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30 Years Of ‘Hurricaning,’ Mark Ross Benefit This Weekend!

Here is a listing of Altoona area live music happenings for the weekend and week of Friday, January 17 through Thursday, January 23.

It was in 1989 that Felix Kos and his new band, The Hurricanes, formed and began to surface from the Cresson and Gallitzin vicinity. The initial group began to gain traction on area stages, and after some personnel changes, the group’s long-running core line-up of Felix, bassist and singer Jeff Clapper and drummer Bob Watters first started playing together in 1991. Jeff and Bob would both depart the group briefly in 1993 to pursue other projects, with bassist Bill Nusom and drummer and singer John McKnight replacing them. That Hurricanes lineup continued to expand its territory and fan base through the 1990s, before John relocated to his current home base of Atlanta, Georgia in 1997. Jeff and Bob rejoined Felix the following year, and the Hurricanes have continued nonstop ever since. Thirty years, countless hundreds of shows and two studio albums (2001’s “The Feeling” and 2003’s “Travelers Not Forgotten”) later, Felix & the Hurricanes have become long established as a central PA institution with their mixture of enthusiastic musicianship and chemistry, their sizable catalog of popular original songs, and their vast blend of blues, blues-rooted classic and southern rock, funk, soul and more. The Hurricanes will celebrate that 30-year milestone officially on Friday night at Altoona’s Bavarian Aid Society upstairs hall beginning at 8 p.m. The Hurricanes are expected to be joined by numerous musical guests who have joined the group onstage through the years, and the group welcomes old and new fans alike to come join in the celebration. Admission will be $5 per person, and the show is open to the public.

Another popular area musician who has also graced stages for more than 30 years is guitarist, educator and music store proprietor Mark Ross. Mark met singer Tonya Browne in 1985 as she tended bar and joined performers onstage at the former Brickhouse Tavern in State College. They formed Queen Bee & the Blue Hornet Band, who would end up playing concerts and festivals throughout the U.S. and Europe, opening for B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and others, recording studio and live albums, and winning multitudes of fans locally and regionally with their passionate brand of blues music. After the group went their separate ways in 1998 (and “Queen Bee” Tonya Browne sadly passed in 2001), Mark worked with other performers on the State College music scene, before meeting singer Melanie Morrison-Zeigler and forming area soul and blues combo Miss Melanie & the Valley Rats in 2010. Miss Melanie & the Valley Rats issued five studio and live albums and grew a large regional fan base, before Mark stepped away from full-time live performing and the group went on hiatus last fall, with Miss Melanie continuing on with a new self-named band project. Mark then announced late last year that he had been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer, and had begun treatments in his battle. Multiple musicians will donate their talents and camaraderie to celebrate Mark and help out his family on Saturday evening, as the “Songs for a Friend: A Celebration to Benefit Our Brother, Mark Ross” concert takes place at the State Theatre in downtown State College. The concert will begin at 7 p.m., and feature performances from The Blue Hornet Band, Felix & the Hurricanes, Tyne & the Fastlyne, Triple A Blues Band, Ted McCloskey & the Hi-Fi’s, Miss Melanie, Strayer, Dawn Kinnard, Hannah Bingman, Raven & the Wren, Jamie Davis, Noah Figlin, Jason McIntyre, Junior Tutwiler and special guests. Tickets for the show are now sold out, but donations to help out Mark may be made through the State Theatre’s website or by visiting: http://bit.ly/MarkRoss

In the event of inclement weather (such as is forecast for Saturday), please call or use social media to check ahead to make sure that scheduled shows are still taking place, especially if you are driving any distance to attend.

Check out and support the area live music! And if you celebrate heavily while doing so, please designate a sober driver or call a taxi to get you home.

FRIDAY NIGHT 1/17:

Ed N’Born at Cesare Battisti Club, Altoona (starts 7:30 p.m.)

“30 Years of Hurricaning” celebration with Felix & the Hurricanes at Bavarian Aid Society, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

4th Street at Newburg Fire Association Social Hall, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Greg Burley at Swiss Club, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

Matt Wagner at U.S. Hotel, Hollidaysburg (starts 8 p.m.)

Chad Patterson at Blue Knob Clubhouse, Blue Knob All Seasons Resort (starts 7 p.m.)

Make Mine Country at Huntingdon American Legion, Huntingdon (starts 7 p.m.)

Rokkandy at Woody Lodge Winery, Ashville (starts 6:30 p.m.)

SATURDAY NIGHT 1/18:

“Songs for a Friend: A Celebration to Benefit Our Brother, Mark Ross” at the State Theatre, State College; featuring The Blue Hornet Band, Felix & the Hurricanes, Tyne & the Fastlyne, Triple A Blues Band, Ted McCloskey & the Hi-Fi’s, Miss Melanie, Strayer, Dawn Kinnard, Hannah Bingman, Raven & the Wren, Jamie Davis, Noah Figlin, Jason McIntyre, Junior Tutwiler and special guests (proceeds benefit Mark Ross and his family; show starts 7 p.m.; show is SOLD OUT, but donations can still be made at http://bit.ly/MarkRoss)

Up Your Arsenal, Violent Approach and Darkness On The Radio at McGarvey’s, Altoona (CANCELLED due to weather)

Shallow 9 at Four Dees Lounge, Altoona (starts 10:30 p.m.)

Lauren & Joe at Holiday Bowl (Strike Zone Bar & Grill), Altoona (CANCELLED due to weather)

Jampact at Newburg Fire Association Social Hall, Altoona (CANCELLED due to weather)

The Boomers at Bavarian Aid Society, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

Joe Quick at The Bull Pen, Tyrone (starts 8 p.m.)

Stormy at Argonne Cafe, Hollidaysburg (starts 8 p.m.)

Felix & the Hurricanes at Old Canal Inn, Hollidaysburg (starts 9:30 p.m.)

Matt Pletcher at Shan Nicole’s Irish Pub, Hollidaysburg (starts 10 p.m.)

Washington Slept Here at Blue Knob Clubhouse, Blue Knob All Seasons Resort (starts 9 p.m.)

Brandi Naugle at Olde Bedford Brewing Company, Bedford (starts 6 p.m.)

Mr. Jones and Me at RiverBilly’s Grill & Bar, Huntingdon (starts 9 p.m.)

Downshift and Avenue Of Kings at Steele’s Tavern, Hopewell (starts 10 p.m.)

Ken & Den at Woody Lodge Winery, Ashville (starts 6:30 p.m.)

Rewynd at Patton VFW, Patton (starts 10 p.m.)

Ed N’Born at Castle Pub, Ebensburg (starts 10 p.m.)

The Zero Club at The Grove, Belsano (starts 10 p.m.)

Roadkill at Philipsburg American Legion, Philipsburg (starts 9 p.m.)

SUNDAY NIGHT 1/19:

Felix & the Hurricanes at Black & Gold Tavern, Altoona (starts 9 p.m.)

TUESDAY NIGHT 1/21:

Open Mic with Rich Dasch at D’Ottavio’s Gran Sasso, Hollidaysburg (starts 8 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY 1/22:

Jam Night at Unter Uns Musical & Entertainment Society, Altoona (starts 8 p.m.)

THURSDAY NIGHT 1/23:

Open Stage Night at Greenbean Coffee House, Altoona (starts 6 p.m.)

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

White Shadow at Altoona Grand Hotel (Grouse’s Nest), Altoona (starts 7 p.m.)

(NOTE: 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 jptheprofessor@gmail.com. Deadline to submit information for the initial posting is each Friday morning at 9 a.m.

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