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Saturday, January 27, 2018

BLACK DIAMOND EXPRESS CONCERT IS FEB. 9 AT THE DEANE CENTER

Friday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m., the classic rock band Black Diamond Express will perform on stage in the Coolidge Theatre at the Deane Center for the Performing Arts, 104 Main Street in Wellsboro.
This band plays a wide selection of classic rock hits as well as some of todays. Among the artists they cover are: Rolling Stones, Steppenwolf, The Eagles, The Beatles, Bob Seger, Santana, Bruce Springsteen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Chuck Berry, The Stray Cats, Moody Blues, The Box Tops, The Kingsmen, John Cougar, The Blues Brothers, Grand Funk Railroad, Maroon 5, The Doobie Brothers and more.

Lead guitarist Rod Patt founded Black Diamond Express 20 years ago in the Athens/Waverly area of the Penn-York Valley. The band's name was taken from the Lehigh Valley Railroad's flagship passenger train that ran from New York City to Buffalo from 1896 until 1959. The train's through coach from and to Philadelphia stopped near Towanda in Bradford County.

Born and raised in Wellsboro, Patt moved to Towanda in 1990. He taught music in public schools for 31 years until retiring from the Athens Area School District in 2017. The band's driving force, Patt has played guitar for 47 years with area jazz and rock bands and for school musicals.

Mark McEwen, the lead singer and rhythm guitar and harmonica player, writes music and has recorded two studio albums. Born and raised in Towanda, he has been playing professionally with various bands in the Towanda area for 25 years. McEwen is employed by Applications Stensanalyst in Phoenix, Arizona.

Don Gray plays bass guitar. A native of Aliquippa, he performed with Pittsburgh area bands. In 2007, Gray moved to Sayre. He is a research engineer at Dupont and has been performing music professionally for 49 years.

Paul Farrell, a retiree, has been playing drums for 46 years. He was born in Philadelphia and worked with various bands in that area to refine his skills. He moved to Forks Township in 2001.

Ed Arnold plays keyboard. A native of Towanda, he moved to Endwell, New York in 1997 and is a senior computing specialist for Jancoy, Inc. Arnold has played professionally for 48 years. He performed with the Westchester County Jazz Band in White Plains, New York, with the Northeast Navy Show Band and played keyboard at resorts in the Catskills.

This concert is a BYOB and Snacks event. Tickets are $12 for adults and free for children 12 and under accompanied by an adult. For tickets and to reserve a table at no extra charge, call 570-724-6220 or visit deanecenter.com.

Members of the Black Diamond Express include: (from left) Don Gray on bass guitar; Paul Farrell on percussion; Rod Patt on lead guitar; Ed Arnold on keyboard; and lead singer Mark McEwen on rhythm guitar and harmonica. Gray, Farrell, Patt and Arnold are the band's backing singers.

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