The Philipsburg LaunchPad: lighting a spark of life amid the dust of an exhausted coal town.
LIVE, LOCAL and ORIGINAL. That's what we do!
I wanted to send out a gigantic thanks to Jim Price at Q94. Jim hosts an amazing radio show called The Homegrown Rocker every Sunday night and he has become a friend here at The Philipsburg LaunchPad. Anywhere the local music scene is growing and vibrant, you'll find "The Professor" on scene, as he was for the show pictured above.
Jim has been a force for the Central Pennsylvania music scene since before I knew there WAS such a thing. Decades, man. And it was such a charm to have his proffessorness at several of The LaunchPad's shows early this year. He was in house for our January 6 live recording night with The Extra Miles and again for our February 4 Stone Man show, where we recorded live, original music in front of sold out audiences. You're getting to hear the product of those nights on the radio now because we, like Jim, are dedicated to it. Jim was kind enough to close his Feb. 26 edition of The Homegrown Rocker with an absolute ass-kicker from the Stone Man show (listen at about 22 minutes) called "I Like It." WE are doing it live, local and original since COVID-times, but we are newbies. Jim has been killing it for decades. Coming up on March 25 we're doing it again. The LaunchPad is featuring a band that I think will go places... Look, man, I don't just say this shit... We're featuring the Funk/Rock/ Rap/Soul outfit out of Altoona, Pa, The PennSOULvanians.
We went down to 4D's in Altoona to see Chet Denny after I'd seen THIS video of the man singing Stevie Wonder's "Someday at Christmas" to a friend as a Christmas gift. I'm like. The guy has a sweet voice. We needed very much to hear his band. What we saw at 4D's was something that I think the 500 people packed in there probably knew but did not appreciate. You have to understand that 4D's is a great little rock-n-roll space, but it was designed to be ... you know... a bowling alley, where the boom and the bap of the band -- their devotion to the groove -- is apparent. But I think I heard a lot more than that. LISTEN. I believe the second set that I heard that night was a hit record. I don't think there's any question about it. But you might have missed it in the wild. We, at The Philipsburg LaunchPad, are doing our own double take: Did you HEAR that? They are a uniquely original seven-piece, funk-rock-soul band with a rap edge. They've got elements of jazz in Lindsay Reilly, blowing hot sax in a ripped up kilt and bad make-up. All on top of an R&B locomotive. I am reminded of bands like Trombone Shorty, but with more attack and groove. They also remind me of an old favorite band out of New York City called Afroskull. Check out either and you're maybe on the right track. But, honestly, The PennSOULvanians have way more hook. Like Smokin' Joe Frazier, another Pennsoulvanian original, they'll fuckin' knock you out with the hook.
There is a lot going on in their music, and I was desirous to get them into The LP so we could clearly define their sound. So I prevailed upon them to come and record. The LP, after all, is a "listening" room. Seventy people is a sell-out. It's a set up so the band AND the audience can be served. On March 25, at 7 p.m., we aim to let you finally HEAR this amazing band when they perform and record live for us. Get your tickets now because you don't want to take your chances at the door.
It is a special band... in a special place. The PennSOULvanians' musical infrastructure, which you can hear in a crowded dance hall, is as solid as a deuce-and-a-half rumbling across the desert. But what you miss is Chet's soulful voice. You NEED to hear what the man is saying and the tone with which he is saying it. Similarly, MC Mike is saying things in his rap you need to catch. The hooks will make you dance. The verses will make you glad.
We'll be making the house mix available to the band for their use as well as the stems into the board so they have a live capture they can take to the studio and mix and edit themselves. We think that's cool. You get to witness that in what I think will be a noteworthy night of music. If you are in the session that night, you'll be telling friends about it for some time. Look man. Bands like The PennSOULvanians, our friends The Jaded Lips, and our LP house band, Stone Man, are doing it the right way. We're bringing you things you can't hear anywhere else. YET. You can always tune into The Homegrown Rocker over on Q94 with The Professor and you can get a taste. I feel like we'll be sending something Jim's way soon. But I am telling you right here, right now, there are hit records being made in secret in these mountains.
YOU can be the first to hear them.
See you on March 25 when we record The PennSOULvanians. This is what "Live, Local & Original" is all about! We dig it! We think you will too!