Scott Tady: Skeeter Hill reunites for Aliquippa show - Entertainment & Life - The Times - Republik City News
Entertainment

Scott Tady: Skeeter Hill reunites for Aliquippa show – Entertainment & Life – The Times

Country-rockers Skeeter Hill Band will reunite Aug. 23 for a special show at Kendrew’s Lounge in Aliquippa.

One of the top Beaver County bands of the 1990s, Skeeter Hill will return to the stage, for one night only, original members Joe Munroe, Tony Hunt, Tim Tharp and Bob Hage, with three other alums, Rich Mannion, Larry Walser and Joe Feick, also taking part.

Keyboardist Munroe is fresh off that little gig he played at FedEx Stadium in Washington D.C. as a member of the Pittsburgh rock band Ghost Hounds opening for the legendary Rolling Stones.

The other Skeeter Hill members have fared well, too. Hage and Hunt backed up Hopewell Township’s nationally touring triplets Chandler in the early 2000s. Hunt also played guitar for regional stalwarts the Corbin Hanner Band. Mannion is staff pianist for the Wheeling Jamboree, and plays keys and does some vocals for Bobby Thompson & The Groove, which will represent western Pennsylvania next year in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

The Skeeter Hill reunion will showcase the talents of a group that opened shows for major acts like Waylon Jennings, Billy Ray Cyrus, Collin Raye, The Oak Ridge Boys, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Kentucky Headhunters and Travis Tritt.

“There were some others but we couldn’t remember the names,” Hage said.

Skeeter Hill routinely drew 400-plus music fans to Beaver County bars between 1990 and 1999.

Voted “Best in The Valley” by Beaver County Times readers, Skeeter Hill twice played the main stage at the huge Jamboree in The Hills in Ohio, and won battle of the bands in Youngstown and Washington, Pa.

Visit YouTube to see cool footage from a Skeeter Hill show at the former Armando’s lounge in Rochester Township. I’m sure they’d like to digitally edit some of those late-1990s hairdos, though the videos show excellent versions of songs like the Eagles’ “Life in The Fast Lane,” David Lee Murphy’s “Dust on The Bottle” and the country standard “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye.”

A group this seasoned should have little trouble picking up right where they left off 20 years ago.

“It’s going to be fun,” Hage said. “We are expecting quite a crowd.”

Tharp said, “All of us have a love and passion for music, and this reunion gives us a chance to share that again.”

The show begins at 8 p.m. with Ben Flint. Pedal steel player John Rickard will play a few songs, too.

There’s a $5 cover, with no advance ticket sales. I’m telling you early, so you can make plans accordingly.

 

Midland principal surviving cancer

Midland School District Principal Brenda Militello is the special guest in Episode Seven of the “I Had Cancer Podcast.”

Pittsburgh radio personality Bonny Diver hosts this new podcast, where Pittsburgh area cancer patients share their stories. 

Militello, of Beaver, discusses how severe abdominal pain sent her to the emergency room, and how she later was diagnosed with stage 3 uterine cancer. Her oncology team quickly developed an effective treatment plan that has made her cancer-free for two years. She says the strength she found in the people around her helped her beat the disease.

Sponsored by Allegheny Health Network, the “I Had Cancer Podcast” strives to engage, educate and inspire cancer patients and survivors and their loved ones by telling the stories of remarkable survivors. Episodes are archived, with new ones added each Tuesday, at ahn.org/IHadCancer, through Apple Podcast or the iHeart Radio app.

Diver is the traffic reporter for Pittsburgh’s iHeart Radio station cluster, and a cancer survivor herself. She is the founder of Hair Peace Charities, which helps local women with cancer pay for the purchase of wigs.

 

Fishing in Sewickley

Tell the fly fisherman in your life there’s a documentary they may want to see Monday in Sewickley. 

The award-winning “Live The Stream: The Story of Joe Humphreys,” screens at 6:30 p.m. at the Tull Theater, in partnership with the Wildlife Leadership Academy.

“Live The Stream” rented the theater for one night to share the story of renowned fly fisherman Joe Humphreys, a man “who was born to fly fish, lives to teach, and strives to pass on a respect for our local waters.”

