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Penn's Peak

Monday, May 24, 2010
JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS Get The Led Out guitarists Jimmy Marchiano (left) and Paul Hammond jam during their Penn's Peak concert Saturday night.

Led Zeppelin holds a sacred place among hard rock fans.

The British band took a mystical approach to its heavy rock and spaced-out blues that has become legendary, almost as much for its off the stage indulgences as for the music itself.

A mythology has developed around Zep over the years, and those dealing with paying tribute often find themselves getting sucked into it, at their peril.

Get The Led Out doesn't get lost in the clouds of myth or immersed in the legend. The Philadelphia-based band keeps the focus on what still attracts legions of Zep fans - the music.

Monday, May 24, 2010
JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS Graham Russell (left) and Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply harmonize during their Penn's Peak concert Friday night.

After 35 years together, it would be easy for Air Supply to play it safe.

To the credit of Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, the band's founding duo, they are looking for ways to continue to evolve musically.

Air Supply is back on the pop music charts for the first time in 20 years, thanks to a striking new album, Mumbo Jumbo. At Penn's Peak on Friday night, it showcased a good portion of the current release.

Friday, May 21, 2010
JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS Vocalist Paul Sinclair of Get The Led Out performs as part of the band's Led Zeppelin tribute show at Penn's Peak last year.

Get The Led Out continues to enthall fans with its remarkable Led Zeppelin tribute show.

The Philadelphia-based band has been a crowd favorite at Penn's Peak crowd since its first appearance, attracting packed houses, and it returns to the Jim Thorpe Saturday night. Showtime is 8 p.m.

Get The Led Out has been billed by the media as "The American Led Zeppelin" for its amazing recreations of the music of the legendary British rockers.

Thursday, May 20, 2010
Graham Russell of Air Supply performs during an appearance at Penn's Peak. Air Supply returns to the Jim Thorpe venue for a Friday night concert. JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS

Air Supply has a lot to celebrate this year.

2010 marks the 35th year that founding members Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock have been making music together, dating back to when they were unknown singers and actors in a production of Jesus Christ, Superstar and continuing through performances in coffeehouses back in Australia.

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.