About the Artist
"Coviello and his mandolin- playing songwriting partner JP Biondo formed the nucleus of Cabinet before the rest of the band came along. JP's cousin, Pat Biondo, recently moved to the area from Cleveland and was assimilated into the group after agreeing to learn a new skill. "I played guitar for years and when I wanted to join the band, they already had a guitar. Someone had a banjo lying around, so I started to learn how to play the banjo." Todd Kopec adds another bluegrassy element dynamic with his fiddle while Dylan Skursky's nimble fingers on the upright bass supplements the rest of the ensemble well. Oh, and did I mention that they all sing? Three and four-part harmonies are a regular part of the show Hearing a bluegrass band play in NEPA is an amazing shift from the interchangeable bar bands. In the middle of one particularly long extended jam, I thought about how great it would have been to have that song playing in my car's stereo as I drove around Harveys Lake with the windows and sunroof open on a gorgeous summer day." -excerpt from article written by: Dave Thackara (copyright) Electric City 2008.
Cabinet CD finally on shelves by Michael Lello
Wherever, whenever and with whomever you talk local music, the band name Cabinet seems to come up. With a tasty blend of banjo, mandolin, fiddle, upright bass and acoustic guitar, the six-piece group has caught the ears of bluegrass aficionados, jam band lovers and even fans in the indie/all-ages scene. When discussing Cabinet, the inevitable question emerges: when is the album coming out? Until recently, the answer was speculative. But this week, Cabinet will finally celebrate the self-titled full-length CD at a release party at the River Street Jazz Cafe. The CD will also be available at Gallery Of Sound stores. The band -- J.P. Biondo (mandolin, vocals), Pappy Biondo (banjo, vocals), Mickey Coviello (acoustic guitar, vocals), Todd Kopec (fiddle, vocals), Dylan Skursky (electric/upright bass, vocals) and Jami Novak (drums/percussion) -- had been working on the CD since the fall with Eric Ritter at Windmill Agency Studio in Mt. Cobb. The album includes tunes Cabinet fans will be familiar with from the live shows, Kopec says. "They're definitely tighter on the album but still have that air of improvisation," he says. "One or two are radio-ready in that sense as well. We retained a little bit of the jam-band feel, but it's definitely more organized, and there's no 20-minute tracks." Cabinet formed about two years ago but has already forged a dedicated and growing fanbase in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area, playing a bunch of shows at venues like the Jazz Cafe. Kopec says that the band is also planning a release show in Pittsburgh. Soon after, it's off to Jim Thorpe for an Earth Day celebration, where Cabinet will perform on April 19 with Natural Breakdown at the Mauch Chunk Opera House. The band also has festival slots lined up at Some Kind of Jam in Kempton, Pa., and in August at A Bear's Picnic in Milton, Pa.; it'll be the band's third appearance at the latter. Penn's Peak, also in Jim Thorpe, is also a key room for Cabinet, which in December landed a gig there opening for national act Railroad Earth. "Penn's Peak was interesting, because we had to kind of gamble and make them know that we could bring people to the show," says Kopec. The band organized a bus trip and brought 150 of its own fans to the show. More remarkable, though, was what happened when Cabinet finished its set: the crowd demanded an encore. "It's not usual for an opening act to get an encore," Kopec says. "We had a lot of people say it was the first time they saw that kind of thing. It wasn't necessarily an ego boost, but we felt a little validated." Northeastern Pa. is Cabinet's core area, but the band has also focused .. markets" like Vermont, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Kopec says. And at press time, the guys were gearing up for a possible trip to somewhere much farther away: Thailand, where they would perform with Todd Lavelle, a Scranton-area native who's popular on the world-music festival circuit. Cabinet's diverse sound is the product of a diverse group of musicians with unique influences and backgrounds. The members range in age from early 20s to mid 30s, with drummer Novak being the oldest. "He's the oldest of the group and has more of a world-music feel as a drummer," Kopec says. "That was a huge gain for us, especially at the larger shows. He really has that professional feel as a drummer, so that helps. On the other end of the scale, the youthful energy of a 22-year-old guy is very beneficial to a band, obviously. The music that we play seems to appeal to a pretty wide audience."