Rochester Twp site closes; but Slam good time at Beaver Station
Beaver County loses a concert hall on February 25, with the announced closure of O’Donna’s in Rochester Township.
For the past five years, members of Blues Attack, the award-winning blues band from Pittsburgh, have regularly hosted stage parties here with top-flight musicians like Rex Trimm, Stefan Rodriguez and Amico DeMuzio. Bands like Bobby Thompson and The Groove, Country Crew and Stacey & The Wild Cards played there last year.
Blues Attack invites the public to a few special farewell events at O’Donna’s: the Jill West & Blues Attack CD Party on February 10; an evening on February 17 with artists to be announced and a farewell party on February 24.
“Please stop and say goodbye to our home,” Blues Attack said.
vanessa on peacock
Blackhawk High graduate Vanessa Campagna has had her song “So Good” performed on Paris Hilton’s new TV show, “Paris in Love” on the Peacock streaming network.
The romantic electro-pop ballad can also be heard on YouTube.
“So Good” is also listed in Beaver Falls native “Nikki Lieto’s” alter ego project, which is targeting film and television placements.
Attention Radiohead Fans
The Smile Band had reason to smile last weekend after their excellent first live stream.
A trio of Radiohead singer and guitarist Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood, the Smile Band premiered an hour of new songs, including singles “The Smoke” and “You Will Never Work in Television Again”. The standout song, “Free in The Knowledge,” harnesses Yorke’s captivating, soaring voice – somehow vulnerable yet strong – with lyrics that hope we’re about to emerge triumphantly from dark days.
In a brief moment between songs, Yorke denounced powerful forces telling us that we must separate into constantly fighting factions.
It’s nonsense, he said, using a harsh British slang term that I better not repeat.
As with the elated Radiohead, these Smile Band songs sounded cinematic and futuristic funky. Greenwood’s guitar and synth work created all sorts of hypnotic soundscapes. Drummer Tom Skinner kept the beats lively, particularly brilliant on “Opposite”.
Can’t wait to hear their album
Slam good time
Slam Band & Slam did a delightful job launching the Cabin Fever music series last weekend at the Beaver Station Cultural & Event Center.
Debuting in Beaver County, the artists at Vault Records blended funk and jazz with a solid rock beat for an evening of prime originals and covers like Bruce Springsteen‘s “10th Avenue Freezeout,” “Ain’ t Too Proud to Beg” by The Temptations and “One More Saturday Night” by The Grateful Dead.
Slam Band & Slam hung black curtains in front of the windows behind them, adding ambience and privacy for grumbling and fidgeting audience members in their seats. A few dared to stand up and dance.
Beaver Station’s next show, February 26, features Ghost Hounds keyboardist extraordinaire Joe Munroe paired with powerhouse vocalist Katie Simone. Tickets are on beaverstation.org for $30, which covers all adult drinks.
It’s been a week since we lost Jerry Weber, but his memory will live on in the minds of local record collectors.
Weber lovingly ran Jerry’s Records in Squirrel Hill, the best vinyl record store in the Pittsburgh area for decades. He was 73 years old.
“He was instrumental in the Pittsburgh music scene,” the owners of Inner Groove Records in Monaca said in tribute hours after news broke of Weber’s death. “Every group passing through Pittsburgh would make time to visit Jerry’s.”
Indeed, internationally acclaimed musicians would take the time during Pittsburgh tour stops to peruse the stacks of wall-to-wall albums at Jerry’s Records, located on Murray Avenue since 1993.
Weber couldn’t stand the thought of vinyl records being tossed in trash bins when their owners no longer wanted them, so he would embrace such collections. It often got to the point where he ran out of space in his store, so he would have “box sales” where, for a small fee, he would sell you an entire box full of completely random albums. In 2014, it went further and pledged to give away 25,000 of these albums for free. The boxes were pre-sealed, and I remember picking up one that had classics (“Abraxas” by Santana, “Talking Book” by Stevie Wonder), standards (the original “West Side Story” soundtracks, and ” Godspell”), and a whole bunch of darkness (albums by The Versatones and Stanky and His Pennsylvania Coal Miners Polka Band.)
Everyone who knew and adored Weber has a story of his infectious enthusiasm and generosity.
Mine is the time Weber phoned me to say he had a 45 single for me that I just had to listen to. As hard as I tried, he didn’t divulge over the phone who was on the case, saying I’d have to drive up to Squirrel Hill to find out for myself. I did, of course, and Weber beamed with amusement and pride when he presented me with this new 45rpm record, exclusively distributed to Beaver County Times newspaper haulers in the 1970s, complete with music canned and a recorded voice striving to hype up paperboys and papergirls on a new contest where they could win prizes.
I proudly hung this 45 disc above my desk for years, until the Times left Bridgewater.
Count me among the multitudes who reflect what an honor it was to know Jerry.
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Scott Tady is the local entertainment reporter for the Beaver County Times and Ellwood City Ledger. He is easy to reach at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @scotttady.