JIM THORPE, Pa. - A band with ties to both Russia and Ukraine is set to perform in Jim Thorpe over the weekend.
The lead singer of the band known to the Lehigh Valley area spoke about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and his family back home.
The nationally known music group the Red Elvises have been regulars on the MusikFest stage.
“I remember some old guy came up to me, he had a really long beard and was like ‘hey I used to come to your show with my dad when I was in high school’ and was like 'damn how old are you,'” said the Red Elvises lead singer Igor Yuzov.
“Even during COVID we came to play there so we’re going to be at the MusikFest for the first weekend in August,” said Yuzov.
Yuzov, who grew up in Ukraine, says it's hard to concentrate on music with the ongoing destruction in his homeland.
“I still can’t believe it’s happening because it just seems like I’m watching a horror movie, and it seems like I’m going to wake up and nothing is happening, it seems like it was just a nightmare,” said Yuzov.
Yuzov's group has both Russian and Ukrainian band members, and he says sometimes he feels stuck in the middle. Having grown up in the former Soviet Union, the lead singer still has family and friends in both countries, and says he speaks with them regularly.
“I don't really like when someone is bombing my hometown you know, I really associate with lots of my Russian friends too and lots of them understand the situation,” said Yuzov.
The band says they are doing their part to help to raise money for the people of Ukraine and are preparing for their performance at Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe this weekend, in a region heavily populated by people of Ukrainian heritage.
“We try to make their life more fun and try to forget the insanity of what's going on right now, for at least a couple hours they'll think about good times and about dancing and celebrating," said Yuzov.