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Penn's Peak

Monday, May 17, 2010
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS Country singer John Michael Montgomery performs at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.

The last time John Michael Montgomery performed in the immediate area was a good decade or more ago when he headlined a nearly sold-out concert at the Allentown Fairgrounds.

Last night, he performed at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe, singing most of his number one hits. It's a comeback for the star who was a commander on the charts in the 90s but then had to take time off for surgeries and other personal matters.

He battled a little hoarseness last night, but for the most part was his old self and got a warm reception from the audience.

Thursday, May 13, 2010
John Michael Montgomery performs Sunday at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe. The concert starts at 8 p.m.

"Life's a dance that you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow ..."

"Life's a Dance" was one of seven number-one hits for country singer John Michael Montgomery, and one of 20 songs which hit the top 10 in Billboard for him.

The words to this song can be related to by everyone, especially Montgomery.

The Danville, Kentucky native started with very little, made it to the top in his profession, then experienced tough times.

Monday, May 10, 2010
JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS Dennis DeYoung (with guitarist James Leahey in the background) performed the music of Styx at Penn's Peak Friday night.

Dennis DeYoung opens his Music of Styx shows with a sweeping rendition of "The Grand Illusion", the title track from one of the band's platinum-era albums.

That is entirely appropriate for DeYoung's current version of his Styx favorites show, which returned to Penn's Peak in JIm Thorpe Friday night.

With his new band, DeYoung might be in a position to pull of his grandest illusion yet when it comes to the Styx repertoire.

Monday, May 3, 2010
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS James Otto performs at Penn's Peak, Sunday night.

You likely never heard the song "Soldiers and Jesus" unless you were at Penn's Peak last night.

"Soldiers and Jesus" was only recently written by singer-songwriter James Otto. He performed at the Jim Thorpe venue last night and told the audience they were among the first people hearing it.

It was obvious the crowd loved the patriotic number. It definitely has the potential to become a big hit.

Saturday, May 1, 2010
Ron Gower/Times News Nicole Rose of Hackettstown, N.J. leans against jukebox in Roadie's Restaurant at Penn's Peak. On Sunday, May 16, she will be singing on the Penn's Peak stage, opening for country great John Michael Montgomery.

Nicole Donate, who sings professionally as Nicole Rose, is too young to have ever seen a concert by the Fabulous Burd Boys. But she's heard a lot about them.

The Fabulous Burd Boys are considered among New Jersey's most popular country music bands in the '60s and '70s.

They also brought many big-name country singers to their Hickory Grove Opry Farm near Califon, New Jersey.

Nicole Rose, 23, is grand niece of The Burd Boys and she's embarking on a career of her own which seems to be getting a shotgun start and has already spread beyond the borders of New Jersey.

Thursday, April 29, 2010
Mel Tillis

Mel Tillis has always stuttered when he talked. Not when he sings, just when he talks. And it nearly cost him a career.

Had it not been for the late Minnie Pearl, the Nashville humorist who always wore a hat with a price tag attached, Tillis might not have had his amazing success.

Tillis, who has been performing for half a century and brings his act to Penn's Peak on Friday night, said Pearl gave him the best advice he ever received.

Thursday, April 29, 2010
James Otto

James Otto has a lot on his plate right now.

He's ready to tour with country sensation Toby Keith this summer. He's riding on the wave of a current single, "Groovy Little Summer Song," that is climbing the charts. And, he's going to be a daddy.

He and his wife Amy are expecting a daughter in August.

Otto, a member of what is called the "MuzikMafia" to which Gretchen Wilson and Big & Rich also belong, will be performing Sunday night at Penn's Peak. The concert begins at 8 o'clock. Tickets are $22 in advance and $27 at the door. Tickets will be available at the door.

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Spyro Gyra will perform at Penn's Peak Friday night.

When Jay Beckenstein was performing in jam sessions in Buffalo, New York back in the 1970's, little did he know that he was in the process of defining a genre of music.

From those jams grew Spyro Gyra, one of the most successful practitioners of the smooth jazz sound on the pop charts.

The latest edition of Spyro Gyra will perform at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe Friday evening. Show time is 8 p.m.

Thursday, April 22, 2010
JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS

Ted Nugent, shown here from a 2008 Penn's Peak concert, returns to The Peak on Thursday, June 24 at 8 p.m. The Nuge is known for hard-rocking hits such as "Cat Scratch Fever", "Wango Tango", "Free For All" and "Stranglehold". Tickets are $32 in advance and $37 the day of the show for general admission seating. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday, April 24 and are available on-line at www.ticketmaster.com, at Ticketmaster outlets, including Gallery of Sound and Boscov's, at the Penn's Peak box office and Roadies Restaurant.

Monday, April 19, 2010
38 Special singer Donnie Van Zant (center) stands in between guitarists Don Barnes (left) and Danny Chauncey (right) during the band's sold-out show at Penn's Peak Saturday night. JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS

38 Special's return to Penn's Peak saw the veteran Southern rockers firing on all cylinders.

The latest stop on the band's 2010 Wild-Eyed and Live Tour attracted a sold-out crowd to The Peak Saturday night, and Donnie Van Zant and company did not disappoint.

Taking the stage with the rocking anthem "Rockin' Into the Night", 38 Special grabbed the throttle and kept the pedal to the metal during a hit-filled 87 minute set.