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A Summerfest, a Mountain Fest and More!

August 8, 2014 - Jim Price
This weekend’s live music slate includes festival events in Portage and Bedford County, along with a singing convention, a former Misfit, and some Irish-themed musical fun.

The Irish-themed fun happens Friday evening at Altoona’s Railroaders Museum in the latest installment of the Alive @ Five Summer Concert Series. Kilts and the color green should be plentiful as Full Kilt and the Michael O’Brian Band perform Celtic and Irish-themed music. The Michael O’Brian Band – Mike Zerbee and Brian Anderson – both recently visited Ireland and played their music to audiences in the Emerald Isle. Tickets are $10 in advance, or $15 at the gate.

The annual Portage Area Summerfest celebration takes over Crichton-McCormick Park in Portage this weekend, featuring a variety of arts and crafts, vendors, children’s activities, food and refreshments, and live music. The music commences Friday evening with hometown acoustic performers G-Street, and continues with a wide variety of music throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. Fireworks happen on Saturday night, and Neil Diamond impersonator Tom Sadge helps close out the festival on Sunday. Admission is free.

In southern Bedford County, the annual Wills Mountain Festival happens at the Fort Royale Farm from Friday through Sunday. Among the marquee names performing at this year’s festival are Bill Evans Soulgrass on Friday, providing a unique fusion of bluegrass and jazz elements; New York’s Donna the Buffalo on Saturday with their distinctive blend of cajun, rock, folk, reggae, and country; and Spirit Family Reunion on Sunday with their roots music mix. Other performers throughout the weekend include the Nick Miller Project, Mama Corn, Tussey Mountain Moonshiners and many more. A three-day pass to the festival costs $75, while one-day passes range from $25 to $30. Children 12 and under are admitted for free. Free parking and camping are available.

For gospel fans, the 39th annual Pennsylvania State Singing Convention takes place at Morrison’s Cove Memorial Park from Friday through Sunday. Some of this year’s highlighted performers include Nashville, Tennessee’s The Freemans and Three Bridges, The Jacob Brothers from Dillsburg, plus numerous local and regional gospel singers and performers, and even a Barney Fife impersonator, Larry Delawder. The event is sponsored by the Vicksburg Quartet. Admission to the performances is free; camping is available.

And former Misfits singer Michale Graves is back at McGarvey’s again, performing an acoustic set on Friday night, with Solegion frontman Jarrod Bartok opening. Graves will do a number of his solo compositions, including songs from his upcoming new album “Zombies Unite,” old Misfits favorites and more. Admission is $7 per person, and the show starts at 10 p.m.

And for Journey fans who didn’t get enough during Separate Ways’ recent visit to Altoona’s Railroaders Museum, Maryland-based Journey tribute Eclipse will celebrate the 1978-86 era of Steve Perry and Journey twice in the coming week; Saturday night on the party deck at Lake Raystown Resort in Entriken, and Thursday night in downtown Bedford as part of the Hot Summer Nights concert series. Admission to both events is free.

As always, readers are encouraged to support the wide variety of musical talent gracing area stages every week, and help ensure that such music continues to happen. And if alcohol is involved while enjoying the music, please drink responsibly, get a designated driver or call a cab.

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


Wills Mountain Festival at Fort Royale Farm, Bedford; featuring Bill Evans Soulgrass, JP Harris & the Tough Choices, Driftwood, The Bumper Jacksons, Drumplay, John Felton, Red Clover Ghost, The Nick Miller Project, Old Buzzard Band and Tauk


Alive @ Five Concert Series with Full Kilt and Michael O’Brian Band at Railroaders Museum, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

Pennsylvania State Singing Convention at Morrison’s Cove Memorial Park, Martinsburg

Michale Graves and Jarrod Bartok at McGarvey’s (formerly Aldo’s), Altoona

7th Gear at Belmar Hotel, Altoona

Born and the Beanstalk at Cesare Battisti Club, Altoona

Drew Dodson at Blue Knob Clubhouse Bar & Grill, Blue Knob Ski Resort

Never Enough at Penn Eben Park, Ebensburg (starts 6 p.m.)

