Doin’ Dunmore: Bucktown Music Fest to wrap up this month

By Steve Svetovich

Do you want to have some fun?

Dunmore’s finest musicians will take the stage for the Grand Finale of the second annual Bucktown Music Fest at Dunmore Corners on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 4 to 9 p.m.

Tom Hallinan and local musician Brian McGurl are co-chairpersons for the event, the sixth this summer.

Former Dunmore mayor Patrick “Nibs” Loughney will emcee the event.

The Corner Pocket Blues Band, a four-piece group, will open the festivities. The group consists of Danny Cox, Jim Kernan, Jack Garvey and Dr. Joe Pannick.

Kevin Rogan, a Dunmore graduate who now resides in Philadelphia, will then take the stage with his guitar and vocals.

Timmy LaTorre, another Dunmore graduate, will follow Rogan with his guitar and vocals.

Other performers will include Janice Gambo-Chesna on guitar and vocals, Luke Tinklepaugh on guitar and vocals, POP (Past Our Prime) consisting of Joe Pappa, Tom Boylan and Rick Beckage and finally the East Coast Trio consisting of McGurl, Phil Rossi and Chuck Scrimalli.

McGurl said the festivities with conclude with a Shin-Dig of all-star Dunmore musicians.

“There will be a full band backing up a large group of Dunmore musicians who will perform about 15 songs to conclude the music festival,” said McGurl. “All of these musicians are from Dunmore.”

The Dunmore graduates involved in the Shin-Dig include Rick DelAmico, Lenny Nole, Dunmore music teacher Katie Errico, Mike Stoko, D.J. Stoko, Donna Polizzi Loughney, Sean Loughney and Lenny Carlucci,

“We decided do this a couple of years back,” said Hallinan. “I was driving through Dunmore corners during COVID and wanted to bring some life to the town. I called Brian and he said let’s do it. It has become a huge success.

“This brings all of the people in Dunmore together. You see people you haven’t seen in 10 years. It’s a meeting of old friends. It’s like a family reunion. People look forward to it each week.”

McGurl performed with his band, Q Ball, the initial week this summer. “You look out and see everyone in the town having a good time,” he said. “It’s a great feeling. It’s great seeing people having fun at Dunmore Corners. The musicians are mostly Dunmore people.”

Many of the local restaurants and shops at Dunmore corners open for the event. Honeychild’s Bar, Three Jacks, Two Brothers Pizza, Cara Mia’s, Dunmore Candy Kitchen and Dunmore VFW are among the businesses open.

“This does not happen without the sponsors and a grant from the Lackawanna County Commissioners,” said Hallinan.

Other bands who performed at the Bucktown Music Festival this past summer include The Wannabes, Dashboard Mary, the Luongo Brothers, Friend of the Gypsy, and Michael Kwiatek and Sons.

Doin’ Dunmore: Bucktown Music Fest Kicking Off This Month

By Steve Svetovich

Ready for the music, fun and dancing? 

The anticipated Bucktown Music Fest will kick off at Dunmore Corners on four Sunday evenings July 11, July 18, July 24 and August 1, all from 5 to 8 p.m,

Admission is free. Those who attend are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to sit and relax, enjoy the music and dance in the streets.

Dunmore Councilman Tom Hallinan, former Dunmore Mayor Patrick “Nibs” Loughney, and local Dunmore musician Brian McGurl are chairpersons for the event. 

Dunmore Borough is sponsoring the four Sunday evenings through a grant from the Lackawanna County Commissioners and donations from local businesses. 

“On behalf of Dunmore Mayor Tom Burke and Dunmore Borough Council,” said Hallinan, “we want to thank Lackawanna County Commissioners Notariani, Domenick and Chermak and the local merchants for their generous support of events. We will continue to accept business donations right through the Festival dates to help offset ongoing expenses.”

Opening night on Sunday, July 11 will feature music by the Luongo Brothers Band, Dunmore’s own Pat and Nick Luongo. The duo, formerly of The Poets, have been performing for decades. The Luongo Brothers will be joined by veteran favorites Alan Shield and Rich Marmo.

Sunday, July 18, will feature the Dashboard Mary Duo, the spinning grooves of the popular E.J. the D.J., and a special appearance from “Old Blue Eyes” himself in the form of Chris DiMatteo singing the hits of the late Frank Sinatra. Dashboard Mary features Dunmoreans Rob Roman and Joe Del Rosso who have been performing for the past three decades.

Sunday, July 25, will feature QBall with Dunmoreans McGurl and John Quinn along with Jim Davis and Bob Crossman. QBall plays classic rock, including the music of The Doors, Tom Petty, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones. 

Sunday, Aug. 1, will be a “Dunmore Musicians Family Reunion.” Young musical performers will come together for three hours at Dunmore Corners to play together and entertain the crowd. It will be a true celebration.

Dunmore residents have filled the rosters of many of the area’s top bands over the past seven or eight decades. The Shindig shows at Dunmore High School in the 1960’s and 1970’s were incubators for so many talented performers. The same can be said for Dunmore’s marching band and school talent shows, class nights and plays at Dunmore and Holy Cross High Schools. Many young performers show talent and promise which will be exhibited Sunday, Aug. 1, at Dunmore Corners.

“I think it is going to be a great night of music for the young and old,” McGurl said regarding the final event on Aug. 1. “Everyone is volunteering their time and talent and it is going to be a lot of fun.”

Bands, singers and musicians slated to perform the final night include the East Coast Trio, The Violet Sisters, Corner Pocket Blues Band, The Mesos, Dashboard Mary Duo, Pappa, Beckage, and Boylan; English, Tim McGurl, Janice Gambo, Katie Errico, Donna Polizzi Loughney, Luke Tinklepaugh, Emma Pasko, Julia Pasko, Lenny Carlucci, Mike Kwaitek, Dan Zayac, Paul Arduino, Len Nole, Jack Garvey, Kevin Regan, Mike Seamon, Joe Pannick, Marty Ort, Chuck Scrimalli, Brian McGurl, Phil Rossi, Mara Hennigan, Dan Cox, Jim Kernan, Dom Fortese, Rob Roman and Joe DelRosso. 

“I first thought about this while driving through Dunmore Corners one Sunday about 5 p.m.,” said Hallinan. “It looked desolate, like a bit of a ghost town. I thought it would be nice to bring some life back to Dunmore Corners. What better way than with music?

“Music would be the best way to bring people back together after months of isolation due to COVID. I ran the idea through Brian McGurl. He thought it was great and we ran with it. 

“Now Dunmore Borough can’t wait for all of the music and entertainment. It’s going to be a lot of fun at Dunmore Corners.” 

Dunmoreans Vito Ruggerio, Sally Judge and Jean Hill also assisted with the coordination of events.