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Arts Festivals, Love and Theft Provide Live Music Action This Weekend

July 15, 2011 - Jim Price
Arts festivals and a Saturday evening concert at Altoona’s Railroaders Museum provide highlights to the area’s live music slate this weekend.

Running through Sunday, the 45th annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts again provides a diverse slate of live musical entertainment throughout downtown State College and Penn State’s University Park campus. Some of Friday’s scheduled performers include Eric Himan (indie pop/rock/folk), The Hounds Of Soul (classic ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s horn rock and soul), Altoona native Ted McCloskey & the HiFis (driving rock’n’roll, celebrating the release of Ted’s new CD, Almost Sentimental), York’s Bushmaster (blues), Vinegar Creek Constituency (bluegrass), the Alex Meixner Band (world folk/polka) and The Ultra Kings (rockabilly). Some of Saturday’s performers include the Rustical Quality String Band (Appalachian string music), Tolins Bluegrass Revue (bluegrass), Harrisburg’s Voxology (acoustic folk), Andrew Jackson Jazz Ensemble (jazz), Deirdre Flint (folk/humor), York’s Mark DeRose & The Way Home (acoustic pop rock), Zydeco-A-Go-Go (zydeco), Miss Melanie & the Valley Rats (blues, featuring former members of Queen Bee & the Blue Hornet Band), The Rustlanders (Americana) and Velveeta (‘80s rock/pop). Sunday’s performers include the Tussey Mountain Moonshiners (bluegrass), Atlas Soundtrack (rock/reggae/hip hop), Pure Cane Sugar (acoustic Americana folk rock, EXCELLENT vocal harmonies!), Smash The Windows (Celtic/folk), and The Earthtones’ annual world music street party at the Festival Shell stage in front of Penn State’s Old Main. (For the complete performance schedule, visit the festival link listed on this page.) Admission to the Festival is free (there are admission fees to a few select venues within the Festival). Parking tip: To avoid the hassle of State College’s downtown traffic congestion during Arts Festival weekend, pay $5 and park at Beaver Stadium, and use the free shuttle bus service to get downtown. It’s a lot less stressful!

Happening a short distance away in Boalsburg is the 19th annual People’s Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts, taking place through Sunday on the grounds of the Pennsylvania Military Museum. This festival also features live music; Friday’s scheduled performers include Tree (Celtic/folk/rock), JR, James & Sharon (variety rock/pop), Tolins Bluegrass Revue, Pure Cane Sugar, Swingin’ Dixie (Dixieland) and Joe Bonson & Coffee Run (country). Saturday’s performers include the Altoona Chorus Sweet Adelines (vocal), Your Dad’s Friends (oldies), Chiz Rider (gospel trumpet) and Pennsylvania progressive rock legends Hybrid Ice. Sunday’s music includes Voxology, KJ (traditional folk), Nittany Knights Barbershop Chorus (barbershop), 14th Street Jazz Band (jazz), the Hounds Of Soul and the Little German Band (German folk/marches). Admission to the People’s Choice Festival is free; there is a $4 parking fee.

The next installment of this year’s Alive @ Five Summer Concert Series happens Saturday evening starting at 6 p.m. at Altoona’s Railroaders Museum. Headlining the concert will be rising country-pop trio Love and Theft. All from various parts of the South, singers and songwriters Eric Gunderson, Stephen Barker Liles, and Brian Bandas brought their pleasant mix of vocals and harmonies to Nashville, where they were discovered and signed. Their live show garnered them further attention, including the ear of Taylor Swift, who brought them on board as an opening act for her 2008 concert tour. Opening for Love and Theft will be Altoona foursome The Good Seeds, who just issued their debut CD, Buy Me a Kite, this past Thursday night with a CD-release show at Al’s Tavern. The Good Seeds – singers/guitarists/bassists Paul Patterson and Brook Williams, lead guitarist/mandolin player Miles Strong and drummer John Schwittek – blend rock and pop elements from classic ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s rock and new wave music, with catchy melodies and choruses. Gates open at 5 p.m.; tickets are $10/advance or $15/gate.

And the area nightspots will be alive with plentiful music as well:


Acoustic Mayhem at Burgi’s Roundhouse, Altoona (7-9 p.m.)

R2B2 (unplugged) at Rubine’s, Altoona

Wild Guess at 30 Something, Altoona

The Wolves and Mae Queen at Aldo’s, Altoona

Without Zerb at Pellegrine’s, Altoona

Cottonmouth at Magoos, Cresson

Barrelhouse Ramblers at U.S. Hotel, Hollidaysburg

Half Tempted at Duncansville Community Days, Duncansville (8-11 p.m.)

Johnny Danger at Yesterday’s Party, Ebensburg

White Shadow at City Hotel, Northern Cambria


Cottonmouth at The Cantina, Altoona (Cantina Pig Roast, music starts 2 p.m.)


Hair Force One at 30 Something, Altoona

Rain Must Fall at Aldo’s, Altoona

Without Zerb at Family Pizza, Altoona

Hard Drive at the Belmar Hotel, Altoona

The House Band at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona

Giants Of Science at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona

Jimmy Mowery at Zach’s, Altoona

Eric & Brendon at Club Coconuts, Altoona

Felix & the Hurricanes at the Loretto Firehall, Loretto (starts 7 p.m.)

The Curbside Prophets at the Old Canal Inn, Hollidaysburg

Unbridled at Yesterday’s Party, Ebensburg


One Brick Shy at Pellegrine’s, Altoona

Felix & the Hurricanes at Shaw’s, Altoona

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

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Blog Photos

Mark DeRose, during his performance at last year's Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. He and his band, The Way Home, return to the Festival to perform this Saturday.


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