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Go early for a seat, but don’t sit down

Groove Train is Greg Bealla of Forty Fort on bass, Dave Chaump of West Pittston on vocals and guitar, Rebecca Santoro Hetzel of Bear Creek on vocals and keyboard, Danny Bogdon of Hanover Township on drums and Dex Armbruster of Harvey’s Lake on guitar.

Groove Train ought to consider covering the Dovell’s 1963 hit You Can’t Sit Down. After all, that’s what happens at a Groove Train gig where, assaulted by wave after wave of danceable grooves, even the most committed wallflower can’t sit down.

Band leader, keyboardist and vocalist Dave Chaump of West Pittston said the band accomplished just what it set out to do when it formed eight years ago. “Our objective was private work, weddings, parties, rather than clubs and we picked songs that are highly danceable.”

Those highly danceable songs come from an eclectic song list covering everything from 70s disco and Motown to classic rock and country.

We started out as a cover band,” Chaump said. “That’s our bread and butter. We’re well known for uncanny covers. People will say, hey, that sounds like the recording.”

When Groove Train plays at the Tomato Festival on Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. folks will hear those uncanny covers, but they will also hear something new and different – original songs from a recently released self-titled Groove Train CD.

The 10-song album is similar to the band’s cover song list in that it’s an eclectic mix that can’t be pigeon-holed into a genre.

That’s a reflection of Chaump’s many influences. He’s classically trained with a degree from the Berkley College of Music, but loves and is influenced by all kinds of music. As he put it, “If it’s good, I like it.”

Chaump – who has also written and recorded songs with David Rose Band and Strawberry Jam -- wrote eight of the songs himself and collaborated with bandmates on two others. One of those collaborations is with lead singer Rebecca Santoro Hetzel on “The One” where Santoro Hetzel’s sweet voice gives off a beautiful Annie Lennox vibe. That vibe also comes through on “Show Our Love” which features call and response vocals between Santoro Hetzel and Chaump.

Santoro Hetzel sings lead on seven of the 10 songs and Chaump sings three. Other highlights include Dance the Night Away set to a Bo-Diddley riff and Party on Down the Line giving off a country rock feel.

Chaump said most of his songs start with an idea and lyrics. The basic tracks were recorded in his home studio. The finished product is not over produced. “We wanted for a live feel to the sound,” Chaump said.

Again Groove Train will play at the Tomato Festival from 5:30 to 7:30 without a break performing a mix of covers and songs from their album. The CDs will be available at the bandshell. They are also available at Gallery of Sound and online at iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon.com, and DigStation, as well as on the band’s website at www.groovetrainband.com

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