Category Archives: Uncategorized

Former city resident returns with ‘Remembrance’ display

Our Town Correspondent

Multimedia artist and Johnstown native Peter Calaboyias has an exhibit at Bottle Works—Arts on Third Avenue that is featured in both the Bottle Works building and the neighboring Art Works building.

The exhibit, titled “Remembrance,” opened Oct. 21 and is to remain on display through Jan. 13.

The exhibit showcases the versatility of Calaboyias as an artist, featuring more than 70 pieces of work representing a variety of mediums that include drawing, painting and sculpture. Some of the pieces are new, while others date back to the 1960s.

Calaboyias, who resides and maintains a studio in Pittsburgh, is an artist whose work has been featured on Penn State’s campus as well as inside the Pittsburgh International Airport.

Bottle Works Executive Director Angela Rizzo said that this will be Calaboyias’ largest show ever to be featured in Johnstown. The last time his work was exhibited in the city was in 2003, the same year when Calaboyias was inducted into the Bottle Works Hall of Fame.

“We should be thrilled and honored that he is a native,” Rizzo said. “Many of his works are inspired by Johnstown or Greece. Both places obviously have had a huge influence in his life.”

Calaboyias was born in 1940 Icaria, Greece, but his family settled in Johnstown in 1946. His father was a partner in the Franklin Lunch restaurant along Franklin Street. Calaboyias lived in Brownstown, Conemaugh Borough and Kernville. During his younger years, he said he felt “confined” by the city and his surroundings.

“We did not own a car and only left town in the summer to visit relatives in Ohio,” Calaboyias said. “As I looked around there were mountains on every horizon. I rarely traveled beyond and felt confined.”

So, after receiving his high school diploma on June 6, 1958, from Johnstown High, Calaboyias set forth on a new journey and traveled to New York, where he enrolled at New York University.

“My interest was in math studies and maybe engineering,” Calaboyias said, “but I always enjoyed the art experience. It could be that while in the Belgian Congo, as children, we made toys from weeds, sticks and natural materials.”

In New York, he met a “sea of unusual people,” including artists and actors. He and his new friends often traveled to galleries, and that’s when Calaboyias began to further develop his interest in art.

“It was abstract expressionism era, and I was attracted to some small welded steel sculptures,” he said.

Later that year, however, Calaboyias received a phone call from his father. He and his brother were needed at the restaurant back in Johnstown.

“Of course, I had to return,” he said. “I always wondered where my life would have led me if I had stayed in New York.”

Calaboyias returned to the restaurant and to school — this time, Penn State.

“At Penn State, I was interested in engineering, but also added studio courses to my schedule,” he said. 

“One day, the dean of the art education department stopped in to the clay studio and approached me to see my clay creation. He later encouraged me to consider art education as a major with studio arts studies. I had great admiration for him — Victor Lowenfeld, the father of modern art education curriculums.”

From there, Calaboyias settled in Pittsburgh. For six years, he taught with the Pittsburgh Public Schools. The next phase of his teaching career involved 27 years with Community College of Allegheny County and 19 years at Grove City College as an artist-in-residence. He also had the opportunity to teach at Carnegie-Mellon University.

He later received his master’s in education in art from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and, in between his teaching duties, Calaboyias found the time to exhibit his works. He said that his work was warmly received and began to draw attention “almost immediately.”

“In the summer of 1963, I lived in Oakland, near the University of Pittsburgh, with a driveway where I began welding metal,” he said. “On an August evening of 1963, a few artists and I held an exhibition in the driveway. There were a great number of visitors, and the next day, the Pittsburgh Press had a story about the three artists exhibiting on Filmore Street.”

In his artist’s statement, Calaboyias wrote that “Artists need to exhibit to an audience. Some artists may never exhibit and their works will get lost in the passage of time.”

Calaboyias believes that artists should exhibit their work as much as they can.

“There are documentations of artists who earned great fame, but, in time, slowly vanished from the journals of art. Although their art survived, it is now a footnote in history,” he said. “Other artists quickly established their talent, supported by great and generous patrons, showcased in museums and books. Their contributions to contemporary art progression of that period secured their fame. The question arises, of others such as Van Gogh who never sold a painting and is one of the most loved and appreciated artists in history.

