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Heads Up for Motown Fans!
July 25, 2009 - Jim Price
If you’re a fan of Motown music, make tracks to Penn State Altoona this Saturday, July 25, for the annual African American Heritage Festival, presented by the African American Heritage Project of Blair County.
Returning for their second consecutive year at this festival is Poconos-based Motown tribute act Lady ‘A’ & Destiny. Their performance starts at 6:30 p.m.
Six members strong, this group was amazing at last year’s festival, specializing in ‘60s-era Motown hits, complete with sequined costumes, vocal harmonies, choreographed dance moves and more! Namesake Lady A,’ Adrian Carver, provided a sassy and soulful voice and also served as ringleader of the presentation. Peter Carver played guitar, Tom O’Lear played keys, and Richie “Raggs” Ranaglia wailed on sax. Two members of the group doubled as backing singers and instrumentalists; drummer Clarence Oliver and bassist Jonathan Williams. With Lady ‘A’ dressed in red, and backing singers Jonathan and Clarence decked in sparkling red sequined jackets, the group did classics from throughout the Motown catalog, including Smokey Robinson’s “Tracks of My Tears” and “The Way You Do The Things You Do,” the Four Tops’ “I Can’t Help Myself,” The Miracles’ “You Really Got a Hold on Me,” the Temptations’ “Just My Imagination” and “My Girl,” Stevie Wonder’s “Signed Sealed Delivered” and more. Lady ‘A’ and Jonathan did several Marvin Gaye duet classics, performing the Marvin/Kim Weston hit “It Takes Two,” and the Marvin/Tammi Terrell classics “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” and the set-closing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Another highlight late in the set was the group’s “Vegas medley,” which strung together Little Anthony & the Imperials’ “Goin’ Out of My Head” and Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” This band’s energy and enthusiasm was constant, and Lady ‘A’ kept the audience riveted with her energy and soulful power. These folks captured the mood and spirit of the original hits, and kept the pace action-packed and tight.
Lady ‘A’ & Destiny delivered an excellent quality performance last year, and if you like Motown, I highly recommend catching their show at this year’s African American Heritage Festival.
Admission to the festival is free; there is a one-dollar parking fee. Food and refreshments will be available.
From last year's African American Heritage Festival at Penn State Altoona, Lady 'A' & Destiny, celebrating Motown sounds.