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Published: 2011/02/01
by Jen Stevens

This Is Cabinet - Set 1

While I had long thought that bluegrass is not for everyone, after I first heard Cabinet, a crowd-pleasing band from Northeast Pennsylvania, I began to reconsider that assessment. Still, the sound of Cabinet is more than just bluegrass, as they have a touch of blues and a bit of soul along with a funky side that will pull just about anyone out of a lousy mood.

Formed in 2006, Cabinet released their self-titled album on their own before they signed with Ropeadope Records. The band has had a number of supporting gigs with artists such as Keller Williams, Hot Buttered Rum and Dark Star Orchestra.

Cabinet consists of J.P. Biondo on mandolin and vocals, Pappy Biondo on banjo and vocals, Mickey Coviello, on acoustic guitar and vocals, Todd Kopec on the fiddle and also vocals, Dylan Skursky on bass and Jami Novak on drums. So while the band’s sound is grounded in traditional bluegrass, the instrumentation, in particular the presence of the percussionist situates it out of that formal realm.

With the release of This Is Cabinet Set 1 both fans and those new to the group can hear Cabinet interpret its songs in the live setting. The band recorded these tracks at a variety of venues, including: The Crooked I in Erie, PA, the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland OH, and the River Street Jazz Café in Plains, PA.

This Is Cabinet Set 1 opens with the bright, appealing song, “Tower.” From here the band leans towards more traditional bluegrass with “Salt Creek.” Others tracks on the album such as “Coalminers,” written about the band’s home region, move beyond that tradition. It all comes to a culmination with the final song “Shifty Shaft,” which melds bluegrass with a more progressive feel and showcases the band’s ability to jam.

On This Is Cabinet Set 1 Cabinet has taken a classic sound, recreated it and made it the group’s own.

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