“All artists need to share their work with the people. A brush stroke on a canvas, a note played on a piano, a poetic verse spoken is in utter darkness until it falls on the eyes and ears of a patron. Art does not exist alone. It will die. Those that love it will keep it alive.”

Some of Calaboyias’ major permanent installations can be seen on the campuses of Juniata College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Grove City College. Other installations can be found in Pittsburgh’s Mellon Park, West Park and on the “North Side.”

One of his most recognized works was a commission for the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. He described his sculpture, titled “Tribute,” as one of his most challenging pieces.

“I prepared a small model made from a small brass sheet cut into an arc, and then using play dough, pinched three figures into the cut out spaces. I had reasoned in the presentations of other sculptors’ works viewed by the Olympic Committee of Atlanta, my chances may not have been great,” he said. 

“It was only when I had the opportunity to present my concept with this simple model and explain the symbolism of the history of the Olympics did the committee notice. The committee recessed and, upon returning to the room, announced my model as the winner. This was an unbelievable moment in my life.”

In 1965 a piece of Calaboyias’ work came to Johnstown as part of a recognition for U.S. Steel Chairman Roger Blough. U.S. Steel installed one of Calaboyias’ works at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena and that’s when Calaboyias said that he “came full circle, back to Johnstown.”

“Remembrance” brings him back to Johnstown once again, and the exhibit holds traces of his time spent in Kernville.

“Images in my paintings and sculptures remind me of discarded small objects I would find in the alleys and streets of Conemaugh Borough,” he said. “I would take them home and organize some sort of structure and pretended (as most young children) that it was something of imagination.

“As I recall my life from the time I can remember on the island of Ikaria, we traveled to Africa and back to the island. I never really had a childhood or a home. Arriving in Johnstown at the age of 7 until I graduated, Johnstown was home. My memories are in Johnstown. My friends, family, education, where I worked on weekends, the teenage dances and events, the sports and the multitude of youthful experiences are those that we remember and sometimes long for to relive if only in memories. The theme ‘Remembrance’ is the connection between the now and then.”

He said he’s looking forward to giving viewers an opportunity to connect with his pieces.

“Art exhibits and the artists who prepare works to be exhibited do have a technique, style, theme, medium or message they wish to share with the viewer. I, too, have a technique, style, theme, medium and message: How a visitor perceives the work depends on how much knowledge he knows about the artist. The art is not separated from the life of the artist. What one takes away is what one brings to the exhibit,” he said.

“As an advocate of the arts, a complete understanding acquired through the pursuit of knowledge will open up the pages of history to the inner eye and soul of every person. It is the flip-book of the accomplishments of mankind.”

Calaboyias said he’s thrilled to exhibit his work in Johnstown once again.

“Johnstown did not have an art museum, gallery or art activities. I credit the patrons, supporters and visionaries that have created an empty building into a vibrant and living art center. I am very pleased to be an exhibiting artist in my hometown,” he said.

And now, as an adult, Calaboyias can appreciate the city more than he did when he was a teenager.

“A few years ago, I returned to Johnstown for a day and photographed all the neighborhoods I remembered, plus the Inclined Plane, the steel mills, schools, churches, Main Street and many other landmarks,” he said. “For some reason, I yearned to document through photographs those memories.”

Calaboyias said that it is important to appreciate where you came from.

“We all have ‘roots.’ To not acknowledge your piece of earth is to deny your relative place in time and space,” he said. 
“Who we are, what we are and what have we contributed feeds from the roots we were born. It is inescapable.” 

For more information about this exhibit, visit or call a staff member at 814-535-2020 or 814-536-5399.

Bottle Works and Art Works’ gallery hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“Come show support and let his work inspire you,” Rizzo said.

‘Symphony Spectacular’ to include a circus touch

Photo credit:
Photo credit:


The Johnstown Symphony Orchestra opens its 2016-17 concert season next week with “Symphony Spectacular,” a unique program combining orchestra music with live circus choreography. The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center, 301 Napoleon St. in Johnstown.

