Posts Tagged ‘Live Music’

People can certainly be saddened by the music industry these days. I totally understand.

My first live concert was at the Fillmore East, an experience I still think about all the time. Music, both live and on vinyl, provided me with life-changing experiences that I draw upon to this day.

Back then, I had never heard of a tribute band. But like any business, things change, and you adapt.


Most of the original bands we book these days at the Mauch Chunk Opera House can thank tribute bands for the paying work, and also vice versa – because it’s all part of how the doors to our venue stay open, hence making it possible for people to support live music.

BlogArticle2100% of the tribute band members that work here are also members of other bands, some tribute, some original. The players are all good – really good. It would be beautiful if all their original projects ended up rocking the world and getting them great-paying gigs, but, well, I probably won’t be wearing Yankee pinstripes either.

Nonetheless, like the bands we book, we keep trying for the big time. Until that happens, when I get up and march off to the day job, I wish I still didn’t have to do it, but I’m grateful for the work. For musicians, they’re simply glad to be able to perform live, and a paying gig, whether tribute or original, pays the bills as well as makes an audience happy.

Paying work is hardly a bad thing.  We have a venue to keep open. Meanwhile, each weekend, our events help make it possible for restaurants to open, hotels to get booked, innumerable tradespeople to get work, and a small town in Pennsylvania to prosper. We all work in a big circle, each depending on the other.

The biggest thing for me personally is that it makes it possible to occupy a little piece of the music business. Presenting live music and seeing happy faces, both from audiences and bands – that’s what it’s all about.

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Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy                                Penn’s Peak

palmer-entCarl Palmer is a drummer’s drummer. A consummate professional, a brilliant technician and a dynamic showman, he has thrilled listeners and audiences alike for nearly four decades with some of music’s most memorable bands including Atomic Rooster, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Asia and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Along the way his dexterity, speed and mastery of the drums, combined with his infectious stage personality, have secured for him a respected place in history as one of Rock and Roll’s greatest drummers.


The David Mayfield Parade                          Mauch Chunk Opera House

mayfield-entThough David Mayfield is one of the finest acoustic guitar slingers ever to perform at the Opera House, he is also one of the most original performers on the Americana scene. Known for his stage presence as much as his virtuosic guitar talent and songwriting prowess, Mayfield’s musical roots are buried deep in the bluegrass tradition from a childhood of touring with his family’s band.


Al Stewart                                                          Mauch Chunk Opera House

alstewart-entAsk Al Stewart to sum up where he is now, you’re likely to wind up two steps behind where you started; this is by no means an unusual circumstance in conversation with Al, keenly aware as he is that making a leap forward often entails taking a step backward. In many ways, lately Stewart has much more resembled his summer of 1969 than it did the summer of 1979, when his multi-million-selling Year of the Cat and Time Passages were staples of FM radio, and he was touring with saxes, synths, singers, and all the accoutrements pop stardom brings. I don’t think I ever knew how to be in front of a band, says Al, perhaps a little modestly.


Average White Band                                        Penn’s Peak

awbAWB are widely regarded as one of the best soul and funk bands in the history of music. Though best known for their timeless instrumental mega-hit ‘Pick Up the Pieces’, the band’s strength actually lay in their consistently accomplished song-writing, stretching across several gold selling albums and multi- Grammy nominations for the legendary Atlantic Records.


The Hackensaw Boys                                      Mauch Chunk Opera House

hackensaw-entThe Hackensaw Boys’ latest record, Charismo, is the record you’ve been waiting to hear. The 11-track album feels like the zenith release of the band’s 17 years, gathering their diverse life experiences and myriad of roots influences, and crystallizing them into a magnum opus on the Hackensaw way of being. Traditional Appalachian and Delta music lay the groundwork, but it’s injected with a heavy dose of the contemporary, good-times-roll kind of spit and vinegar the band has become known for over the years.

