Mason Porter, Gatos Blanco feat. Pappy, Dylan Skursky, John Kimock, Al Smith & Justin Mazer
23 East Lancaster Ave
Ardmore, PA, 19003
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. Those were the words spoken by Neil Armstrong as he walked on the moon. After years of hard work we achieved the impossible, forever leaving a mark in the world consciousness.
Cabinet's 4 th record, LEAP, is exactly that for this sometimes ragged, all the time professional band of American dreamers from Pennsylvania. After years of tearing apart American music and building it up again in their own vision, Cabinet has unveiled a work that perfectly defines…. Cabinet. The rough hewn structure that began as six musicians with divergent styles coming together has been whittled, sanded, and polished through persistence and hard work. The result is an impressive structure that shows each of the players and their unique contribution in simple, elegant beauty.
Leap was recorded live in the studio, over four days with a live audience. The result is a flawless recording that leaves the listener with the feeling that they too were there. No digital perfection is needed, because they nailed it right then and there. From the first few notes you can tell that this is a recording to own, to savor, and to explore. JP Biondo's soothing vocals speak of innocence and longing, with Pappy Biondo's delicate and deliberate banjo keeping time like a boxcar clicking along the tracks. Dylan Skursky's bass is ever present; as a live recording you can feel the bass like it is right in the room. Enter the fiddle treatments of Todd Kopec, creating a haunting full-moon -at-night landscape one moment, and an avant-garde, almost electronic accompaniment the next. All the while Mickey's guitar is stepping in and out with perfect rhythm, and JP 's mandolin building tension at every chance. And behind everything, in the middle, and all around is the careful ear and hand of Jami Novak - a drummer who knows what's around every corner.
This is a band that wants to play music, that loves to play music. You can hear in each song a bridled optimism, like they are just waiting to take you on an extended journey across the countryside. It is this tension, perfectly crafted with each player trading licks, that holds the listener in rapt attention.
When you finish this record, you will see the house that Cabinet built. Sleek, sturdy, built from the heart with sublime finishing touches. You will want to live in that house for the rest of your days.
When it comes to the music of Cabinet, the essential bywords are soul, simplicity, and serious musicianship. In concert, the combination of these qualities invariably yields an experience that is so celebratory and moving that the very word Cabinet takes on a new, vivid meaning for anyone in the audience. An inclusive and engaging energy is the uniting through-line as Cabinet weaves bluegrass, country and folk influences to powerful effect. Tight dynamics punctuate gorgeous, soaring harmonies as down-to-earth rhythm and lyrics give way to dreamy jams that are the musical equivalent of the back road scenic route. But this impressive result is no accident. Pappy Biondo [banjo, vocals], J.P. Biondo [mandolin, vocals], Mickey Coviello [acoustic guitar, vocals], Dylan Skursky [electric bass, double bass], Todd Kopec [fiddle, vocals], and Jami Novak [drums, percussion], all love and live music. They each have a nuanced approach and posses broad talents in their own rights. But the passionate, affirming, and joyous musical world that they create together is Cabinet.
Listeners that haven't yet experienced Cabinet in person will no longer be left out, thanks to a trio of live releases. THIS IS CABINET - SET I (released Dec. 2010 on Ropeadope Records) showcases the band's arrangement of traditional country and bluegrass songs as well as extended versions of tracks from their Self-Titled debut. THIS IS CABINET - COVERS (a free album given to fans for the 2011 holiday season), again showcases arrangements of traditional and standard bluegrass and folk numbers plus a couple Paul Simon tracks thrown in for good measure. The most recent effort, ELEVEN (out now on Ropeadope Records), is the band's most ambitious release to date. A live DVD / CD recorded November 11, 2011 at Abbey Bar, a former WWII aircraft parts factory turned brewery, in Harrisburg, PA, ELEVEN captures Cabinet in the heart of their element. Performed in front of a rambunctious sold out crowd this 11 song set features fan favorites "Tower", "Elizabeth", "Old Farmers Mill" and "Coalminers" as well as previously unreleased material. ELEVEN surely lives up to the band's ever growing live show reputation.
Cabinet is a band that has outgrown any "regional favorite" tag and has progressed to a broader fanbase, all while retaining their signature sound. The band has played many great venues and festivals (CMJ 11, SXSW 11 & 12, musikfest 10 & 11, Floyd Fest '12, Peach Music Festival '12, Philadelphia Folk Festival '12 to name a few) across the land and has shared the stage with Yonder Mountain String Band, Allman Brothers, Pokey LaFarge, Yarn, Delta Rae, Zac Brown, Infamous String Dusters, Railroad Earth, Rusted Root, Hoots & Hellmouth, Blackberry Smoke, Hot Buttered Rum, Cornmeal, Dark Star Orchestra, Keller Williams, Hackensaw Boys, 7 Walkers, New Riders of the Purple Sage and many, many more.
