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The Grooves Are Grade E

June 14, 2007 - Jim Price

If you are looking to kick off your weekend a bit early this Thursday night, tasty food and tasty grooves can be had at Al’s Tavern.


The grooves are courtesy of Altoona trio Grade E.  Grade E formed in late 2005 from the ashes of Neogumbo, a 90’s era local band known for its grooves.  All three members of Grade E; lead singer/guitarist Chris Vipond, bassist/singer Mike Stanley and drummer Todd Harshbarger; are all Neogumbo alumni.


Grade E’s performances often evolve into nonstop, funk-edged grooves, which set the launching pad for the group’s often unpredictable journeys.  Grade E incorporates an eclectic assortment of songs into their groovefest on any given night; including a number of their own original songs, plus tunes from a wide variety of sources, spanning the Rolling Stones to G. Love and Special Sauce to Sublime to even a funked-up traditional bluegrass number, “Man of Constant Sorrow.”  Occasionally the group will even dip back into their Neogumbo catalog to resurrect a song or two.  The band members improvise along the way, weaving in and out of their arrangements, and going where the grooves lead them.


Grade E makes it all fun, mixing their musical adventures with playful banter with the audience.  Usually at least once per show, bassist Mike takes over lead singing duties on a funk/jam medley, and improvises lyrics along the way; even referencing Al’s Tavern menu items (his favorite is Al’s popular sandwich, the Hooter).  He’ll even let you know that you can add the egg for a quarter!


Grade E plays at Al’s Tavern on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month, and there's no cover charge.  If you’re looking to unwind after a day at the workplace, or get a start on the weekend, kick back and enjoy a Grade E show.


 Al’s Tavern is located at 2831 8th Avenue in Altoona.  For more information, call 944-9633.

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