Posts Tagged ‘The Badlees’

Jonathan Edwards Michael Murphey at the Mauch Chunk Opera House

Jonathan Edwards and Michael Murphey

Two of the finest songwriters and entertainers in America,  Michael Martin Murphey  and Jonathan Edwards, join forces for a rare co-bill at Jim Thorpe’s Mauch Chunk Opera House on Friday, October 19.

Murphey penned several mega-hits including Wildfire and Carolina In The Pines, while close friend Edwards is best-known for his own gold hits Sunshine and Athens County. Both retain their characteristically sparkling voices and combine them in this exclusive concert.

Their 2-week tour marks the first time the two legendary singer-songwriters have ever performed together, and the Opera House is one of only two Pennsylvania stops. Pure entertainment by two masters!

Here’s the Hazleton Standard-Speaker story on this exclusive show offering!

Simon and Garfunkel Retrospective at the Mauch Chunk Opera House

AJ Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle’s Simon and Garfunkel Retrospective

That acoustic and vocal theme carries on the rest of the weekend with AJ Swearingen’s and Jonathan Beedle’s remarkable Simon & Garfunkel Retrospective, an experience of close-your-eyes-and-you-think-it’s-S&G.

The duo performs throughout the United States, and returns to the Opera House where the warm acoustics are particularly suited to their show.

Mr. Swearingen  continues the next night with original acoustic music courtesy of his fine duo with Jayne Kelli. Here the focus is on Swearingen’s accessible but beautiful original songs. It’s their first performance here in Jim Thorpe.

The Badlees

The Badlees

The month’s final weekend brings the ever-popular Pennsylvania rock band The Badlees to town on Friday, October 26 with special guest fiddler Nyk Van Wyke. Rockers in the Americana vein of Bob Seger (with whom they’ve toured) or John Mellencamp, the band always brings a theme for their performance to the Opera House. We think the focus is going to be on their hits, like Angeline, and Up There Down Here.

Craig Thatcher Band Clapton Tribute at the Mauch Chunk Opera House

Craig Thatcher

Van Wyke stays onstage for the talented Craig Thatcher Band’s Eric Clapton Retrospective on Saturday, October 27, one of the Opera House’s most popular productions and featuring an unforgettable survey of all the eras in Clapton’s musical career.

For more information and to select your seats, visit the Opera House website at www.MauchChunkOperaHouse.com. You can also obtain tickets by visiting SoundCheck Records in downtown JT or calling them at 570-325-4009. Call the Opera House box office at 570-325-0249.


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It’s hard to say “Pennsylvania band” without also saying “The Badlees,” possibly the most well-known rock outfit to emerge from these parts. Their Sunday, October 3rd date at the Mauch Chunk Opera House looks back on a long career and looks ahead as well.

(Badlees fans: the Sunday, October 3 show is at 6 PM. Doors are at 5:30 PM. Give yourself plenty of time to get to town as it’s a Fall Foliage Festival Weekend. It is best to park 2 blocks down from the Opera House at the Carbon County parking lot behind the downtown Train Station.)

Long in each others’ orbits as friends, drinkin’ buddies, and as  members of other bands, frontman Pete Palladino, guitarist and songwriter Bret Alexander, guitarist Jeff Feltenberger, bassist Paul Smith and drummer Ron Simasek came together in the early nineties. Soon they saw that more and more fans were turning out for their shows, excited to hear their singular brand of Americana rock ‘n’ roll, reminiscent of John Mellenkamp and Tom Petty, but with a distinctive Badlees sound. The Badlees

What ensued was a parable describing the arc of a fast-rising rock band’s existence: a best-selling album in River Songs, a video for MTV (featuring Julianna Margulies), tours around the country performing not only to sold-out rooms but arenas, opening for Bob Seger and Gregg Allman, even touring the Chinese mainland.

But the time also included being hostage to the machinations of large record companies, as their label was gobbled up by another, delaying the release of Up There Down Here by almost 2 years. The 60 minutes of inspiration performing onstage was preceded by hours of boredom, the existential malaise of touring, endless wrangling with record companies, and the unmet demands of families and friends.

After a nearly 15-year run the Badlees split up in 2003 to pursue personal projects and other objectives.

Fortunately, they remained good friends and have attracted a lot of attention recently by reuniting to play selected gigs. Their shows have been selling out with good reason.

First of all, they never lost their legions of fans. Then last year they released the fine new album Love Is Rain, a beautifully-produced and satisfying collection of songs that traverse many musical styles. The album flows easily among genres, from rock ballads to mandolin-driven acoustic tunes.

The Badlees

The Badlees are the featured performers on the first weekend of Jim Thorpe’s Fall Foliage Festival. This concert will explore two basic themes: the first set will look back over their career and focus on River Songs, their best-selling album. The second set will look at the road ahead, featuring music from their many other albums but emphasizing Love Is Rain. They might even invite a guest or two onstage.

We’re looking forward to a great show. As a commenter said in response to a YouTube posting of a recent Badlees performance: Just love you guys. Your music is good for my soul.

Tickets can be ordered by calling 570-325-0249 or by selecting your seats online. Doors open at 5:30 and showtime is 6 PM.

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