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Lions Square Concerts continue on Sunday in Connellsville

| Thursday, June 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Sugar Mountain will be the final band to appear in the 2015 Scottdale summer concert series. band members are (from left) Pat Petrarca, Randy Miller, Dave Walters and Joe Golden.

Sugar Mountain, appearing Sunday at Lions Square, describe themselves as “different by design.”

The four band members have more than 100 years of collective performance experience.

“We are a unique four-piece band from Westmoreland County, playing a wide variety of music ranging from classic and southern rock to blues and Texas swing. Featuring the distinctive sound of the pedal steel guitar, along with guitar, bass and drums, we have been performing in the area for the past six years, with regular appearances at many local festivals, wineries and other live entertainment venues,” said band member Randy Miller.

Sugar Mountain performs music by artists such as Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Marshall Tucker, Commander Cody, Asleep At The Wheel, Merle Haggard, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tom Petty, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan, Delbert McClinton, The Beatles, Bob Marley, The Grateful Dead, George Strait, John Hiatt, Neil Young and Allman Brothers, along with some original material.

Band member Joe Golden plays guitars, banjo, fiddle and sings vocals. Golden was born, raised and still resides in Ligonier Valley. A graduate of Duquesne University, he has been playing stringed instruments all his life and has a particular affinity for roots music like blues, jazz and bluegrass. He is also an accomplished luthier, having apprenticed under a long-time craftsman on the Maine coast and then inheriting a shop full of tools when the man inexplicably leaped into the ocean.

Pat Petrarca plays pedal steel guitar, guitar, harmonicas, mandolin and sings vocals. He has been playing in various Western Pennsylvania bands for the past 25 years. He began as a guitarist attracted to the flatpicking style, later branching out to pedal steel. In addition to performing in theatrical productions such as “Stand By Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story” and “Always, Patsy Cline,” he has performed with bands like Old Crow, Lost Highway, Southbound and The Gypsy Knights and is an accomplished winemaker.

Dave Walters, a Latrobe resident, is percussionist. This drummer has a long and diverse resume including the U.S. military and time spent with Kenny Blake. His versatility is also on demand in jazz and theatrical circles. He is the one the rest of the band turns to for advice on arranging harmonies and chord voicings. He immerses himself in learning the nuances of some of the western swing and country-influenced music of Sugar Mountain.

Miller is on bass and vocals. He was born and raised in Pennsylvania Dutch Country and now lives in Acme. He has played in a variety of bands from jazz fusion in the 1970s, rock and techno in the 1980s, country in the 1990s and recently with an acoustic/ vocal band, Three Bricks Shy. After spending eight years on the prairie in South Dakota, where he says it's not the end of the world but you can see it from there, he decided he needed a change in landscape and moved to Western Pennsylvania, where he now lives with his wife and cats.

The band plays regularly at Greendance Winery and Sandhill Berries and has performed at the Mt. Pleasant Summer Concert Series and Twin Lakes.

The band will perform at Greendance Winery 1 to 4 p.m. July 4.

“Sugar Mountain takes great pride in our diverse songlist. We want to extend an invitation to all of our Fayette and Westmoreland County fans to come out and enjoy some live music on a summer evening at a very pleasant venue in Lions Square in downtown Connellsville,” said Miller.

Sugar Mountain's performance is one of 11 consecutive weeks of entertainment provided free to area residents and visitors through the efforts of the Connellsville Lions Club. Support is also provided for the concerts from the Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Connellsville. Lions members sell refreshments at the concession stand. Lions brooms are also sold, and eyeglass donations are accepted.

Enjoy this outdoor venue 7 to 9 p.m. each Sunday evening through the Sept. 1 finale, Harold Betters.

The Lions thank their sponsors who help make the concerts possible, including Atkins Music Center, Yough River Trail Council, Donna J. Evans Realty, Domino's Pizza, Duncan Service, Bud Murphy's Sports Bar & Restaurant, South Side Grocer, Suter Construction, John A. Fiesta Insurance Agency, George Puskar State Farm Insurance, Scottdale Bank & Trust and Oglevee Ltd. flowers for Lions Square.

There is plenty of free parking. Bring a lawn chair.

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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