Kix with Autograph                                            Penn’s Peak

kix-entIn 1981, they debuted with a self-titled album “KIX,” featuring “Atomic Bombs”, “The Itch,” “The Kid.” “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” instantly became a concert favorite. “KIX Are for Kids” creatively merged the name of the band with two popular cereals of the 1960s and 1970s, KIX (that featured an atomic bomb commercial) and the Trix Rabbit (i.e., “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!”). “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” became the band’s signature concert song.


Happy Together Tour                                       Penn’s Peak

happy-entThis year’s Happy Together Tour is comprised of Flo & Eddie, Chuck Negron, Mark Lindsay, The Cowsills, Gary Puckett and The Spencer Davis Group. In the years since The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie brought back some friends for the 25th Anniversary Tour in 2010, “Happy Together” has become one of the most successful summer tours in existence, constantly hitting the road and celebrating the music of the 60’s for thousands of “Happy” fans to enjoy across North America.  Fans will, once again, delight in hearing the songs sung by the original singers that they’ve heard on the radio for the past several decades.


Savoy Brown with Kim Simmonds           Mauch Chunk Opera House


Real music is hard to find. If you’ve ever felt suffocated in the age of fakery and hype, then Savoy Brown’s latest album, The Devil To Pay, is a blast furnace / breath of fresh air. Driven by classic blues and age-old human truths but dragged into contemporary relevance by stinging musicianship and modern savvy “legendary guitar player” Kim Simmonds new songs have arrived when we need them most. It’s fresh and new, and belongs to the twenty-first century.

Joan Jett                                                             Penn’s Peak

jett-entJoan Jett is an originator, an innovator, and a visionary. As the leader of the hard-rocking Blackhearts, with whom she has become a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, she’s had eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles, including the classics “Bad Reputation,” “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll,” “I Hate Myself For Loving You,” and “Crimson and Clover.” Her music has become a permanent force in mainstream culture.


Who’s Next                                                      Mauch Chunk Opera House

whotrib-entWho’s Next has been mesmerizing fans for over twenty years, performing nationally to be recognized as the best Who tribute band in the world. With exact replicas of guitars, drums, amps and clothing, Who’s Next is able to give the audience the full experience of being at a Who concert. Not only does Who’s Next capture the pure power and energy of The Who, each member bears an uncanny resemblance to each member of the band that they portray.

Hotel California                                                Penn’s Peak

hotelcal-ent.jpgFor more than two decades, Hotel California has touched the hearts of fans all over the world, by faithfully and accurately reproducing the Grammy award winning sounds of the Eagles.  See how a spirited blend of originality and the pursuit of excellence have taken Hotel California to a level of international recognition normally reserved only for gold and platinum recording artists.


Yonder Mountain String Band                       Penn’s Peak

yonder-entFor nearly 17 years, Yonder Mountain String Band has redefined bluegrass music, expanding the traditional acoustic genre beyond its previously established boundaries by steadily pushing the envelope into the realms of rock n’ roll and improvisation. YMSB has always played music of their own design, in the process attracting a devout coterie of fans that often resembles a tight knit family on an epic musical journey as Yonder traverses the country with an ever-rigorous tour schedule.


The Yardbirds                                                   Penn’s Peak

yardbirds-entReuniting decades after Clapton, Beck, and Page, McCarty and Dreja brought The Yardbirds boldly into the 21st Century with the 2003 release of the acclaimed CD Birdland, which featured guest appearances from the likes of Brian May, Joe Satriani, Slash and Steve Vai. Jim McCarty debuted the new touring line-up of The Yardbirds, consisting of guitarist Johnny A, bassist Kenny Aaronson, singer / harpist / percussionist Myke Scavone, and guitarist / singer John Idan to rave reviews. As Goldmine Magazine stated, “the band’s hallmark of top-notch musicianship remains. There are no passengers in this band.”