The evening marks the debut of James Blachly, the orchestra’s new music director, leading the orchestra in musical selections that include Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks” and Hector Berlioz’s “Symphonie fantastique,” accompanied by a specially choreographed live performance by circus professionals from Muse Circus of Brooklyn, New York.

Along with the season-opening musical performance, those who attend may enjoy an elegant dinner, cocktails and dancing, play circus-themed games, mingle with the featured acrobats, have an opportunity to win prizes and bid on items in a silent auction.

Tickets to this event and/or the entire 2016-17 concert season may be purchased online at or by calling the symphony office at 814-535-6738. 

Rively, Baldwin set to play SongWorks Dinner

Carole Rively.	 Submitted photo
Carole Rively.
Submitted photo

Our Town Correspondent

Musicians Carole Rively and Denise Baldwin are scheduled to entertain audiences Sept. 8 as part of this month’s SongWorks Dinner at The Grand Halle.

Known throughout the area music scene, Baldwin and Rively are veteran performers and members of SongWorks, a local group of musicians who meet monthly to work on their original songs.

For this show, titled “Say Hello,” Baldwin and Rively will perform for the first time as a duo. Their setlist includes original music as well as some covers.

“Audiences should anticipate something new when Denise and Carole perform,” Grand Halle Manager Dave Hurst said. “When such deeply experienced musicians collaborate, we should expect something special.”

The “Say Hello” concert also marks the first time a new ticket-sales system will be implemented at The Grand Halle.

“The Grand Halle is building a reputation as a premier performance and special-events venue,” Grand Halle Program Director Kim Rauch said. “Now we have a professional box-office system in place to properly and efficiently serve our patrons.”

Those who plan to attend SongWorks Dinners — as well as any other open-to-the-public event at The Grand Halle — have the option to reserve and purchase their tickets in advance online using a credit or debit card. Patrons can visit and click on the button that reads “Buy Tickets.” From there, patrons will be directed to a detailed list that describes upcoming special events and shows. Patrons can select the event they would like to attend, purchase the tickets, choose their seats, pay for their tickets and then print them. 

When patrons arrive at the door on the day of the event, their tickets will be scanned and they will be granted entry. Performance-only tickets still will be available for purchase at the door, but walk-ins also have the option to pay by credit or debit card if they so choose.

“This system will make it very convenient for Grand Halle patrons,” Hurst said. “They can pay by credit/debit card and print their tickets at home. They’ll be able to reserve as many seats (or tables) as they want. Eventually, we also expect to offer flex passes and season tickets. None of this was possible before.

“Our other goal is to make Grand Halle operations more professional. This new system will enable us to promote ticket sales via social media, create complimentary tickets and sponsor passes and account for all of it as well.”

Though the deadline for dinner reservations for the “Say Hello” show has already passed, those who are interested can pay a nominal admission fee at the door in order to enjoy the 90-minute musical performance component of the evening. Performance-only tickets can be purchased at the door beginning as early as 5:45 p.m.

The SongWorks Dinner Series, which is held May through December, is in its fourth season. Each evening features a catered meal and live music. The live music is provided by members of SongWorks, a group of musicians who meet regularly in a workshop-type setting. The group meets at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month at the Bottle Works in Cambria City and is open to anyone interested in creating music. The group’s official website is

The Grand Halle on Broad Street (formerly Immaculate Conception church) is located at 306 Broad St., on the corner of Broad and Third Avenue, in the Cambria City Cultural District. 

For more information about this performance, call 814-536-7986, and for more information about all of the upcoming concerts at The Grand Halle on Broad Street, visit

Group to host ‘Young Historians’ program

Our Town Correspondent

Parents whose children are interested in history might well be interested in giving them an opportunity to enroll in Ligonier Valley Historical Society’s “Young Historians” program.

Society members are offering this six-week program to students in grades six through eight. It is scheduled to take place Sept. 24, Oct. 1, Oct. 8, Oct. 15, Oct. 22 and Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to noon with the exception of Oct. 22; that session will take place during “Halloween Hauntings,” from 6 to 9 p.m.

During each session, students are to have the opportunity to explore both the Ligonier Valley Historical Society and Compass Inn Museum. They are to learn how to collect their own family stories, learn about the life as it was in the 18th and 19th centuries, participate in a treasure hunt through the archives and be taught valuable skills.