2nd Street at Carrolltown Firemen’s Festival, Carrolltown (starts 8 p.m.)

P.T. Cruisers at Hastings Firehall, Hastings

G-Street at Portage Summerfest, Crichton-McCormick Park, Portage (starts 7 p.m.)


Real Country featuring Bill Ross, Jr. at Beach Concession, Canoe Creek State Park (starts 2 p.m.)

Pennsylvania State Singing Convention at Morrison’s Cove Memorial Park, Martinsburg

Wills Mountain Festival at Fort Royale Farm, Bedford; featuring Donna the Buffalo, Megan Jean & the KFB, Preach Freedom & Connect, The Horse Flies, The Tonehounds, The Gunpoets, DB Reilly, Andrew McKnight and Mixing Numbers with Sounds

Portage Summerfest at Crichton-McCormick Park, Portage; featuring Old Skool, Whiskey River Panhandlers, Ray Owen, Phil McCaulley, Pop Harker’s Raging Slagg and The Boomers (starts 11 a.m.)


Felix & the Hurricanes at Claysburg Community Days, Claysburg (starts 7 p.m.)

Greg Burley at McGarvey’s (formerly Aldo’s), Altoona

Life Is Beautiful Benefit for Ronnie Frank at 30 Something, Altoona; featuring Skarma Sutra, Hundred Proof and Hate Grenade

Kenny Fetterman & Michal Wiles at Salsa’s Mexican Grille, Bedford

The Sitch at Schellsburg VFW, Schellsburg

Eclipse (Journey tribute) at Lake Raystown Resort, Entriken

Never Enough at Carrolltown Firemen’s Carnival, Carrolltown

Lucky Lad Green and Private I at Castle Pub, Ebensburg

Ganister at Davey’s, Hastings

Flood City Brass at Hastings Firehall, Hastings

All-Star Jam at City Hotel, Northern Cambria


Jim Mosey at Beach Concession, Canoe Creek State Park (starts 2 p.m.)

Pennsylvania State Singing Convention at Morrison’s Cove Memorial Park, Martinsburg

Second Sunday Ukulele Jam at Misciagna Family Center for Performing Arts, Penn State Altoona (starts 2 p.m.)

“Sunday Funday” at Lakemont Park, Altoona; featuring Dirtkicker, Left For Dead, Acoustic Time with Donnie Burns, Melville Walbeck and Mo Yon (starts 3 p.m., free admission)

Wills Mountain Festival at Fort Royale Farm, Bedford; featuring Spirit Family Reunion, The Stray Birds, Mama Corn, The Banhesters, Stewed Mulligan, Grand Ole Ditch, Tussey Mountain Moonshiners, Striped Maple Hollow, Kevin Kutz & Friends

Portage Summerfest at Crichton-McCormick Park, Portage; featuring Jerry Intihar Band, Ray Owen, Tree, Denise Baldwin, Jim Koban, Three Of Hearts and Tom Sadge (Neil Diamond impersonator) (starts 10 a.m.)


Your Dad’s Friends at Valley View Park Amphitheater, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

Dreadnot at Family Pizza & Pub, Altoona

Felix & the Hurricanes at Shaw’s Bar, Altoona


Open Mic with the Backyard Rockers at D’Ottavio’s Gran Sasso, Hollidaysburg (starts 8 p.m.)

Open Mic Night at Bedford Tavern, Bedford (starts 6:30 p.m.)


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

Ty Ayers at 4D’s Lounge, Altoona


Felix & the Hurricanes at Wing Festival, Legion Park, Hollidaysburg (starts 5 p.m.)

“Hot Summer Nights” with Eclipse (Journey tribute) and Kenny Fetterman at Juliana Street, Bedford (starts 6 p.m., free admission)

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

Born and the Beanstalk at Molly Maguire’s, Altoona

Brian Pavlic at 30 Something, Altoona

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

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Blog Photos

The Whiskey River Panhandlers, performing during last weekend's Flood City Music Festival in Johnstown. The Johnstown-based folk and bluegrass group will perform on Saturday at the annual Portage Area Summerfest at Portage's Crichton-McCormick Park.


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