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October 8, 2013

The Thought Lot brings folk music to Shippensburg

Fallon Finnegan Guest Writer

The Thought Lot hosted a show on Oct. 2 focusing on folk bands instead of the typical punk rock or open mic nights for which it is known. The Pale Barn Ghosts, a band originating from south central Pennsylvania, started off the evening. They described their sound as “cemetery folk,” which is a clever play on their band name and have a mellow, unique sound that went spectacularly with the ambient atmosphere. Though it was a slow start to the night, The Pale Barn Ghosts rocked the stage for the close friends and fans who Photo by Fallon Finnegan were there. The small, relaxed crowd only added to the cozy Pale Barn Ghosts play its “cemetery folk” music for the small crowd at The Thought Lot.

vibe and lead singer, Thomas Roue, showed his appreciation when he mentioned how awesome it was to be performing for the other bands who took up much of the audience. The Hello Strangers took over the stage for a slightly larger crowd and kicked off their set with a more upbeat, folk sound that had the audience on their feet. According to the band’s Facebook page, they are a “sister duo whose haunting harmonies and original, wittingly noir songwriting style are the backbone of their sound.” Haunting is the perfect word to describe the harmonies the sisters Brechyn Chace and Larissa Chace Smith produced. The crowd settled into the many couches spread throughout the venue when a few slow songs were played. Brechyn

broke out an accordion for their song “Poor Dear,” showing another one of the group’s many talents. Audience member Peter Franklin said, “I’m good friends with the Hello Strangers and they’re always good. The last band was good, too.” The final and headlining band, Mike Mangione & the Union, is another Americana, folk/pop band. The band describes itself as “a group that combines a folk-rock sound with an orchestrated string section, soulful vocals and literate sensibility.” The show was advertised as being Mike Mangione & the Union’s CD release party. The Thought Lot hosts shows several times a month. For more information, visit

Cumberland Wellness and Arts promotes community health Melissa Hare

Multimedia Editor Cumberland Wellness and Arts (CWAA) occupies a small, re-purposed building off East King Street in Shippensburg. Its structural size is no depiction of the broad capacity of its mission, however. A man of many trades, Albert Heefner, wanted to offer something different to the community. He is a photographer, neuromuscular massage therapist and an emergency medical technician (EMT). He found a way to integrate these talents into the foundation of an exclusive community center that offers a variety of services. Establishing a unique center devoted to both wellness and the arts, Heefner developed a voice of his own.

The recent opening of CWAA is a unique addition to Shippensburg. On the front end, the center is a traditional wellness center, providing services such as CPR instruction and massage therapy. However, the center has much more to offer. Its support for the arts puts a focus on offering artistic services from a wide range of photography services to art and music lessons, clinics and events. Tom Martini, an endorser of Morley Pedals, brought energy to the center’s opening with a guitar pedal clinic Saturday afternoon, marking the first of many clinics to come. CWAA hopes to continue hosting events that support both wellness and the arts in the community. “Our mission is to offer options to the community that better the mind, body and spirit,” Heefner said. Heefner’s goal to offer

something different to the Shippensburg community was echoed by Martini’s mission for his band, Distorted Voices. They strive to provide music enthusiasts with a different listening experience. Morley Pedals allows them to achieve just that. “Playing guitar with Morley Pedals is an extension of who you are,” Martini said. With no vocalist to accompany their acoustics, they had to figure out a way to create that voice with the music they play. They had to develop a voice of their own. Morley Pedals has given them that voice. Martini’s guitar pedal clinic set the stage for many more art and music events to be featured at CWAA, setting high hopes for its ongoing success. “CWAA has set roots … to help the community,” Heefner said.

Photo by Melissa Hare Tom Martini of the band Distorted Voices plays his guitar with Morley pedals at the guitar pedal clinic.

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The Slate 10-8-13  

The Oct. 8 edition of The Slate.