“They will have a chance to see how their own personal family history fits into the larger picture,” said Malori Stevenson, innkeeper, program coordinator and historian. “They also will have a chance to explore areas that are normally off-limits to the public and children — archives and collections — and help preserve some of these items. The whole experience will be hands-on.

“This experience is different than our school tours and summer camps. ‘Young Historians’ lets the kids do history in new and exciting ways. This is an enrichment experience. Kids will learn skills that will build on what they learn in the classroom while doing hands-on activities that make history fun. The program will also be a family experience. Kids will learn how to collect family stories and have a chance to preserve them.”

Stevenson will lead each session.

“I love showing kids that history is more than a list of facts in a textbook,” she said. “History is alive and interactive, especially the act of preserving the past. History is fun for me, and I hope to convey that to the kids.”

“Young Historians” is part of Ligonier Valley Historical Society’s “Engaging Kids with History” initiative, which gives children hands-on experience as it relates to historical topics.

The “Young Historians” program will conclude during “Halloween Hauntings,” where participants can enjoy telling spooky stories by candlelight.

There is a fee to participate in the “Young Historians” program. For more information or to enroll your children, call 724-238-4983 or email

“Understanding the past is vital to making sense of the present and the future,” Stevenson said. “It explains why we are the way we are, and can cultivate empathy. It helps us understand the world around us. The skills learned in ‘doing’ history are transferable across the disciplines. 

“Besides, when done right, history is fun and relevant.”

New exhibits featured in Cambria City

Our Town Correspondent

Two new exhibits are on display at Bottle Works Arts on Third Avenue in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood.

“Rug Hooking Today” by Jan Henger is on display in the Bottle Works building, while “Connections” by Brian Dumm and Ramon Riley is on display in the neighboring Art Works building.

Photo credit: Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center Facebook page. A piece entitled “Spring Flowers” from the “Rug Hooking Today” exhibit at Bottle Works Arts on Third Avenue.
Photo credit: Bottle Works Ethnic Arts Center Facebook page.
A piece entitled “Spring Flowers” from the “Rug Hooking Today” exhibit at Bottle Works Arts on Third Avenue.

Henger’s rug hooking exhibit features 28 wool rugs, most of which are available for purchase.

The art form known as rug hooking involves the artist pulling yarn or other fabrics through a stiff woven base. The term “hooking” comes from the crochet-type hook used. Rug hooking originated in the mid-1800s in America and Canada; materials used were primitive in nature, but nowadays, rug hookers enjoy more variety when it comes to fabrics.

Henger’s exhibit highlights her efforts to restore the art form in a unique, contemporary way. She is a 13-year member of The Heart of Dixie Rug Bees, a group of 17 women who share their love of and dedication to the art form.

The Alabama-based artist, who is originally from Johnstown, learned how to hook from her sister.

“Whenever you design a rug, part of the process is choosing colors, and I even dye my own wool,” she said. “It’s like watercolor or any painting. If you don’t use the right colors, the result won’t be what you hope.”

In addition to teaching art, Henger has also experimented with other mediums, including calligraphy and stained glass.

Fellow artists Dumm and Riley have also taught art. The two met while each was pursuing a master’s at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Dumm is a professional illustrator whose work has been featured in more than 100 publications around the world.

When he’s not creating art, the active member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators and the Allied Artists of Johnstown enjoys playing music.

Dumm’s latest creations focus on addressing underlying themes in pop cultural tendencies and sociopolitical issues, both historical and contemporary. He is inspired by life experiences from a rural American middle-class perspective, and uses these experiences to note correlations and contrasts between the past, present and future.

Riley’s work, meanwhile, utilizes poured paint foundations to integrate the representational with abstract expression. His background as an art teacher at Pine-Richland High School has encouraged him to become a proponent of art education in public schools.

In 2014, he spearheaded the “Where I Am From” project, which allowed his Pine-Richland High School students to work with Woodland Hills High School (Riley’s alma mater) students in a communal studio environment.

Riley’s and Dumm’s exhibit, “Connections,” highlights connections to artists’ origins and where they are going, both physically and conceptually.

