Jakobs Ferry Stragglers to perform at VOMA
BY KAYLA PONGRAC
Our Town Correspondent
A bluegrass band that has performed at Venue of Merging Arts (VOMA) three times before will return once again this spring as part of the venue’s Folk and Bluegrass Series.
Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers are scheduled to perform on March 29 at VOMA, located at 305 Chestnut Street in Johnstown’s Cambria City neighborhood.
“The band has also played at (AmeriServ) Flood City Music Festival and the 2017 3rd Avenue Stage at (Cambria City) Ethnic Fest,” said event organizer Micah Mood.
Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers play what they describe as “Appalachian Bluegrass” — a blending of old-time, bluegrass, rockabilly and swing music. Members Gary Antol (guitar and vocals) and Libby Eddy (fiddle and vocals) founded the band in 2014 and, ever since, they’ve been touring throughout the country. The band is rounded out by Ray Bruckman (mandolin, fiddle and vocals), Evan Bell (upright bass) and Jody Mosser (dobro and vocals).
“They've got a great repertoire of diverse, memorable original songs, with both Gary and Libby singing great lead vocals throughout their sets,” Mood said. “Their lineup is really strong — just a powerhouse lineup through and through.”
The band’s debut album, “The Lane Change,” was released in 2015. It was followed up by 2016’s “White Lightning Road” and last year’s “Poison River.”
“One thing I admire is their ability to keep writing strong material over the years,” Mood said. “The best bands keep pushing themselves to keep writing and growing as performers, and the Stragglers set the bar high in that regard.”
Doors for this all-ages, BYOB (with a valid ID) show are to open at 6:30 p.m. that evening.
At 7 p.m., local band Justin Giuffre and the Pilgrimage will open the show.
“I really like having bands that are writing and playing a lot of original material, and (Justin Giuffre and the Pilgrimage) just put out an entire album that they can pick and choose from for their set,” Mood said.
Tickets for this show are available in advance online by visiting www.thevoma.com/tickets/.
The VOMA Folk and Bluegrass Series continues May 4 with a performance by Colebrook Road and special guests Striped Maple Hollow.
“There's a good music scene in town, and it's nice to be part of that in kind of a unique way by bringing great bluegrass and Americana bands in,” Mood said. “I do my best to make sure that the bands and the audience have a great night, and I hope we have another one on March 29.”