Cabinet formed in 2006, bringing together players from various musical and personal backgrounds. Some of the members are barely old enough to drink legally, but their thirst for older music is unquenchable. Whether its rustic "American Beauty"-era Grateful Dead or old-timey bluegrass, Cabinet has digested it all. But that is not to say that Cabinet recreates older styles. No, this is music that might have its roots in the past, but it is current and vibrant, with a sense of celebrating the now. The band self-released a debut album, "Cabinet," before signing with Ropeadope, which took notice and re-released that album digitally.
“Pennsylvania’s Mason Porter is a perfect example of a successful 21st century bluegrass-folk-rock band, a close-knit group of buds hitting traditional folk-bluegrass buttons while also tossing in a hit of country rock energy and power for good measure.” Steve Houk, Mid-life Rocker. It’s that positive energy that connects them with their audience every time. They play a style of American music that’s unique in many ways; traveling in the borderlands of folk-rock, bluegrass, jam and pop. The band has the ability to combine the earthy, Appalachian instruments with a more edgy urban appeal. With a danceable vibe, an energetic live show and fresh approach to improvisation, Mason Porter and its growing community finds itself at home everywhere they go.
Mason Porter’s Heart of the Mountains, their second EP in two years, showcases the band’s rapid growth and momentum. The album was produced by Brian McTear at Philadelphia’s Miner Street and musically is the band’s most far-reaching effort to date. A fine companion to 2015’s Key to the Skyway, the band builds on the themes of traveling and adventure, this time with an emphasis on nature and personal discovery. The title track “Heart of the Mountains” draws inspiration from the writings of John Muir, American naturalist and early advocate of US wilderness preservation.
Mason Porter will be releasing the new EP in conjunction with the National Park Service’s Centennial celebration and will be collaborating with the NPS on several events this year.
Heart of the Mountains adds to the excitement of an already hot year which started in January with the release of “The Tell-Tale Heart”, a single based on Edgar Allen Poe’s short story. In March the band produced Porter Fest, a collaboration with Sly Fox Brewery, and the first release of their custom craft beer “Mason Porter Porter”.
Mason Porter’s 2015 release Key to the Skyway was called “…a leap forward in both confidence and sound for the band.” by Mike Mannon of No Depression. 2015 also showed the band’s willingness to work hard and follow their own vision. With the help of their community, they were able to host their first annual music and camping festival, the Midnight Mountain Music Show, which was met with great success. In addition the band organized some very successful tributes, including several sold-out Workingman’s Dead/American Beauty shows and the much talked about “Folk Roots of the Grateful Dead” set that landed them two main stage sets at the Philadelphia Folk Festival.
Mason Porter’s 2014 release Home For The Harvest was met with great enthusiasm and helped usher in the next wave of growth for the band. The album, which drew comparisons to the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty and Neil Young’s Harvest, received significant airplay from SirusXM’s The Coffee House as well as national AAA and Folk DJ support. Fred Knittel of Folkadelphia says: “What continues to make West Chester, PA’s Mason Porter a force to be reckoned with in the Americana and roots community, especially regionally, is the intimacy that they bring to each song. Whether it’s in live performance, or on record (like their latest, Home For The Harvest)”. He also notes the band’s “uncanny ability to draw the listener in and keep them close. I can only think that this magical power is the result of a strong and long-standing chemistry between the members.”
Mason Porter got its start in late 2006 informally as friends playing folk songs together at parties in West Chester, PA. The band released their debut EP Mason Porter (2008) resulting in immediate praise. Les McIntyre of Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine wrote of this inaugural recording “The music of Mason Porter could be best described as alternative bluegrass…in this debut recording, the eclectic trio show musical prowess that is difficult to overlook.” Following up with full lengths Thunder In The Valley (2009) and a collection of traditional folk and covers Story Of the Rifle (2011), the band became a fixture on the regional scene. Through the process of writing, recording and constant gigging, the band developed its original sound blending folk, bluegrass, blues, country and rock influences into the unique personality that is Mason Porter. The band consists of founding members Joe D’Amico (mandolin, guitar, vocals), Tim Celfo (upright bass, vocals), Paul Wilkinson (guitar, vocals) with Evan Smoker (drums) and Sarah Larsen (violin).
Mason Porter has become a favorite on the regional festival and club circuits and is constantly pushing itself into new musical ground and making new friends. They have shared the stage with acts such as Ralph Stanley, Greensky Bluegrass, Peter Rowan, Larry Keel, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Charlie Daniels, Spirit Family Reunion, Carolina Chocolate Drops, The Black Lillies, Will Hoge, American Babies and more.
Gatos Blanco feat. Pappy, Dylan Skursky, John Kimock, Al Smith & Justin Mazer
With 3 of the 5 members currently residing in Vermont and all members knowing each other from time spent making music while living in North East PA, the urge to get together to play was inevitable. Gatos Blancos consists of members of Cabinet (Pappy Biondo/Dylan Skursky) American Babies (Justin Mazer/Al Smith) and Mike Gordon Band (John Kimock). These gatos will mesh the best of their musical worlds, backgrounds, influences and interests for the greater good of the music community.
$20 Advance / $25 Day of Show
The Ardmore Music Hall
Sun, February 18
Sun, February 18
Thu, February 22
Thu, February 22
Fri, February 23