“More than ever, I value shared experiences,” Riley said. “When we can make a connection with others, art is present long before any art works have been created. Being able to create with my friend and show the work gives me the opportunity to share my cherished moments with an audience.”

These artists are also planning to participate in “Art Bites,” Bottle Work’s series of artist talks. Dates and times will be made available to Our Town readers when they become available.

Both exhibits will remain on display through Aug. 6. For more information, visit or call a staff member at 814-535-2020 or 814-536-5399.

Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.



‘Lightning At The Door’
10 songs, 55 minutes
New West Records (2014)

It’s difficult to mute the enthusiasm when discussing this band and, particularly, this album.

“Lightning At The Door” is a sensational collection of songs that borrow from many greats of many genres. It’s Delta, doom and brooding blues. It’s Far East, deep South and stoner rock.

In essence, it’s a creative achievement worthy of its own aspirations.

From the revelatory opener, “Funeral for a Great Drunken Bird” — featuring jazz-style drumming, feedback and pentatonic dissonance — to the capstone closer, “Mountain,” this record is infused with excellence.

An absolutely masterful effort.


Review: Second ‘Cloverfield’ outshines the first


“10 Cloverfield Lane” has been billed as a “spiritual successor” to 2008’s “Cloverfield.” This is an infuriating term that conjures up images of either a glorified remake or an unrelated film trying to cash in on the “Cloverfield” name. 

To be fair, it does somewhat fall into the latter category. From that perspective, it probably brings to mind “Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2,” also a barely related steady-cam successor to a shaky-cam original. This movie is better than “Book of Shadows,” but that’s not much of an achievement. What is an achievement is that it’s better than “Cloverfield.”

Gone is the grand scale of “Cloverfield.” You won’t see the decapitated heads of any national landmarks rolling down the middle of a busy street here. Instead we get an underground bunker in rural Louisiana populated by three people. Howard (John Goodman) is the owner and master of the shelter. Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.) is a well-meaning neighbor who forced himself inside at the last minute. And Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is a young woman fleeing from her boyfriend who got in a car accident near the shelter. Howard pulled her from the wreckage and brought her to the bunker right before an attack on the planet left the surface uninhabitable.

As outlandish as it sounds, there’s evidence to back Howard up, not the least of which is confirmation from Emmett and affected animals visibly rotting outside. 

But Howard’s a hard guy to trust. He may be a survival expert, but he could do with some lessons in tact. He doesn’t have a clue how to be sensitive and reassuring to the scared Michelle, whose head is swimming with questions and who woke up chained in an unfamiliar setting (for her own good, according to him). Pretty much the best he can do is soften his voice to a whine, and that’s when he’s not being gruff or downright threatening. He clearly has a screw loose, and may be the last person on Earth you’d want to have power over you, even if he is one of the last people on Earth. It’s easy to dislike Howard, but more than that you’ll just really want him to be wrong.

The film is a very tense and suspenseful cramped-quarters movie. Michelle desperately wants to escape, even though she’s constantly told that there’s nothing to escape to. But it’s just so tempting to want to get away from Howard, who’s an unpleasant control freak at best and something much more dangerous at worst. He manages to turn a simple party game into the scariest scene in the movie (but also the funniest). Mind games abound, and you’ll wonder just how long these three will be able to tolerate each other. 

It gets to a point where it doesn’t seem to matter what’s outside — anything has to be better than what’s inside. 

Of course, then there’s the matter of having to deal with what’s outside.

The end of the film is disappointing, not because there’s nothing to it (as one might suspect), but because it devolves the film into the kind of hide-and-chase movie that we’ve all seen before. It might have done well to ditch the “Cloverfield” association so there’s more of a mystery as to what’s really going on (then again, it would be admittedly harder to get people interested in this movie without the franchise name recognition). 

But otherwise this is a tight low-budget thriller that is one of the better low-budget thrillers I’ve seen in a while. Winstead is sympathetic, Goodman is terrifying and I wouldn’t mind seeing a follow-up involving the survivor(s) of this movie. 

