Kittanning's Arts on the Allegheny music series opens with Gaelic Storm
When a band has been invited to participate three times in six years in a concert series, it's a safe bet that they have something good going on.
In the case of Celtic rockers Gaelic Storm, opening the free admission Arts on the Allegheny season in Kittanning on June 22 at the John P. Murtha Amphitheatre, Riverfront Park, that something is extremely good, say longtime fans and new converts of the group that first took the international spotlight in its cameo in the blockbuster film “Titanic.”
While the band's albums, including the new “Chicken Boxer,” have debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard World album charts, it's onstage where the best of the band's magic happens.
“Hands will hurt from clapping, feet will hurt from dancing, you will forget your problems for two hours,” guitarist and vocalist Steve Twigger says. He and frontman Patrick Murphy, native of Cork, Ireland, who once punched actor Russell Crowe, a story memorably captured in song, are the foundation of the group. Kiana Weber, former member of the violin troupe, Barrage, has replaced fiddler Jessie Burns.
“People love Gaelic Storm because they're lively, spirited and have great lyrics,” says Mary Ann Valasek,” chairwoman of the volunteer Arts on the Allegheny board. “The response has been overwhelming. People who didn't make the first two concerts don't want to miss this one, because they've heard so many great things about them.”
When they performed in 2011 for the second time, Valasek says it was evident that “the audience loved the band and the band loved the audience — enough to play through fairly constant rain when most bands and audiences would have run for cover. It was memorable for everyone.”
The band's 8:30 p.m. show will be preceded with a dose of indie rock from Kittanning and Ford City-based Ben Valasek and the Growlers, whose debut album is “Time Waits for No One,” at 7 p.m.; and Kittanning violin-fiddle soloist Matt Janovsky at 6 p.m. Janovsky, a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, plays Celtic, classic, country, rock, hip-hop and more.
“The amount of local talent that we have in this area is amazing. We want to include as many as possible each summer,” Mary Ann Valasek says.
For the series' second event — Party in the Park — country vocalist Cheree White from Worthington, the Abacus Jones rock band from Fayette County and classic rockers The Travelers, made up of members from Kittanning, Ford City and the Dayton area, will entertain on July 20. The day will include magician Tim Kutch of Kittanning, the popular Chili Cook-Off and the new “Best Ever Brownie Bake-Off.” Activities are set to begin at 1 p.m.
Krissie Jo Williams Band, with a repertoire of country and rock, and the Alle-Kiski rock band The Remedy will perform at the closing event of the season, Aug. 24, starting at 6 p.m. It will be headlined by the series return of one of Pittsburgh's favorite bands, who contractually cannot be named until later this summer.
“This kind of series is unique for a small town. We want to see it continue to thrive and grow,” Mary Ann Valasek says. The committee tries to present a variety of musical styles.
“The crowds keep growing. All the pieces come together to make this series work,” she adds. “It's an opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy good music and good times in a beautiful setting.”
Rex Rutkoski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4664 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Storms knock out power to several hundred in Western Pa.
- Judge dismisses UPMC ‘data breach’ lawsuit
- Penn State lands 4-star offensive lineman from Reading
- Steelers’ defense unfazed by noise, believes in potential
- Police charge third man in fatal shooting of teenager in Monroeville
- Mind was ‘falling apart,’ Colorado theater killing suspect says
- Inmate assaults Westmoreland County sheriff’s deputy at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital
- Judge: UPMC must provide in-network access to Highmark Medicare members
- Gunmen hijack buses in Pakistan, kill passengers
- Sources: Ex-House Speaker Hastert paid to conceal misconduct
- Gameday: Pirates at Padres, May 30, 2015