Opening for country star Sammy Kershaw at Penn's Peak was local songstress, Nicole Donatone and "The Who Knows Band."
She opened with a little Patsy Cline in "Write Me in Care of the Blues" and "I Fall to Pieces," followed by "I Feel Lucky," and LeAnn Rimes' "Blue." She paid tribute to country's queen, Loretta Lynn in "Coal Miner's Daughter" and belted out Miranda Lambert's "The House that Build Me" and ended with a soulful "Last Blue Moon of Kentucky."
Donatone, singing publicly since she was 11 years old, has had the opportunity to open for Willie Nelson, Connie Smith, Tracy Byrd and has performed with Jeanie Sealy and Jan Howard.
The 23-year-old recent graduate of Northampton County Community College from the Radio/TV department can now add Sammy Kershaw to that list.
After a stint as an intern at Penn's Peak Radio, she accepted a full-time position with the Jim Thorpe based radio station and hosts her own show, "The Round Up" every Sunday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and BRC Channel 80.
"I am so blessed to have wonderful parents and a sister that have so much love and support for me and my music career. I perform whenever I get the chance. I love music. I don't know what I would do without it in my life. If it can touch the hearts of the audience than I did my job.
Donatone says that some of her goals and dreams have come true already, like graduating from college and getting a full time position.
"Now my dream is to get a record deal and make some great country music."
Opening for Sammy Kershaw was "another wonderful opportunity that I enjoyed very much. I had so much fun. Mr. Kershaw was very nice and down to earth. He played an awesome show. I always enjoy performing, especially when the crowd interacts with me. It's great. This is one of many great memories I will hold with me forever."
She thanked Fred Reinhard, Chairman of the Board for Pencor Services, Inc. for believing in her and her music career "and everyone at Penn's Peak for making all of my opening performances successful."
"The Who Knows Band" opened the evening's entertainment with an old country blues tune called "Let it roll" with Al Moran leading and singing the song. The other members of the band included Keith Naylor on acoustic guitar, Chuck Kagel on bass and Jackie Rover on drums.
They performed the favorite country classic, "Orange Blossom Special," featuring Moran on the fiddle. You could really hear the train a'comin'.
You can learn more about the band on the whoknowsband web site.
"We really enjoyed playing at Penn's Peak with Nicole Donatone. She can sure breathe some fresh air into those songs," said Naylor.