Both “Cloverfield” films do a good job of being unnerving, and while the first one does a better job of seeming spontaneous, “10 Cloverfield Lane,” with its smarter script and more interesting characters, is the superior film.

(“10 Cloverfield Lane” is rated PG-13 for thematic material including frightening sequences of threat with some violence and brief language. Its running time is 103 minutes. Robert Garver is a graduate of the cinema studies program at New York University. Feedback is welcome at

Bottle Works organizing bus trip

Our Town Correspondent

Bottle Works Arts on Third will offer a bus trip April 7 to the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Frick Art and Historical Center in Pittsburgh, with a stop at The Church Brew Works for dinner.

The Lodestar bus will leave Bottle Works, located along Third Avenue in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood, at 9:30 a.m. The first stop, arriving at approximately 11 a.m., will be Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where participants can spend a few hours enjoying the Spring Flower Show.

This year’s show, titled “Masterpieces in Bloom,” opens to the public March 12.

Designed by Hays Landscape Architecture Studio, the flower show offers viewers an opportunity to celebrate not only spring, but also a variety of influential artists. Botanical renderings of famous paintings by Van Gogh, Monet and Edmund Leighton are part of the experience.

Flowers in the show include pink and red snapdragons, white orchids, delphiniums, forget-me-nots, primula, tulips and more. Hundreds of flowers will be on display, and Bottle Works Executive Director Angela Rizzo said it is sure to be impressive.

“Phipps is breathtaking any time of year,” Rizzo said. “But, ironically, the spring show is combining the arts and flowers — a very exciting concept that ties into our mission. The exhibit will feature vibrant colors and flowers blooming, which can’t help but get you excited for spring and summer.

“Phipps is breathtaking just seeing the exhibits, but they are a leader in green buildings and sustainability. That is a hot topic right now. Even if you aren’t big into horticulture or plants, it is still an inspiring place.”

At 2 p.m., bus trip participants will travel to the Frick Art and Historical Center, where they can view the center’s current exhibit, “Fast Cars and Femmes Fatales: The Photographs of Jacques Henri Lartigue.”

Lartigue, who grew up as part of a wealthy family in France, was born in 1894. He was given a camera at the age of 6 and began to document life in the Belle-Époque, a time period in western Europe characterized by innovations, optimism and prosperity. 

Lartigue’s photographs, which are described as eccentric and experimental, document his and his family’s unique adventures from 1907 to 1958.

“He seems like an interesting photographer who really had a lot of fun with his camera,” Rizzo said. “Just reading the description and seeing some images on the website, the show sounds extremely fascinating and entertaining, plus fun, eccentric and playful.”

The bus will depart Frick Art and Historical Center around 4:15 p.m. for its final destination, The Church Brew Works. Much like Johnstown’s own Venue of Merging Arts (VOMA), a church-turned-arts-venue, The Church Brew Works is a church-turned-restaurant located in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood.

“Again, it is a unique stop, a place a lot of people always talk about,” Rizzo said. “This is another stop showing the cultural side of Pittsburgh. Church Brew Works shows an out-of-the-box idea of what these wonderful architectural buildings could be if no longer being used for their traditional purpose.”

Previously St. John’s the Baptist Church, The Church Brew Works was renovated into a restaurant that offers a variety of dishes, from soups and salads to entrees featuring chicken, beef and fish. The restaurant highlights and utilizes many of the church’s former fixtures, including pews that serve as seating for diners. 

In addition to the stained glass windows, one of the restaurant’s most unique attractions is the large steel and copper tanks full of home-brewed beer that have totally transformed the former altar space.

The bus is scheduled to return to Bottle Works by 8 p.m. that same day. There is a cost to participate, and Bottle Works members receive a discount.

The price for the bus trip includes the transportation fee, admission to all locations, cost of dinner and a tip for the bus driver.

“Get out of the house, experience places you may have never been before, and let us do all the planning and coordinating,” Rizzo said. “It is going to be a very fun day.”

For more information about the bus trip or to reserve a seat, call a Bottle Works staff member at 814-535-2020 or 814-536-5399.



‘The Only Truth . . .’
10 songs, 29 minutes
GFY Music (2014)

Weapons Of Choice aren’t reinventing the hardcore punk subgenre. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it a whole lot of justice.

