No April Foolin’ – Live Music Onstage This Weekend!

Here is a listing of Altoona area live music happenings for the weekend and week of Friday, March 31 through Thursday, April 6.

April 1 is traditionally the time of the year when folks prank co-workers, family and friends – yes, April Fool’s Day. But the area music scene won’t prank you this weekend; several noteworthy shows should provide great music and entertainment during this weekend and upcoming week.

McGarvey’s provides a variety of music this weekend. For fans of heavier, classic-styled rock and metal, McGarvey’s presents the triple-bill of Doctor Smoke, Black Sun and Hand Of Doom on Friday night. Returning to the Altoona area, Ohio Valley-based foursome Doctor Smoke generates a groove-driven, supernatural-themed brand of Black Sabbath-rooted heavy rock, and will perform songs from their debut album “The Witching Hour” plus some newer material. Altoona’s Black Sun takes their Black Sabbath-rooted sound in a progressive, psychedelic adventure with experiments in distortion, effects and improvisational jams, with area guitar master Jason Feathers pushing the upper levels of intensity with his solo displays. And for fans of traditional Black Sabbath, Hand Of Doom offers just that, a celebration of Ozzy Osbourne-era Black Sabbath spotlighting the group’s early albums.

Then for something completely different on Saturday night, McGarvey’s welcomes the Altoona debut of northern Virginia-based quintet The Plank Stompers. Started initially as a bluegrass/string band, the “Musty Mountain Plank Stompers” soon began to explore outside the parameters of traditional-flavored Appalachian string music, mixing in elements of funk, R&B, rock and jam. All of these flavors now come together in the current Plank Stompers musical persona, making for a colorful sonic mixture that never stays in one place for long. Improvisation and futuristic funk are terms that describe the group’s current direction and sound. Opening acts will be announced for Saturday night’s performance, which starts at 10:30 p.m.

The Plank Stompers’ first foray into central PA happened in December when they performed at Locality art gallery in Bedford. Locality will welcome another innovative group into its space on Friday night when Optimus Riff performs, along with special local guest Tommy Fix. Featuring members from Pennsylvania and Maryland, Optimus Riff blends elements of classic rock, jazz and funk into their own distinctive mix. That show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Rising Bedford-based singer and songwriter Doug Robinson will celebrate the release of his new recording, “Till the Day I Die,” with a multi-band release event on Saturday evening at SK8-1-4 Action Sports Park in Altoona. Joining Doug for the celebration will be Lewistown-based power metal trio Psycho Prophecy, area singer-songwriter Rue Moyer, new northern Cambria County-based collaboration Nag Champions, Everett-based funk-rock fusion specialists UFO Crash Site, and DJ Dr. Bubbles. The show begins at 6 p.m., with a $10 admission. SK8-1-4 is located at 2800 8th Avenue.

And Oak Spring Winery will host a special April Fool’s Day Jam on Saturday evening, featuring local folk-bluegrass performers Ride The Song, acoustic specialist Bill Ferrell plus other special guests. Adult refreshments will be available, and visitors may bring their own food. The music begins at 5 p.m., and admission is free.

Check out and support the area live music! And if you celebrate heavily while doing so, please designate a sober driver or call a taxi to get you home.

FRIDAY NIGHT 3/31:

Jae Smith at Family Pizza & Pub, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

100 Proof at Chewy’s Pizza, Altoona (starts 10 p.m.)

Doctor Smoke, Black Sun and Hand Of Doom at McGarvey’s, Altoona (starts 10 p.m.)

Matt Pletcher Trio at Cesare Battisti Club, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Bone Jacked at Buccinese Society, Altoona (starts 10 p.m.)

No Angels at Bavarian Aid Society, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Felix & the Hurricanes at Newburg Firehall, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

2nd Street at U.S. Hotel, Hollidaysburg (starts 8 p.m.)

Lizzie & the Yeehaw Gang at Horn O Plenty Restaurant, Bedford (starts 6 p.m.)

Optimus Riff and Tommy Fix at Locality, Bedford (starts 7:30 p.m.)

Washington Slept Here at Huntingdon Elks, Huntingdon (starts 7 p.m.)

John Charney at Pour On Center, Ebensburg (starts 7 p.m.)

Kenny Fetterman at Our Station House, Ebensburg (starts 8 p.m.)

Joe Caroff at Castle Pub, Ebensburg (starts 8 p.m.)

Jampact at Philipsburg American Legion, Philipsburg (starts 9 p.m.)

SATURDAY NIGHT 4/1:

“April Fool’s Day Jam” featuring Ride The Song, Bill Ferrell and guests at Oak Spring Winery, Altoona (starts 5 p.m.)

Stormy at Brookmere Winery, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

Doug Robinson Demo Release Party at SK8-1-4, Altoona; featuring Psycho Prophecy, Rue Moyer, Nag Champions, UFO Crash Site, Doug Robinson and Dr. Bubbles (starts 6 p.m., admission $10/person)

R2B2 at Family Pizza & Pub, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Bone Jacked at The Cantina, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

The Plank Stompers at McGarvey’s, Altoona (starts 10 p.m.)

Matt Pletcher Trio at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona (starts 10:30 p.m.)

Johnny Tuffnuts at McKee Tavern, McKee (starts 9 p.m.)

Felix & the Hurricanes at Williamsburg American Legion, Williamsburg (starts 9 p.m.)

Fueled By Ignorance (F.B.I.) at Steele’s Tavern, Hopewell (starts 10 p.m.)

Urban Myth at Saxton Sportsmen’s Association, Saxton (starts 9 p.m.)

Phil McCaulley at Woody Lodge Winery, Ashville (starts 6 p.m.)

Tom “Ying” Yannitelli at Park Avenue Pub, Patton (starts 10 p.m.)

hotdamn at Patton American Legion, Patton (starts 10 p.m.)

Rokkandy at Patton VFW, Patton (starts 10 p.m.)

Foul Play at JD’s Wild Cherry Inn, Portage (starts 10 p.m.)

White Shadow at Jamestown PNA, Portage (starts 8 p.m.)

1 Over 8 at Castle Pub, Ebensburg (starts 10 p.m.)

SUNDAY NIGHT 4/2:

Felix & the Hurricanes at Black & Gold Tavern, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Dave Balestino at Family Pizza & Pub, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

The Band OZ at U.S. Hotel, Hollidaysburg (starts 6 p.m.)

TUESDAY NIGHT 4/4:

Open Mic with the Backyard Rockers at D’Ottavio’s Gran Sasso, Hollidaysburg (starts 8 p.m.)

Open Mic Night at Bedford Tavern, Bedford (starts 6 p.m.)

Jam Night at Magoo’s, Cresson (starts 10 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY NIGHT 4/5:

Jam Night at Unter Uns, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Open Mic Night at Joe & Mary’s Tavern, Altoona (starts 10 p.m.)

THURSDAY NIGHT 4/6:

Steve Summerhill at Jethro’s, Altoona (starts 7 p.m.)

Full Kilt at Molly Maguire’s, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

(NOTE: More shows may be added to this list as information becomes available. Feel free to check back.)

To report additional shows or corrections to this listing, email information to jptheprofessor@gmail.com. Deadline to submit information for the initial posting is each Friday morning at 9 a.m.

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