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Thanksgiving Weekend Live Music Leftovers...

November 29, 2013 - Jim Price
If you need to cut the rug or get your groove on to shed some of those newly-acquired turkey pounds, the remainder of this Thanksgiving holiday weekend has plenty of live music options to offer.

Among the highlights on area stages this weekend and upcoming week include the return of popular Punxsutawney-based classic rockers Down To The Wire to an Altoona stage for the first time in more than five years. The group will return to the 4D’s Lounge, where they were regular performers for a good part of the 1990s and early 2000s. Down to the Wire will perform ‘70s and ‘80s-era classic rock favorites from Journey, Boston, Head East, Kansas and more.

If disco is your preferred flavor, Aldo’s (transforming into McGarvey’s Bar & Grill) will host three popular area hard-rocking bands trying their hand at performing under a disco ball on Saturday night. Lies, Inc., Railroad City Murder Machines and Xs For Eyes will provide the entertainment (and maybe sport disco attire) during the Disco Night event. Proceeds from the $5 admission will benefit cancer research.

The Bedford area music scene and community will remember popular bandleader Dick Smith on Saturday night, when the Bedford Elks Lodge hosts the annual Countdowns Reunion starting at 8 p.m. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the 2003 passing of Smith after a battle with cancer. Smith fronted the popular group Dick & the Countdowns through the 1960s and 1970s. The group served as the launching point for a number of musicians’ careers, including Felix & the Hurricanes bassist/singer Jeff Clapper. Clapper and the Hurricanes will be a part of the show, as well as a reunion of one of Clapper’s former groups, The Catch. And the surviving Countdowns will also perform a reunion set.

For fans of percussion and lots of it, St. Francis University’s JFK Auditorium will be the place to be on Monday evening, when the St. Francis University World Drumming Ensemble will present their annual fall concert starting at 7 p.m. Directed by former Rusted Root drummer and St. Francis music instructor Jim Donovan, the Ensemble will present an hour-long performance of drum songs and dance, showcasing various selections from west African nations, native American numbers and more. Joining the drummers will be special guest dancer Sogbety Diomande from the Ivory Coast. Admission to the concert is free.

Area favorites and rising bands and performers populate the stages, so support live music this weekend and upcoming week! And if you plan to celebrate heavily while doing so, please designate a driver or call a cab!

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


Greg Burley at Belmar Hotel, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

Left For Dead at Aldo’s, Altoona

Flight 19 at 4Ds Lounge, Altoona

The Runaways at Heidelberg Club, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Born and the Beanstalk at the Buccinese Club, Altoona

Phil Baskin at Aviation Inn, Duncansville (starts 7 p.m.)

Backlash at Petersburg Firehall, Petersburg

Bazooka Joe at Schellsburg VFW, Schellsburg

East Nowhere at City Hotel, Northern Cambria


Disco Night at Aldo’s, Altoona; featuring Lies Inc., Railroad City Murder Machines and Xs For Eyes (benefit for cancer research)

Chris Vipond and the Stanley Street Band at Belmar Hotel, Altoona

Down to the Wire at 4Ds Lounge, Altoona

PennSoulVania (hip-hop artists) at Pellegrine’s, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

The Boomers at Heidelberg Club, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

The Backyard Rockers at Bellwood Eagles, Bellwood (starts 9 p.m., members and guests)

Hair Force One at Glenn’s Place, Claysburg

Countdowns Reunion at Bedford Elks, Bedford; featuring Felix & the Hurricanes, The Catch and the Countdowns (starts 8 p.m.)

Emberstitch at Bedford Moose, Bedford

Bazooka Joe at Williamsburg American Legion, Williamsburg

Second Edition at Saxton Sportsmen’s Club, Saxton

Twelve at Hill Valley Inn, Mount Union

Ganister at Magoo’s, Cresson

Lucky Lad Green and Private I at Castle Pub, Ebensburg

Fuse at Davey’s, Hastings

Joan and John at Spangler American Legion, Northern Cambria (starts 9 p.m.)

Driving Sideways at City Hotel, Northern Cambria


Community Drum Circle at The Chatterbox, Portage (starts 2 p.m., free admission)


Felix & the Hurricanes at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona


St. Francis University World Drumming Ensemble at JFK Auditorium, St. Francis University, Loretto (starts 7 p.m., free admission)


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


Jack and the Country Gentlemen at Clair’s Ashville Inn, Ashville (starts 6 p.m.)

Pat McGinnis at Knickerbocker Tavern, Altoona (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.)

Full Kilt at Molly Maguire’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

Lily Taylor of Lies, Inc., performing during the Halos & Harlots festival at Aldo's in September. Lies, Inc. is one of three bands taking part in Disco Night at Aldo's this Saturday night.