"We Got Some Friends Here!"by Monica L. Yasherfrom the city with the Stanley Cup Playoff Team-Pittsburgh!

Posted on 6/12/2009 by Monica Yasher

About an hour away from Pittsburgh nestled below the Laurel Highlands, lays a quiet little town called Ligonier, known for their town gazebo. Well, last week the quiet little town was anything but quiet as the Usual Suspects and the New Riders of the Purple Sage drove right into that little town and rocked it all night long. The Usual Suspects kicked off the show at the Ligonier Tavern and NRPS performed at the concert hall across the street. The town was transformed into a mini blues festival as the crowd goers worked their way between the two venues.

Now keep in mind that I am extremely partial to my friends, The Usual Suspects, and they were in prime form with some of the best blues around. Oh man, I Can’t Quit You Baby, either! And, these guys are far from Usual with their soulful blues. The band consists of: Mark Freddie, Gil Snyder, Joe Cunningham, James Hilton and Ed Fritz, Jr. Let me tell you, these guys made Thursday anything BUT so sad!

Mark Freddie

Directly across the street NRPS rode into town with their version of alternative country blues to an absolutely amazing stage. Now keep in mind that NRPS was to perform on the deck at the Inn. But, rain it will, and it seems that things happen for a reason. I spoke with Captain Toast, their manager, earlier in the day. It is really cool that someone who has been doing the tour thing as long as he has was truly excited about the stage! He was like a proud papa. And, he should have been! A saloon storefront was absolutely perfect for NRPS! I felt like I was in New Mexico or something! I was looking for a hot Sam Elliot. Sam wasn’t there (tear about here) but the night was hot!

The show was kicked off by Scarecrow (His singing was heartfelt. And, he looked unfrazzled when I know he was dealing with a broken down truck the night before-ah, the life on the road!). Scarecrow performed some acoustic guitar with excellent vocals to warm the crowd up. Buddy Cage jumped on stage and told Scarecrow to play something he knew. So off Scarecrow and Buddy went with a really fun version of Old Dan Tucker. Before going off stage Buddy shook hands with some fans-just because he seems to be a great guy!

Little Toast and Scarecrow did an excellent job with the sound. All the vocals where in excellent form, as all of the guys took on a solo through the night. When David Nelson finished singing Lost Lonely Eagle the guy sittin’ beside me said, “It don’t get better than that”. And, yes, Ronnie Penque (on the left), I was listening to Olivia Rose, you supposed wrong.

Johnny Markowski did a great job with Lochinvar. And, when Michael Falzarano sang Rainbow, well he can stop in any old time and sing to me!

Even though they were all a standout, I remember just closing my eyes takin’ in the fabulous harmonies these guys have. Their sound can steal any girl’s heart! And, steal they did. They stole that crowd right out of their seats to the front of the stage from the first song to the last. I couldn’t count how many people were dancing in front of the stage. The crowd ranged in age anywhere from about 19 to 70. And, this band doesn’t discriminate, they loved ‘em all the same. How do I know that? It’s what Buddy said and I quote, “We Got Some Friends Here!” Yeah guys, you are right, you have a friend in Pennsylvania. You come back now-hear?

          upcoming interview with Johnny Markowski

You may enjoy reading about this artist of Moonalice, GE Smith.

Copyright © 2009 Copyright Monica L. Yasher. All Rights Reserved.

Photograph Copyright © 2009 Maureen Ceidro. All Rights Reserved.

American Blues News Staff

What makes American Blues News unique is our coverage across America. Here is our lineup:

Mon: Memphis Correspondent - Robert "Nighthawk" Tooms
Nighthawk is our resident globetrotter and man behind the scenes, as he tours with the Reba Russell Band.

Tues: New York Correspondent - J. Blake
Blake is the American Blues News review and interview guru. You may catch him out and about in NY playing the blues.

Wed: National Correspondent - Monica Yasher
Monica is our executive director and artist interview specialist. You can catch Monica singing the blues around Pittsburgh or working on some country music songs in Nashville.

Thurs: Washington, DC Correspondent - Virginiabluesman
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Jim Stick in Colorado
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Maureen Elizabeth, our resident art correspondent, will be focusing on blues art as she explores the creation of CD covers, or speaking with artists who also have a love of creating pictorial art in addition to their music! She may also feature some of her good friends in the Pittsburgh area. In her love of art, you may find Maureen's photography accompanying writer's articles on our pages. Maureen is also our marketing director.

Pittsburgh correspondent and photographer, CR Bennett, will share the Pittsburgh scene with all of you. You may also see CR's pictures accompanying other writer's articles.

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