New Castle News

November 21, 2012

Music Scene: Junction PA reunites after 35 years

David Burcham
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Rock on.

Reuniting after a 35-year break, the band Junction PA is ready for an encore.

Four original members have joined with two newcomers, hoping to to pick up where they left off.

Gary Stembal, a 1969 graduate of New Castle High School, and David Sickafuse, a 1970 Laurel High graduate, founded the band when they were students at Grove City College. They joined Tom Barron of Grove City and Jeff DeGroff of Olean, N.Y. All were music majors.

“We came from different geographical locations and diverse walks of life. Each had different musical styles,” explained Stembal. Yet, during their first practices it became apparent that they were developing an unusual chemistry and a unique sound. The fusion of their different backgrounds and musical genres became in effect different roads leading to this one place. Thus the name Junction PA was born.

Aftter the band broke up, members stayed in contact, but never talked about getting back together until the summer of 2011 when they gathered for a barbeque. They brought along some instruments to see if they could resurrect their old sound that featured five-part harmonies.

Mission accomplished.

“We just had a great time,” Stembal said.

Stembal, 60, plays guitar, flute and is the lead singer. Sickafuse sings and plays keyboards. keyboards and singer. Barron plays bass guitar and DeGroff’s talents include percussions and vocals. The newest members are drummer Erich Bobby of Sharon and guitarist Nelson Boosel of New Wilmington.

The band will play at Changes Night Club, 2001 W. State St., from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday. Stembal said it will be group’s first appearance in New Castle since a 1975 show at Cascade Park in which Phil Keagy and B.E. Taylor also performed.

Stembal said the band will play traditional cover songs, but also some of its original music, like “Same Song,” which was written by Stembal and received air time soon after its release in the mid-1970’s.

He describes the band’s style of music as “light rock with a hint of jazz and Latin rock.”