Part of the longtime Northumberland County-based hard rock band Harpo, the acoustic rock duo Gas House Alley, featuring hometown favorites John “Lloyd” Kistner and Billy “Rock” Kerstetter, will perform Friday at 7 p.m., at Front Street Station, 2 Front St., Northumberland.

Kistner and Kerstetter began their musical journey together in the mid ‘60s as The Arrivals, a combo of junior high school musicians who became known for their distinctive rhythmic style of music, ranging from rock and roll to popular numbers of the time. In addition to Kistner on organ and Kerstetter on guitar, the youthful quartet included Dale Robuck on drums and Bob Shilo on bass.

In 1968, after playing together for two years, The Arrivals caught the eye (and ears) of Tony Grant, who was so impressed with the boys’ sound, he booked them for a 10-day engagement on his “Stars of Tomorrow” show at the famous Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Like most young aspiring artists who grew up in the ‘60s, Kerstetter was influenced by the Fab Four — the reason he became a musician.

“The reason I picked up a guitar was the Beatles,” he said. “And my writing influences were AC/DC and Led Zeppelin.”

In addition to Led Zeppelin and AC/DC, Kistner’s influences include ‘70s progressive rock groups like Kansas and Yes.

In 1974, Kistner (lead vocals and keyboards) and Kerstetter (bass and vocals) founded the hard rock band Harpo, which also included Richard Smith on drums and Chris Silvagni on lead guitar.

Seasoned musicians and lifelong friends, Kistner and Kerstetter had been performing in the Susquehanna Valley rock music scene for decades. But as that music scene continued to evolve, the duo had to adopt some changes as well.

“Back in the day, full bands were the norm — now they’re almost obsolete, with soloists, duos and trios the current trend,” said Front Street Station owner Jay Seidel. “You have to adapt, and that’s what Billy and Lloyd did, downsizing to Gas House Alley.”

After decades of playing together, the formula for developing their unique sound is simple.

“Many years of friendship and playing the music we love,” Kistner said.

Seidel is looking forward to hosting the Northumberland duo at Front Street Station, and he is astonished at how they continue to get better and better.

“Amazingly, they can still hit falsetto notes,” he said. “They’re one of Front Street Station’s house favorites and guaranteed there will be a full house of customers.”





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