The 93-minute feature won Best Adventure Film and Audience Award at the 2018 Breckenridge Film Festival and Best Documentary and Audience Award at the 2018 Reading Film Festival, while being selected for six other international film festivals.

Directors Lucas and Meigan Bell took almost 3.5 years making the film, and say it’s an inspiring story most everyone can appreciate, even if you’re not into fly fishing.

You can meet Meigan following the screening at an informal reception at The Tull with appetizers and refreshments. Tickets are $35, available at wildlifeleadershipacademy.org/LiveTheStream. A portion of proceeds go to Wildlife Leadership Academy, a nonprofit encouraging high school age youth to become “Conservation Ambassadors.”

 

Tidbits

• “American Idol” tryouts will take place Sept. 7 in Pittsburgh. Specifics, such as the location, will be announced soon. But you can register now to audition at abc.go.com/shows/american-idol/auditions.

• With scenes filmed in Pittsburgh and New Kensington, the comedy-mystery-drama “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” starring Cate Blanchett and Kristen Wiig, opens Friday in theaters.

About 25 students from Osborne Elementary School in the Quaker Valley School District and their music teacher, Steve Donnelly, appear in the film. Osborne parent Susan Ransom-Coyle served as second assistant director. Many of them are expected to attend Friday night’s screening at the nearby Tull Family Theater in Sewickley, where a red carpet will be set up, staffed by a photographer.

• Celebrity cook Steve Martorano announced on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” he’s adding a fourth location to his growing portfolio of restaurants: Martorano’s Prime at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh.

Martorano told Kimmel that the Pittsburgh restaurant, opening late this year, will fuse his popular Italian-American menu with high-end steakhouse staples. His colorful personality has made him a popular TV guest on “The View,” “Good Morning America” and “Kathie Lee & Hoda.”

In a Rivers Casino press release, Martorano said, “Pittsburgh is absolutely a foodie town, plus it has a strong Italian-American community. It’s a work-hard, play-hard city that’s proud of its history and always moving forward. I can relate to that. And the riverfront views from our Rivers Casino restaurant will take your breath away. I can’t wait to get up and running.”

Martorano now operates successful restaurants in Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Café Martorano, his flagship restaurant in Florida, was recognized by Open Table as among the “100 Hottest Restaurants in America” and has served celebrities including Shaquille O’Neal, Flo Rida, Joe Montana, Jamie Foxx, Vin Diesel and Kevin Hart.

 

UB40 entertains

UB40 bassist Norm Falconer took the stage first, gripping a glass of wine.

Red, red wine, of course.

Soon enough his eight bandmates surrounded him and promptly got busy last Sunday, providing a fun night of reggae-pop to a Jergel’s Rhythm Grille crowd old enough to remember UB40’s string of 1980s hits.

The British band, featuring five original members, played 90 minutes of danceable grooves, with one of the strongest crowd reactions greeting The Temptations’ “The Way You Do The Things You Do”. Two saxophones, trombone, hand percussion, drums, guitar and keys put a reggae spin on Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying in The Rain” and the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider.”

Duncan Brown is the singer, taking over for his brother Ali (who isn’t thrilled about that) in 2008. Duncan has a decent voice, nothing too standout or flashy, though the energy level lifted when he let Falconer take charge on a couple songs, including a new one “Broken Promises.” Falconer brought more of that soulful, testifying kind of vocal, carrying the Bob Marley banner with a message about “one love” unity among all peoples.

Percussionist Norm Hassan did some singing, too, handling the uptempo, reggae-rap vocal line important to the Neil Diamond-penned “Red Red Wine,” the band’s biggest cover hit saved for right before the encore. Amid his key role in that song, Hassan made sure to hand a few souvenir drumsticks to some pre-teen kids supervised by adults near the front of the stage. That earned an audience cheer.    

UB40 closed with “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” using a gentle, swaying rhythm consistent with the Elvis Presley original. 

It was just one of those easygoing, enjoyable shows. And perfect for a Sunday night, there was no opening act, just a deejay on stage spinning songs an hour before the advertised 8 p.m. start time, so the show ended by 9:30 p.m.

 

Scott Tady is entertainment editor at The Times and easy to reach at stady@timesonline.com.

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