Released in 2014, “The Only Truth . . .” packs 10 tight tracks into a blistering 29 minutes. The sound has a certain gritty garage quality, which, if anything, enhances their raw form of music. There’s some over-loud crowd-inciting choruses and plenty opportunities to headbang.

Punkers who love the shoulder-to-shoulder intensity of small clubs and big amps will appreciate Weapons Of Choice, who sound somewhat like The Ramones jamming with Page Hamilton of Helmet.

For a sampling of this Pittsburgh-based group, check out “The Only Truth . . .” on Spotify or ReverbNation.



‘Glory Junkies’
10 songs, 35 minutes
Self-released (2015)

With a show coming up in August at Listie’s Wells Creek Station, it was as good a time as any to look at the latest release from Boston’s Danielle Miraglia.

Showing a combination of singer’s spunk and swagger, Miraglia may remind you a little of Reba or Bonnie Raitt. And in “Glory Junkies” she shows she’s got a bit of an ax to grind, eviscerating adherents of our narcissistic, Facebook-obsessed culture with her honky-tonk band providing the soundtrack.

Funny and bittersweet “Heat of the Win” recalls her father’s frustration with his beloved BoSox, and Bill Buckner in particular. And “Pigeons” is an up-front, achingly honest look at the artist’s inner workings. Both songs are all acoustic, and the best overall on the album.

While there’s nothing wrong with her full-band ensemble, Miraglia’s at her strongest when she’s alone with her six-string. 


Resort prepares for spring break bash

Our Town Corresponden

West Virginia’s Snowshoe Mountain Resort has announced the event and entertainment lineup for the 2015 Ballhooter Spring Break event.

Ballhooter is an annual spring break and college party celebration that features free live music, a “red cup” competition, giveaways and more.

Representatives from the resort said that though the event is fairly new, in only in its third year, attendance continues to steadily increase.

“With over a dozen campuses in close driving proximity, we love that more students are coming to our mountain to blow off a little steam, ski the mountain, listen to live music and hang out with their friends in a fun and affordable environment,” Snowshoe Mountain Resort Marketing Director David Dekema said. “We have watched this event grow in popularity and are happy to announce we’ve added a lot more activities for this year’s event and expanded it across nine days.”

Ballhooter Spring Break will take place this year March 6 through March 14. The event will feature live performances from numerous bands, including headliner and platinum-selling Celtic punk rock band Dropkick Murphys. Dropkick Murphys — whose most popular songs include “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” “Tessie” and “The Boys are Back” — are to perform on an outdoor festival stage in the center of Snowshoe’s mountaintop village March 7.

“We are excited to have the Dropkick Murphys at our annual festival,” Dekema said. “We’ve added a slew of Irish-themed events, including a ‘build-your-kilt party’ for students to get into the spirit.”

The Ballhooter kilt-making party kicks off the festival March 6 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. While making kilts, guests can also enjoy special pricing on Irish-inspired beverages. The Shawn Owen Band will perform at 10 p.m.

March 7 events include Ballhooter Irish Spring Games, Ballhooter Pre-Game Happy Hour and live entertainment from The Mahones and Blood and Whiskey before Dropkick Murphys take the stage at 8:30 p.m. Music will continue inside Connection Nightclub with The Pietasters at 10 p.m.

Sunday’s major event is a Hootenanny Pot ‘O Gold Treasure Hunt. Events such as Mountain Madness Dunk for Junk Contest, Mega Red Cup Bounce-Off Competition and Human Foosball Contest are to take place throughout the week.

March 13 and March 14 events include a Battle of the DJ’s Competition and Ballhooter Spring Break Beach Bash, respectively. Live music inside Connection Nightclub will conclude the event.

Ballhooter Spring Break is named after the ballhooters who were part of Cheat Mountain’s history long before Snowshoe Mountain came into existence.

“Ballhooters” were loggers who pitched giant logs down the mountain with reckless abandon. The festival pays respect to the ballhooters’ wild spirits.

Snowshoe Mountain Resort is offering discounted lodging and lift tickets for the Ballhooter event online at or by calling Snowshoe reservations at 1-877-441-4386.