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Area Musicians to the Rescue!

March 21, 2014 - Jim Price
If you read this blog often, one constant theme that I hope stands out nearly every week is the generosity of this area’s music scene. With few exceptions, nearly every weekend you will find area musicians donating their talents, and area venues providing the stages, to raise money for people in need. Observers from outside central Pennsylvania have remarked to me how impressed they are with the willingness of area musicians – and the central Pennsylvania community as a whole – to chip in when somebody needs a helping hand. In recent weeks, we have seen fundraising live music events to help out fire victims, cancer and other patients, families that have lost loved ones, organizations that help out children, provide service animals and more. And this week is no exception; more benefit live music events in our area are helping out those in need.

Two different benefit events this weekend are helping out a local accident victim during her lengthy recovery process. Jessica Conrad Finochio suffered severe back injuries in a traffic accident while driving to work on December 31, and has been unable to work since then to provide for her two children. The first benefit to help Jessica will take place Friday night at Shan Nicole’s Irish Pub in Hollidaysburg, and will feature music from Xs For Eyes and Old No. 7. Basket giveaways will take place as well. The music begins at 10 p.m., and donation at the door will be $5 per person. The second benefit, the “Supermom Benefit,” takes place on Saturday evening at the Tyrone American Legion. Donating their talents at this event will be the bands Nobody’s Heroes, The Jam, plus acoustic acts Strait & Miller and McGinnis & Knepper. The music starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $6/person, or two for $10.

Another benefit on Friday night will help out an area woman awaiting a liver transplant. The band Backlash will perform at the Petersburg Firehall in Petersburg (Huntingdon County) starting at 8 p.m. Proceeds will help out Olivia Stewart with her medical expenses. Donation at the door is $5, and this event is open to the public.

Another Saturday evening benefit concert will raise money to help out an area cancer patient. Sue Kies (Myers) is battling breast cancer, and the benefit to raise money toward her medical bills will take place at Pellegrine’s starting at 7 p.m. Music will be provided by the bands Root and the Fifths, the Stone Bridge Blues Band, the Sitch and Lucky Lad Green on the main stage, with the Backyard Rockers performing acoustic sounds on a side stage during main stage breaks. Donation at the door is $5 per person, and there will be baskets and other door prize giveaways.

The City Hotel in Northern Cambria will commence their fifth annual “Battle of the Acoustics” competition on Thursday night. Staged each Thursday night through early May, “Battle of the Acoustics” will showcase acoustic musicians and groups from throughout the region, as they perform and vie for weekly prizes and the opportunity to move on to semifinal and final rounds, with grand prizes for the final round champions. Partial proceeds from the admission fee will help out youth sports programs in Northern Cambria, Carrolltown, Hastings and other surrounding northern Cambria County communities.

Support these benefits if you can, and support live music every weekend, because the area musicians are often among the first members of the community to step forward and donate their services when somebody needs help.

And if you plan to celebrate while enjoying live music, 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:


“Spring Bash” with Last Stand at Black Dog Café, Hollidaysburg (starts 6:30 p.m.)

Seas We Fear to Sail, On the Run and Becoming Friends with Lions at McGarvey’s (formerly Aldo’s), Altoona

Ground Crew at Buccinese Club, Altoona

7th Gear at Heidelberg Club, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Xs for Eyes and Old No. 7 at Shan Nicole’s, Hollidaysburg (benefit for Jessica Conrad Finochio)

Born & the Beanstalk at Aviation Inn, Duncansville

The Clay Pigeons at Ebensburg Moose, Ebensburg

2nd Street at Patton American Legion, Patton

Felix & the Hurricanes at Coalport Moose, Coalport

Backlash at Petersburg Firehall, Petersburg (benefit for Olivia Stewart)

One Brick Shy at Saxton Sportsmen’s Club, Saxton

Strait & Miller at Johnny’s Bar, Huntingdon


Sue Kies Cancer Benefit at Pellegrine’s, Altoona; featuring Lucky Lad Green, Stone Bridge Blues Band, The Sitch, Root and the Fifths and the Backyard Rockers (starts 6 p.m.)

NailDriver and Writing Off Tomorrow at McGarvey’s (formerly Aldo’s), Altoona

Giants Of Science at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona

Hair Force One at 30 Something, Altoona

The Overtones at Belmar Hotel, Altoona

Born & the Beanstalk at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona

Bodacious B at Heidelberg Club, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Stella's Revenge at Family Pizza, Altoona

Supermom Benefit at Tyrone Legion, Tyrone; featuring The Jam, Nobody’s Heroes, Strait & Miller and Pat McGinnis & Chuck Knepper (starts 6 p.m.)

This Albatross at Glenn’s Place, Claysburg

Fuse at Magoo’s, Cresson

Yum at Castle Pub, Ebensburg

One Adam 12 at Jay’s Place, Ebensburg

Locked and Loaded at Gallitzin IMS, Gallitzin

Untyed at Sokols Club, Lilly

Jack & the Country Gentlemen at Thirsty Dawg Taverne, Patton

Octane at Davey’s, Hastings

Acoustic Rumblers at Boxer’s Café, Huntingdon

Force Of Habit at Huntingdon Moose, Huntingdon

Second Edition at Alexandria Legion, Alexandria

Felix & the Hurricanes at Steele’s Tavern, Hopewell

Seize Fire at Elks Bowling Center, Bedford


Felix & the Hurricanes at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona


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


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

Felix & the Hurricanes at 4D’s Lounge (upstairs), Altoona


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

“Battle of the Acoustics” at City Hotel, Northern Cambria

Rogan Allen at McGarvey’s (formerly Aldo’s), Altoona

(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

Ryan Clark of The Jam, during a December performance at the Belmar Hotel. The Jam is one of several performers during the Supermom Benefit for Jessica Conrad Finochio, taking place Saturday night at the Tyrone American Legion.