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Live Music to Spring Ahead With...

March 7, 2014 - Jim Price
Several benefits and multi-band shows punctuate this weekend’s area live music happenings, and provide the warm-up toward…resetting the clocks an hour forward on Sunday morning for Daylight Savings Time.

A partial reunion of a short-lived popular area band kicks Friday evening off at the Belmar Hotel. Randy Servello and Rhyne McCormick were half of Shots McGee, who provided good times on area stages six years ago before McCormick – already an established solo artist – relocated to Harrisburg. Servello and McCormick will reunite at the Belmar starting at 6 p.m. Friday evening; and who knows – perhaps the other half of Shots McGee, guitarist Brendon Burns and bassist Kelly Montgomery, might show up as well.

For those who want to start their St. Patrick’s celebration a week early, area Irish rock favorite Full Kilt visits the Tyrone Hookies Firehall on Friday evening starting at 7 p.m.

Later Friday evening, wild rock sounds grace the stage of McGarvey’s (formerly Aldo’s). Pittsburgh’s Thunder Vest, featuring former members of The Atomic Drops, will team up with local favorites the Rik Golden Band and Xs for Eyes for what promises to be a rowdy rock’n’roll throwdown beginning at 10:30 p.m.

McGarvey’s will host a multi-band bill of a heavier and darker flavor on Saturday night, as Maryland heavy modern rockers Cavern return to the area with several special guest bands. Also appearing is Parkersburg, West Virginia-based doom rockers Horseburner, along with local entries Black Sun, Surrounded By Ignorance and Wreathburner. The show begins at 9 p.m.

For those who have not yet seen them, the new mach edition of popular Altoona rockers Half Tempted performs Saturday night at Shaw’s Bar in Juniata. Singer/guitarist Ron Dalansky is back in the saddle after a lengthy layoff following his dirtbike accident last summer. Now flanking Dalansky are bassist Jim Ricotta, guitarist/singer Jim Mincin and drummer Shawn Gioiosa. This new edition will continue the Half Tempted tradition of power-packed classic rock favorites starting at 10 p.m.

Southern rock fans can celebrate the return of Johnstown’s Bite the Bullet to Magoo’s in Cresson on Saturday night. Opening that show will be the first Magoo’s appearance of Indiana-based ‘80s rockers 13 Stories, featuring popular Johnstown area frontman/guitarist Paul Hearn. That show starts at 10:30 p.m.

Two benefit events happen in the Altoona area on Sunday afternoon. The Unter Uns Club hosts the “You Lucky Dog Luncheon” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with proceeds benefiting Service Paws of Central PA, which supports service dogs and those who use them in the local area. The luncheon will provide a variety of soups, sandwiches, potato salad and desserts, plus acoustic entertainment from Greg Burley starting at 1 p.m. Donation is $8, and advance tickets can be purchased at Furrer Beverage, Postal Express, The Tax Shelter and at the door.

The other benefit happens later Sunday afternoon at the 4D’s Lounge, and raises money toward Children’s Miracle Network. That benefit starts at 4 p.m., and will feature performances from Ground Crew and Shallow Nine.

And for those who want to get their uke on, the Allegheny Ukulele Kollective hosts the monthly Second Sunday Ukulele Jam at Penn State Altoona’s Slep Center Fireside Lounge on Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. The jam is open to the public. Those attending are welcome to bring their own ukulele, or choose from many ukuleles that will be available at the event. The first half hour of the jam will be geared toward beginners to teach basic chords and playing techniques, and the assembled musicians will then perform common numbers together. Admission is free, and all ages and skill levels are welcome to participate.

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!

And remember…Set those clocks forward one hour on Sunday morning. And change the batteries on the home smoke alarms too!

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


Randy and Rhyne of Shots McGee at Belmar Hotel, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

Full Kilt at Hookies Firehall, Tyrone (starts 7 p.m.)

Phil Steele and friends at Trianon, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Thunder Vest, Rik Golden Band and Xs for Eyes at McGarvey’s (formerly Aldo’s), Altoona

Felix & the Hurricanes at Heidelberg Club, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Bodacious B at Ebensburg Moose, Ebensburg


Fox Trot, Mandy Coover and Rockin’ Horse at Kelce’s Bar, Philipsburg (Benefit for Bill Foster and family, starts 5 p.m.)

Cavern, Horseburner. Black Sun, Surrounded By Ignorance, and Wreathbearer at McGarvey’s (formerly Aldo’s), Altoona

Giants Of Science at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona

The Jam at Belmar Hotel, Altoona

Half Tempted at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona

Zupe at Family Pizza, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

R2B2 at Heidelberg Club, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

The Sitch at Bedford American Legion, Bedford

LeVeL at Schellsburg VFW, Schellsburg

Felix & the Hurricanes at Huntingdon Elks, Huntingdon

Second Edition at Mount Union VFW, Mount Union

Chris Woodward & ShinDiggin' at Steele's Tavern, Hopewell

Bite the Bullet and 13 Stories at Magoo’s, Cresson

Punk Fiction at Portage Italian Club, Portage

Shallow Nine at Castle Pub, Ebensburg

Craig Fitzpatrick at City Hotel, Northern Cambria


Greg Burley at Unter Uns, Altoona (Service Paws Benefit, starts 1 p.m.)

Second Sunday Ukulele Jam at Slep Center, Penn State Altoona (starts 2 p.m.)

Children’s Miracle Network Fundraiser at 4D’s Lounge; featuring Shallow 9 and Ground Crew (starts 4 p.m.)


Felix & the Hurricanes at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona


Pennsylvania Mike at Johnny’s Bar, Huntingdon (suicide prevention benefit, starts 7 p.m.)

Matt Pletcher and Eric Wertz at 4D’s Lounge (upstairs), Altoona


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


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

Triple Threat at Pellegrine’s, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

(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

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Blog Photos

Rick Ramsey and Rik Golden of the Rik Golden Band, during a September performance at Aldo's (now McGarvey's). The Rik Golden Band returns to McGarvey's on Friday night as part of a triple-bill with Pittsburgh's Thunder Vest and Altoona punk favorites Xs for Eyes.


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