How are we going to keep Joe Munroe playing at Beaver County concerts after he performs at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles?
Beaver Station Cultural & Event Center has found a way next weekend, pairing the Ghost Hounds’ outstanding keyboardist with A-list Pittsburgh vocalist Katie Simone.
Check out the Katie & Joe show at 8 p.m. on February 26 at the lovingly restored Beaver Station.
They’ll play a set or two of eclectic pop-rock hits
“We’re going to be doing original material and some of our favorite covers and as many requests as possible,” said Beaver Valley Musicians Hall of Fame inductee Munroe. “And if that doesn’t go well, we’ll start telling stories about our favorite pets over the years.”
Simone said, “We haven’t played some of my original songs since around the time we recorded them, so I’m going to have to relearn a lot of what I wrote.”
Simone did a fabulous vocal on “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” at Elton John’s tribute last summer at Linn Park in Beaver. The ringleader that night was Munroe, in a pink feather boa, signing and playing keys like Sir Elton.
As organist for the Ghost Hounds, Munroe entertained thousands last year as the bluesy rock band opened seven Rolling Stones concerts in Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville; Los Angeles; Tampa; Austin, TX; Hollywood, Florida; and hometown Heinz Field.
He and Simone regularly team up for gigs in Pittsburgh. See them at Beaver for $30, which includes adult drinks. Tickets are at RSVP.BeaverStation.org.
Aliquippa doc waits
A documentary on Aliquippa has been selected for the Chicago Irish Film Festival.
This means people in Beaver Valley can watch “Aliquippa PA – It’s All About People”.
“They will screen the film online throughout the virtual festival (March 7-13),” said Valerie Smith, co-producer of “Aliquippa PA – It’s All About The People.” “Ordinarily the festival is only available in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, but as a special favor for us they have agreed to open it to Pennsylvania. This means the people of Aliquippa can now see the film in their homes.”
Visiting chicagoirishfilmfestival.com, and by purchasing a ticket ($12 for adults, $10 for seniors/students, on sale now), locals can view the 44-minute film’s exploration of how a small American town survived the economic devastation. Aliquippa Lounge owner Maria Rubino, Mayor Dwan Walker and former Quips football coach Mike Zmijanic are touted as examples of the city’s resilience.
You might be wondering: what does it have to do with an Irish film festival in Chicago?
“We qualified because our manager, Peter Kinkead, is Northern Irish,” said Smith, from England. “Festival director Jude Blackburn’s comments were ‘congratulations on a wonderful documentary filled with so many stories of hope and faith, we really appreciated the people we met throughout the film.'”
Co-producer Bernadette Callaghan, originally from Aliquippa, conceived the idea for the documentary.
As the tagline says, “This film shines a light on what the word ‘community’ means in America today.”
He’s so sax
One of the few things Brian Wilson forgot to include in the Beach Boys’ classic “God Only Knows” was the alluring saxophone.
Eddie Manion covered it.
Manion, a notable transplant from the Pittsburgh music scene, includes a charming “God Only Knows” on her satisfying cover album, “Coastin’ In,” which arrives Feb. 28.
“I played ‘God Only Knows’ with Brian Wilson for a Little Kids Rock performance in New York hosted by Stevie Van Zandt and was asked to write horn arrangements,” Manion said. “Writing these arrangements made me realize how beautiful ‘God Only Knows’ is and how musically involved it is. Years later, in 2019, as horn director with Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, I was lucky enough to see Brian Wilson perform “God Only Knows” in California on a day off from our Summer Of Sorcery tour, but the main reason I wanted to record a sax instrumental version of this classic Beach Boy is the melody. I lost my mother in 2018 at the start of this tour, and “God Only Knows”, along with a few other songs, like “If” by (Bread) were chosen to pay tribute to her. mother bought me my first saxophone when I was 10 in 1962, and she was my biggest fan. The whole album is a tribute to my mother. She is always with me.”
Manion, also formerly of Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, and touring member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, will perform an album release show on May 27 at The Strand in Zelienople.
This is your chance to hear his silky, soothing, saxophone-fueled renditions of tracks like Atlanta Rhythm Section’s “Spooky,” Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind,” and Steve Winwood’s “Roll With It.”
Many of the tracks on his album are instrumentals, but not “The Lights Are On at Old St. John’s”, an original Christmas track demonstrating that Manion is a solid lead vocalist.
“As a sideman, I have a lot of experience helping artists realize their own musical visions,” Manion said. “But this project is about what touches me, and the sounds and emotions that are in my head and my heart.”
PGH concert news:Jason Aldean, Third Eye Blind, My morning jacket on top here
• Four-time Academy Award-winning Center High alum Joe Letteri co-supervised the visual effects that earned a 2022 Oscar nomination for ‘Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.’ The kung fu flick, starring Simu Liu (of Netflix’s hilarious “Kim’s Convenience”), can be streamed on Disney+.
• New York Times best-selling author Jamie Ford (“Hotel Where Bitter Meets Sweet”) will speak June 23 at Community College of Beaver County. The 6 p.m. event begins with a pre-reception at the CCBC Library with a free hot tea bar and WWII jazz. Registration for the free event is required beginning April 5 at beaverlibraries.org. Described as an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope, “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” is set to become a movie starring executive producer, “Star Trek’s” George Takei. Ford’s books are on the shelves of the Beaver County Library System.
Scott Tady is the local entertainment reporter for the Beaver County Times and Ellwood City Ledger. He is easy to reach at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @scotttady.