Hail the Spud!

Here is a listing of Altoona area live music happenings for the weekend and week of Friday, Sept. 29 through Thursday, Oct. 5.

Let the fall festivals begin!

This weekend features two of the area’s most anticipated fall season festivals, plus a first-time concert event.

Spud worshippers will converge on downtown Ebensburg Saturday for this year’s edition of Ebensburg’s Potatofest celebration. Potato-based edibles of all forms will be available for purchase and consumption (look out for potato pizza, potato candy bars, potato cookies and candy, and popular mainstays such as potato soup, ham pot pie, baked potatoes, french fries, sweet potato fries and much more). And Potatofest has evolved into quite the live music event as well, with four stages of bands and performers spaced throughout downtown Ebensburg. Some of this year’s featured performers include former Rusted Root drummer Jim Donovan and the Sun King Warriors, Johnstown-based brass rockers Flood City Brass, Johnstown indie-folk trio The Crew Of The Half Moon, Johnstown-based Irish folk/rock favorites Tree and more. And situated in the heart of the festivities, Ebensburg’s Castle Pub presents an afternoon performance by Ben Dumm & the East Side Band starting at 3 p.m. Admission to Potatofest is free; see the listing below for the complete Potatofest entertainment schedule.

The first Sunday in October always means Prince Gallitzin State Park’s annual Apple Cider Festival. This year’s event happens Sunday at Muskrat Beach on Glendale Lake, with plentiful arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, children’s activities, apple cider pressing and sampling, the beautiful fall foliage surroundings of the park, and live music. Johnstown classic dance-rock favorites The Reflections entertain on the stage at 10 a.m., and folk performer Dan Hulse will perform throughout the day; he will do strolling performances through early afternoon, before taking the stage to perform at 1:30 p.m. Admission to the festival is free. (NOTE: Due to bridge work on Marina road (between Noel’s Drive In and Route 53), there is a traffic detour in place; follow the detour signs from Route 53 to Fiske Road to Marina Road to get to the festival.)

And a new concert event debuts on the Diamond in downtown Hollidaysburg on Saturday afternoon and evening. The “Rock Out to Knock Out MS” concert will provide a variety of musical performers, food vendors and more, raising awareness and funds for The Project Diagnosis, the organization founded by multiple sclerosis warrior and survivor Tim Surkovich, which helps fund research into treatments and possible cures for MS. Several years ago, as he battled MS, Surkovich began writing lyrics and music documenting his MS struggle, and recruited musicians to form a rock band, Progmium, who recorded that music for the 2013 full-length CD “Project: Diagnosis.” Progmium will headline the concert, with their set starting at around 8 p.m. Leading up to their performance will be appearances by Felix & the Hurricanes, the Hollidaysburg School District Marching Band, Matthew Sheedy, Questionable Methods and Walkney’s Derek Mrdjenovich. The concert starts at 4:30 p.m., and admission is free.

For outdoor shows, in the event of inclement weather, please call or use social media to check ahead to make sure the show is still taking place, especially if you are driving any distance to attend.

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.


St. Francis University World Drum & Dance at Campus Mall, St. Francis University, Loretto (Multi-Cultural Day, starts 12:30 p.m., free admission)


This Albatross at Chewy’s, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Band Of Gold at Bavarian Aid Society, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Flashpoint at Newburg Firehall, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Matt Pletcher at The Dog House, Bellwood (starts 9 p.m.)

Matt Burns at U.S. Hotel, Hollidaysburg (starts 8 p.m.)

The Evergreens at Aviation Inn, Duncansville (starts 9 p.m.)

Dylan Miller and Wyl White at Johnny’s Bar, Huntingdon (starts 10 p.m.)

Washington Slept Here at Saxton Sportsman’s Association, Saxton (starts 9 p.m.)

Partners In Crime at Bloody Run Social Club (Redman), Everett (starts 8 p.m.)

Down To The Wire at Lake Rowena, Ebensburg (starts 6 p.m.)

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

Jimmy the Piano Man at Lake Inn, Ebensburg (starts 9 p.m.)

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


Ebensburg Potatofest, downtown Ebensburg (free admission):

– Main Tent: 10 a.m. – Jill & Leah Gontkovic, 12:30 p.m. – Jim Donovan & the Sun King Warriors, 3 p.m. – Flood City Brass

– Penn Eben Park: 10:30 a.m. – Tree the Band, 12:30 p.m. – Rick Cosgrove, 3 p.m. – The Crew Of The Half Moon

– Memorial Tent Park: 10:30 a.m. – Hornitude, 1 p.m. – Rue Moyer

– South Center Street Tent: 11 a.m. – Sam & Joe, 1 p.m. – Right Turn Clyde, 3 p.m. – Bruce Schettig

Ben Dumm & the East Side Band at The Castle Pub, Ebensburg (starts 3 p.m.)

Rock Out to Knock Out MS Benefit on The Diamond, Hollidaysburg; featuring Felix & the Hurricanes, Hollidaysburg School District Marching Band, Matthew Sheedy, Questionable Methods, Walkney and Progmium (starts 4:30 p.m., free admission)


The McCaulley Project at Family Pizza & Pub, Altoona (starts 8:30 p.m.)

“Punk/Metal Rager” with Fyre, The Snipped and Dave Hates Everything at McGarvey’s, Altoona (starts 10 p.m.)

Shallow 9 at Four Dees Lounge, Altoona (starts 10 p.m.)

The Chrome Hearts at Newburg Firehall, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

The Sitch at Huntingdon Elks, Huntingdon (starts 8 p.m.)

Obvious Pocket at Boxer’s Cafe, Huntingdon (starts 10 p.m.)

Downshift at Steele’s Tavern, Hopewell (starts 10 p.m.)

Ron “Music Man” Balestino at Woody Lodge Winery, Ashville (starts 6 p.m.)

Can’t Hardley Playboys Classic Country Band at Cresson American Legion, Cresson (starts 8 p.m.)

53 South at Sokols Club, Lilly (starts 9 p.m.)

Matt Pletcher at Portage Italian Club, Portage (starts 10 p.m.)

Joe Quick at Castle Pub, Ebensburg (starts 10 p.m.)

Morgan James Band at Barnesboro VFW, Northern Cambria (starts 10 p.m.)

SUNDAY 10/1:

Apple Cider Festival at Muskrat Beach, Prince Gallitzin State Park; featuring The Reflections (10 a.m.) and Dan Hulse (1 p.m.) (free admission)

Altoona West African Drum Circle with Camara Drum & Dance at Heritage Plaza, Altoona (starts 4 p.m., free admission)


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

Ed n’Born at Family Pizza & Pub, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

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


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


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

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


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

Rik Golden at McGarvey’s, Altoona (starts 9 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.