“Which one of these doors leads to where I belong?” inquires lead singer JP Biondo on Doors, the addictive first track on the new album, Leap from Ropeadope Records’ bluegrass outfit Cabinet. Doors mirrors a band not afraid to persevere against the odds while taking calculated risks in an effort to breakthrough. A seasoned group of musicians, having already released three live albums Eleven, Covers and Set I, this LP marks an exciting and fresh chapter for the Pennsylvania band, displaying their prowess on a number of contagious cuts.
Comprised of JP Biondo (mandolin/vocals), Mickey Coviello (guitar), Pappy Biondo (banjo/vocals), Dylan Skursky (bass), Todd Kopec (fiddle) and Jami Novak (drums), the band reworked many classic tunes that hard core fans will recognize from tour rotation, as well as unleashed some songs not previously performed before. A jam juggernaut, part bluegrass, rock and country, Cabinet features a distinct variety of lasting flavors that even the most distinguished music connoisseur will find something new in their sound. Leap is an assemblage of quality songs that harken back to the older times, where each song’s monster melody and gyrating groove segues into the next, leaving one consistently satiated after each cut.
Although naturally compared to similar acts in the genre like Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth and Cornmeal, Cabinet’s music jumps out with a flair and texture all its own. Intricate fast tempo and toe-tapping tracks like Susquehanna Breakdown and Eleanor further establish Cabinet as possessors of impressive instrumental chops that they weave among layers of distinctly professional musicianship. The songs are filled with luscious harmonies, grand and euphoric in scope and sound, the depth of which are accentuated with the powerful banjo picking by Pappy and finesse fiddle mastery by Kopec. With descriptive and soulful lyrics delivered with the exquisitely clear and comfortably haunting voice of JP Biondi, a world of moonshine and playful mayhem develops from track to track.
[Photo by Jim Gavenus]
The album was recorded over four days at the Windmill Agency outside the band’s home in Scranton, Penn. Allowing loyal local fans access to the recording process, the band sold 20 tickets to each of the album’s recording sessions, raising half of the funds needed to pay the recording costs. Leap is an example of what a band can deliver through confidence, perseverance and determination. Cabinet sets an indelible mark with an impressive album reflecting the American bluegrass tradition. With Leap, due out on Nov. 20th, they are successful in releasing an effort which will create a lasting impression to music lovers of all genres.