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Pendulum swings to defining era of music at the Lamp |

Pendulum swings to defining era of music at the Lamp

Rex Rutkoski
Pendulum’s drummer and a concert organizer is Rocco Gaudiano of Mt. Pleasant.
Pendulum’s Denny Bodra of Clarksburg.
Joe King of Plum will sing the songs of James Taylor and Jim Croce.

One of the defining bands of a generation, Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), receives its due.

Premiering at the Lamp Theatre, Irwin, Sept. 13. “Pendulum: a Tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival” will have its first performance of the music of one of rock’s iconic groups of the ‘60s and ‘70s. “Pendulum” is a nod to the title of one of CCR’s last albums.

“We chose Creedence because we all love them and lead vocalist Brian Rause of Greensburg sounds just like John Fogerty (CCR’s leader),” says drummer Rocco Gaudiano of Mt. Pleasant, who is helming this project.

Denny Bondra, vocals and guitar of Clarksburg, and Rudy Velosky, bass and vocals of Uniontown, round out the foursome.

The veteran musicians bring many years of experience across a wide range of genres, says Gaudiano. who is a member of the long-running Pittsburgh area band, Switch.

He and partner Vinnie Sylvania, hosts of the Old School Dance Club radio show, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays on 97.3 Lite FM, Latrobe, are promoting the concert.

Precisely Pendulum

He hopes that Pendulum’s precise lead vocals and melodic harmonies and hard driving guitars and drums will be seen as the ultimate tribute to one of the great bands of an era. “We want the audience to once again experience some of the greatest music of the ‘60s and ‘70s live,” he says. “All songs are done in the original key and are accurately replicated the way Creedence performed them live: two guitars, a bass, and drums.”

2 sets of music

There will be two sets of material, including such touchstones in the first half as “Down on the Corner,” “Green River,” “Born on the Bayou,” “Lodi,” “Cotton Fields” and “Run Through the Jungle.”

The second set will keep the classics coming with “Hey Tonight,” “Looking Out My Back Door,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Long as I Can See the Light,” “Bad Moon Rising,” “Proud Mary” and “Fortunate Son.”

“CCR’s music, down to earth roots rock’n’roll, with a touch of blues and country, still resonates with people today because it cuts across those three different genres,” Gaudiano says. “For those who came of age in the ‘60s and ‘70s this show is an opportunity to relive that music with a band that provided the soundtrack for their teenage years.”

Soundtrack for Vietnam vets

He is aware that Creedence material has a particular resonance for Vietnam veterans, who took CCR’s music to war with them.

“The songs written about the Vietnam War will be accompanied with a large screen video montage of that era,” Gaudiano explains. “We are working on a show for the spring, a tribute to CCR and a salute to the Vietnam veterans. I have already talked to the president of the Vietnam Veterans of Westmoreland County and he’s on board.”

Musician Joe King of Plum will open each set with his own tribute to the songs of James Taylor and the late Jim Croce.

Tasteful tribute to Taylor and Croce

“We chose this tribute because it was in a similar era of popularity as CCR,” Gaudiano says. It is a tasteful tribute to Taylor and Croce, he adds, with King not only replicating the timeless vocals of these singers/songwriters, but also the intricate guitar playing with which Taylor and Croce also were associated.

“I’ve been doing James and Jim since high school, but just recently in a tribute setting,” says King, who also is a member of Ole 97, a Johnny Cash/June Carter tribute band.

He was drawn to Taylor and Croce because of their talent and personal style. “It’s not flashy or boisterous, just immensely talented with a one-of-a-kind character,” he says.

Rex Rutkoski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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