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Celebrating the Spud this Weekend!

September 28, 2012 - Jim Price
Potatoes once again take the spotlight in Ebensburg this weekend, with the return of the annual Ebensburg Potatofest on Saturday. Ebensburg’s celebration of the spud will again feature plenty of live music on four stages spaced throughout the downtown area. Several returning favorites at this year’s Potatofest include Pittsburgh-based pop-rockers J.D. Eicher & the Goodnights and Johnstown horn band rockers Flood City Brass under the main tent at the intersection of High and Center Streets; area Celtic rockers Full Kilt and Pittsburgh country favorites Broken Spoke at the Penn Eben Park gazebo stage; Johnstown folk/bluegrass foursome Whiskey River Panhandlers at Memorial Park, and Zupe and Darryl Dumm at the South Center Street tent stage.

Potatofest is one of several big events happening Saturday. People’s Natural Gas Field hosts the second annual Yeungling Oktoberfest starting at 4 p.m. This event will feature German food, beer, guest appearances by stars from the television series “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” plus live music from area performers "Mr. Oktoberfest" Joe Maloy and Kevin Solecki, plus the Grammy award-winning Dick Tady Orchestra.

On a more serious note, and a little farther away, regional musicians and bands on Saturday will gather to help out an area musician who encountered serious misfortune this week. Harry Bleyer, the drummer for Lewistown party-rock favorites A Beautiful Mess (who performed at Pellegrine’s last weekend), suffered second- and third-degree burns over nearly 80 percent of his body when a propane tank exploded near him inside his garage in Lewistown on Tuesday. He was flown to a burn center in Allentown, where he is listed in critical condition. A benefit, “A Beautiful Gathering,” was quickly organized to take place Saturday at the Bierhaus in Lewistown, and will feature a number of performances from bands donating their talents to help Bleyer and his family. Appearing will be It Is Written, Timber Tantrum, Ronnie Henry, Salt of the Earth, Drop Dead Sarcasm, Ganister, The Sorta Kindas, Johnny Unit, Junkhouse (formerly Represent The Lie) and A Beautiful Mess (with Ganister’s Randy Wilson on drums). Donation will be $5 at the door. (For those who cannot attend but who want to help out, donations can be sent to Harry & Andrea Bleyer - 4119 US Hwy 522 N - Lewistown, PA 17044. A possible benefit show for Bleyer may take place in the Altoona area shortly; details as they become available.)

Shaver’s Creek Environmental between State College and Huntingdon will stage their annual Music Festival on Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m. The afternoon will feature performances from three State College area Americana music favorites: Dreams & Bones, Grain and Pure Cane Sugar. Donation at the gate is $5 for Shaver’s Creek members, Penn State students and senior citizens; and $10 for the general public. Proceeds from the event will support Shaver’s Creek and its various environmental and educational programs.

Here is a full listing for live music on area stages this weekend and the coming week:


Stephen Johnopolos at Raphael’s Steakhouse, Altoona (starts 6:30 p.m.)

Born & the Beanstalk at Blue Knob Clubhouse, Blue Knob Ski Resort (starts 6:30 p.m.)

Stainless and Fueled By Ignorance at Bedford American Legion, Bedford (starts 8 p.m.)

Roomful of Blues and Neon Swing X-perience at People’s Natural Gas Park, Johnstown (starts 8 p.m.)

Saving Jake at Aldo’s, Altoona

Drew Dodson at Pellegrine’s, Altoona

The Next at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona

The Beatlemaniacs at Thirsty Dawg Taverne, Patton


Potatofest, Ebensburg; featuring:

Main Tent: Jill & Leah Gontkovic (10 a.m.), J.D. Eicher & the Goodnights (12 noon), Flood City Brass (2:30 p.m.)

Penn Eben Park: Full Kilt (10 a.m.), John Stiffler (12:30 p.m.), Broken Spoke (3 p.m.)

Memorial Park Tent: Andy “The Firefly” Raehl (12 noon), Whiskey River Panhandlers (2:30 p.m.)

South Center Street Tent: Zupe (12:30 p.m.), Darryl Dumm (2:45 p.m.)

A Beautiful Gathering (Benefit for Harry Bleyer) at the Bierhaus, Lewistown; featuring It Is Written, Timber Tantrum, Ronnie Henry, Salt of the Earth, Drop Dead Sarcasm, Ganister, The Sorta Kindas, Johnny Unit, Junkhouse (formerly RTL) and A Beautiful Mess (with Randy Wilson); starts 3 p.m., $5 donation

Oktoberfest at People’s Natural Gas Field, Altoona; featuring Kevin Solecki, Joe Maloy and Dick Tady Orchestra (starts 4 p.m.)


Mike Reid at Mishler Theater, Altoona (starts 7:30 p.m.)

Doug Whitfield at Raphael’s Steakhouse, Altoona (starts 6:30 p.m.)

Assault Method and Iron Wolf at Pellegrine’s, Altoona

Giants Of Science at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona

Screamin’ Ugly at 30 Something, Altoona

Half Tempted at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona

Naildriver, 10 Million Devils and It Is Written at Aldo’s, Altoona

Shard at Family Pizza & Pub, Altoona

The Sitch at Belmar Hotel, Altoona

Inside Out (former Kyx members) at Teriz Place, Altoona

Cottonmouth at Bellwood Eagles, Bellwood (starts 8 p.m., members and guests)

Sheldon Port at Main Street Café, Alexandria (starts 9 p.m.)

The Felons at Glenn’s Place, Claysburg

Force Of Habit at Huntingdon Moose, Huntingdon

Phil Baskin at Mugshotz, Gallitzin

Highway Divide at Gallitzin American Legion, Gallitzin (with Steel City Comedy Tour, starts 7 p.m.)

Jack & the Country Gentlemen at Thirsty Dawg Taverne, Patton

Tony & Stacy at Ebensburg Legion, Ebensburg (starts 9 p.m.)

Shallow9 at Yesterday’s Party, Ebensburg

One Adam 12 and Juke Left at Jay’s Place, Ebensburg

Punk Fiction at Madhatters, St. Boniface

Rising Regina at City Hotel, Northern Cambria


Shaver’s Creek Music Festival at Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, Petersburg; featuring Dreams & Bones, Grain and Pure Cane Sugar (starts 1 p.m.; $10 admission, proceeds benefit Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center)

Hot Wax at Sankertown VFW, Sankertown (starts 3 p.m.)


Felix & the Hurricanes at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona


Ty Ayers (acoustic) at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona


7th Gear at 4D’s Lounge (upstairs), Altoona

Open Mic Night at Mugshotz, Gallitzin (starts 8 p.m.)

Open Mic/Jam Night at City Hotel, Northern Cambria (starts 8 p.m.)

Open Mic/Jam Night at Pellegrine’s, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)


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

Felix & the Hurricanes at Pellegrine’s, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Tom “Ying” Yanitelli at Thirsty Dawg Taverne, Patton (starts 9 p.m.)

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

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Blog Photos

J.D. Eicher of J.D. Eicher & the Goodnights, performing during last year's Ebensburg Potatofest. The group returns to Potatofest this year, and takes the stage at 12 noon Saturday at the main tent.


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