Kick – the INXS Experience                        Mauch Chunk Opera House

kick-entAre you ready for a new sensation? KICK- The INXS Experience will take you back and reignite your passion for INXS. They will introduce you to music that is still as fresh today as the day it was written, from Original Sin to Elegantly Wasted and everything in between. Supremely tight and talented, the band ensures a great, passionate evening of some of the finest music there is. Oh, and be sure to bring your dancin’ shoes.


The Shockenaw Mountain Boys               Mauch Chunk Opera House

Shockenaw-entWith the Bovine Social Club. Featuring the talents of three current members of the national touring act Railroad Earth and one former member and current member of the excellent Emmit-Nershi Band, their performances are legend.


Dancing Dream – Music of ABBA          Mauch Chunk Opera House

abba-entDancing Dream features beautiful harmonies, elaborate costumes and exciting choreography guaranteed to captivate all audiences making every show a night to remember. The secret to their success is great musicianship, energetic personalities and a genuine love for what they do.  A very energetic and enthusiastic show brings back memories and smiles on everybody’s face.


Willy Porter                                                    Mauch Chunk Opera House

porter-entWith Carmen Nickerson.  Voted musician of the year in his native Wisconsin, all-world guitarist Willy Porter combines stellar guitar skills with a gruff sincerity to create convincing songs about love, loss, and mystery. Porter has the talent that fits Six Degrees Records’ stated goal of “breaking down the walls between the genres, creating unique, accessible recordings that combine elements from many worlds.” Combine stellar guitar with his voice – a little Darius Rucker, a little Tracy Chapman, and a lot of earnest conviction.


Incendio                                                      Mauch Chunk Opera House

incendio-entJust listen to the blistering playing and you can see and hear that their name, Incendio, is well-deserved. But they are far more than just a red-hot band. Over the last decade, this Latin guitar world fusion group has combined composition, technique and performance in seven critically acclaimed international CD releases.  At the heart of every track is the bold, romantic Spanish guitar, its timeless sound recast in powerful modern arrangements.


Blue Sisters                                                  Mauch Chunk Opera House

bluessisters-entNow in its 12th triumphant year, the Ruf Records assembles a touring showcase for the hottest young acts in blues. It’s a springboard for the blues scene’s next-big-things, and a magnet for fans who want to catch them before lift-off.
The Blue Sisters are doing it for themselves. Layla Zoe is about to explode. Tasha Taylor has the blues in her blood and soul. And when Ina Forsman steps up the mic, believe us, you will believe every word.

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We hear it’s going to get a bit hot this weekend.

It sounds like it might be time to hit the road to Jim Thorpe, PA. Things will be very cool inside at Jim Thorpe’s Mauch Chunk Opera House on Sunday night.

Over the past ten years the Opera House hasn’t presented many Sunday performances, but June 2nd this year, with the predicted warm weather, can be seen as an unofficial start to summer – especially with the great California jam band, Tea Leaf Green in town.

Tea Leaf Green at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe PA

When their musical odyssey began in the late nineties, TLG could be found on the road, as it usually is, opening for greats like Dave Matthews, Bruce Hornsby, and Government Mule. Many new albums have arrived on the scene as they explore a seemingly endless and diverse creative surge that takes them on many directions, including of course, their famous ability to absolutely mix it up on long, extended jams.

The Spring Standards at the Mauch Chunk Opera HouseNew York City’s The Spring Standards open the night. Their ethereal sound has something of a split-personality: the band’s sets on Mountain Stage demonstrate an acoustic folk-pop side, which stands in stark contrast to their carefully-crafted power-pop proclivities.

So Sunday, June 2 is something of an East-meets-West kind of evening, and sure to be especially memorable. And by the way, that $18 ticket price includes all fees.

Talk about a great summertime night out! And you’ll get home in plenty of time for work the next day.

Or skip work on Monday and make it a long weekend  😉   Plenty of places to stay! Way less expensive but nothing cheap about your choices!

Click here for tickets or just come to the door at 7:30 PM when the show begins.

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