Still Tickin’ to perform at Hawkins Oil Festival


The Hawkins Oil Festival is set for Saturday, Oct. 13, in downtown Hawkins from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The festivities kick off with a parade beginning at 11 a.m. followed by an afternoon of great food, vendors, a bouncy house for the kids and entertainment.

One of the scheduled acts is the band Still Tickin’, which is scheduled to play from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Still Tickin’ performs all styles of music from the past with their own special arrangements and personalities.

Members of the band include Vinny “The Vin Man” Pietro on drums and percussion. His claim to fame was as a member of Tommy James and The Shondells. He later became a recording studio drummer and was instrumental in the advent of the disco beat. He supplied the beat for the song “Disco Inferno” with The Tramps. He also recorded with Barry White, ABBA, Donna Summer and many others. He performed on the sound tracks to the movies “Dirty Dancing” and “Flash Dance.”

George Bitzer, keyboards and vocals, is well-known as a recording session musician who has toured or recorded for the Bee Gees, Peter Cetera, Dionne Warwick, Dolly Parton, Barbara Streisand, Eric Clapton, Diana Ross, Hall and Oates, and Kenny Rodgers. He performed on the sound track for the movie “Grease.”

Gary Swinard, lead guitar and lead vocals, hails from the United Kingdom and moved to the United States in 2001. Swinard has become friends with and was the opening act for artists that include Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Jeff Beck, and many more.

Kevin Kelly, bass and vocals, is an East Texas product who has performed with several jazz combos including the Nac Pac Jazz Trio, Shades of Blue, the Jazz Professors, the rock band Electric Gypsy and the Sounds of Swing Big Band.


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