Ananda on YouTube

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