‘Twas the Weekend Before Christmas!”

Here is a listing of Altoona area live music happenings for the weekend and week of Friday, December 21 through Thursday, December 27.

The weekend before the Christmas holiday has some special happenings on area stages worth checking out. Two of those events happen in succession on Friday night.

The “Winter Soulstice” concert happens on Friday evening at the Mishler Theatre, featuring two of the region’s premium blues and soul-based groups. Pittsburgh ensemble The Commonheart – who dazzled the crowd earlier this summer at the inaugural First Frontier Festival at the Railroaders Museum – and State College’s Miss Melanie & the Valley Rats will provide an evening of stirring blues, soul and R&B-rooted sounds beginning at 7 p.m. Both bands bring excellent singers and dazzling musicianship. The Commonheart’s Clinton Clegg brings a hearty, throaty howl to the stage reminiscent of Joe Cocker, backed by a nine-piece group including horn section and backing singers; while “Miss Melanie” Morrison-Zeigler presents her soaring, soulful and sultry voice on a blend of original songs and blues classics, backed by guitar master Mark Ross, the eloquent organ stylings of Rev. James Harton and drummer Chris Coyne. Tickets for this concert are $22 per person, and are available at the Mishler box office.

For a different flavor of R&B-based sounds afterward, McGarvey’s will host “A Purple Princemas: A Tribute to the Music of Prince.” A collaboration of various area musicians – including members of The Black Snakes, Rain Must Fall, Black Cat Moan, PennSOULvania, Small Town Horror Show, Maul, The Stanley Street Band and others – will celebrate the music of Prince. Opening the show will be the debut performance of M3dium. This show begins at 10 p.m., and the venue is non-smoking.

And if you are looking to leave it all on the dance floor this weekend, Shallow 9 brings their high-energy, high-production dance party back to the Four Dees Lounge on Saturday night starting at 10 p.m. Get there early to stake out your table or seat, as the venue will likely fill up quickly.

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.

And have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

FRIDAY NIGHT 12/21:

“Winter Soulstice” Concert with The Commonheart and Miss Melanie & the Valley Rats at Mishler Theatre, Altoona (starts 7 p.m., tickets $22/person)

Coltt Winter Lepley at Railroad City Brewing Company, Altoona (starts 7 p.m.)

“A Purple Princemas: A Tribute to the Music of Prince” with M3dium at McGarvey’s, Altoona (starts 10 p.m.)

Jud Bussard at Holiday Inn (Strike Zone Bar & Grill), Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

McCaulley Project at Bavarian Aid Society, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Flashpoint at Newburg Firehall, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Joe Quick at The Dog House, Bellwood (starts 9 p.m.)

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

Rue Moyer at Hungry Duck, Roaring Spring (all-originals show, starts 6 p.m.)

Bear Ketchum at Blue Knob Clubhouse, Blue Knob Ski Resort (starts 7 p.m.)

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

Chris Woodward & Shindiggin’ at Everett VFW, Everett (starts 9 p.m.)

Hawestone at Huntingdon Elks, Huntingdon (Ugly Sweater Party, starts 7 p.m.)

Lauren & Joe at Sokols Club, Lilly (starts 9 p.m.)

Matt Pletcher at Olde Keg Bar & Grill, Portage (starts 9 p.m.)

Ed N Born at Hagen’s Pub, Chest Springs (starts 9 p.m.)

White Shadow at Coalport VFW, Coalport (starts 8:30 p.m.)

SATURDAY NIGHT 12/22:

Steve & Dave at Family Pizza & Pub, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Jean Claude Trans Am, Chapter 5 and Dave Hates Everything at McGarvey’s, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

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

Lauren & Joe at Trianon Bar & Grill, Altoona (starts 10 p.m.)

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

KB Express at Bavarian Aid Society, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Stormy at Argonne Cafe, Hollidaysburg (starts 8 p.m.)

Cool Rockers at Aviation Inn, Duncansville (starts 9 p.m.)

Matt Pletcher Trio at Blue Knob Clubhouse, Blue Knob Ski Resort (starts 10 p.m.)

Fully Loaded at R&J’s Tavern, Bedford (starts 8 p.m.)

Denny & Ken Pompa Acoustic Show at Woody Lodge Winery, Ashville (starts 6:30 p.m.)

Bone Jacked at Patton VFW, Patton (starts 9 p.m.)

Bob Brown at Our Station House, Ebensburg (starts 8:30 p.m.)

Big Daddy Bangers at Philipsburg American Legion, Philipsburg (starts 9 p.m.)

SUNDAY NIGHT 12/23:

The Band OZ at Newburg Firehall, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

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

White Shadow at Patton VFW, Patton (starts 7 p.m.)

TUESDAY 12/11: MERRY CHRISTMAS!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT 12/26:

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

THURSDAY NIGHT 12/27:

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

Open Stage Night at Green Bean Coffee, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

Lauren & Joe at McGarvey’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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