Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Free Summer Concert Series: The Plate Scrapers with Whiskey River Panhandlers

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Free Summer Concert Series: The Plate Scrapers with Whiskey River Panhandlers

Date(s) - July 9, 2022
6:00 PM

Peoples Natural Gas Park
90 Johns St.
Johnstown, PA

The second show in the Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Free Summer Concert Series! Island Cuisine will be vending food, so come hungry.

Schedule for the evening is as follows:

6:00: gates open
7:00: Whiskey River Panhandlers
9:00: The Plate Scrapers

The Plate Scrapers originated in 2014 in western Maryland the way any good bluegrass band does: from a bunch of fellas pickin’ around in a circle, surrounded by delicious plates of food, strong libations, and good friends. The traditional spirit of The Plate Scrapers is still innately intact nearly 8 years later, though they have evolved into far more than your average bluegrass band. Through diverse backgrounds and influences ranging from jazz, to hard rock, to funk, and of course bluegrass, the band has taken their music to an eclectic new level.

The Plate Scrapers’ songwriting is the identifying characteristic of the band. Complimenting writing styles from multiple members offer a tasteful balance and refreshing diversity to their sound, a diversity which they have become known for. Folksy lyrics of songs like “Shoes” or “Moonlight” call to a time of friendship, nostalgia and adventure, while songs like “Trucker’s Aspirin” or “Easy Way Out” are darker tales, gritty in nature.

Crafted musicianship and creative chemistry on stage guarantees that each performance is a new experience. More recently, the band has been known to take advantage of modern FX to enhance their traditional folk instruments, venturing over the borders of traditional Bluegrass into the rapidly growing genre of Jamgrass. Fans and critics alike agree that things are moving in a promising direction for The Plate Scrapers. We last saw them at Peoples Natural Gas Park during the AmeriServ Flood City Music Festival 2018, and we’re delighted to welcome them back!

The Whiskey River Panhandlers are one of Johnstown’s best-known acoustic bands, back after a hiatus of a few years. It’s an impossible paradox of the best Americana music that every song sounds familiar yet new, but The Whiskey River Panhandlers pull it off. Although some carefully-chosen covers are included in the Panhandlers’ sets, most of what you’ll hear is original songs whose taproots run deep, evoking a simpler time when pretty much all music was acoustic and live. They’re the rare act that all ages truly like, a band with almost universal appeal. It’s too bad the demands of day jobs and “real life” tend to keep them off the road — the Panhandlers would go over anywhere from hipster New York nightclubs to the dustiest honky-tonks in Nashville.

Lead vocalist Chris Verbano plays acoustic guitar, harmonica, mandolin and washboard. Chris is well-known on the local scene for his work preserving and programming the Roxbury Bandshell, a WPA-era treasure, with an eclectic Sunday concert series. Mike Giuffre shares lead vocal duty, bringing a pure and strong tenor to the mix, and plays guitar and 4- and 5-string banjo. Mike shares songwriting duties with his younger brother Justin Giuffre, who plays string bass, alternately percussive or melodic as the tune demands. They’re joined by Adam Milkovich on mandolin.