By Matt Mattei - [email protected]

Northeastern Pennsylvania-based bluegrass band Cabinet to play two shows at F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre

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Cabinet performs last year at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre.
Amanda Hrycyna|For Times Leader
Cabinet, from left: Todd Kopec, Jami Novak, Mickey Coviello, Pappy Biondo, Dylan Skursky and J.P. Biondo.
Times Leader archive photo.

WILKES-BARRE — After touring a large portion of the country to play for a continuously growing fan base, keeping company with other celebrated musicians and widening their network of friends and listeners, Pennsylvania bluegrass band, Cabinet, will celebrate Christmas at home.

The six-piece Americana group with roots in Northeastern Pennsylvania will play two shows on Dec. 18 and 19 at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre. The concerts are part of the Kirby’s Chandelier Lobby Series, which puts shows in a more comfortable atmosphere for both musicians and fans.

Mandolin player and vocalist J.P. Biondo said the tour was a pleasure, and he and his band-mates enjoy traveling and playing for audiences old and new.

“We’ve been everywhere from Colorado to Burlington, Vermont, down to the Carolinas and a couple more local shows in Pennsylvania,” Biondo said. “We’re getting around and having a good time. We’ve had the great privilege to do some playing with Keller Williams recently on the tour, and he’s an awesome guy, someone we’re very happy to become friends with, and we’re pumped about that relationship.”

Biondo said the road can be an exhausting place, but Cabinet puts into perspective the effort necessary to do a big tour.

“It’s a labor of love when it comes to that,” Biondo said. “We all love the road the same way we love the music. We’re a little tired, but that’s just part of it.”

Coming home for Christmas brings good feelings after a travel-heavy year, and is significant for the members of the band, Biondo said.

“We want to be around home for the holidays,” Biondo said. “That’s important to all of us and our families, so it’s good to have that time here. Also, we’ve been building a fan base, but the ones we’ve had the longest are from right here, and they’ve stuck with us for years. We appreciate them, so it’s partly our duty to make sure we come back and give them a heck of a show and have a great time with them to let them know we haven’t forgotten.”

With a slew of friends and family in the local fan base, and the cocktails closer to the stage than usual, last year’s Cabinet Chandelier shows turned into a kind of Christmas party at the band’s house, full of well-wishing folks and sharing holiday libations while the guys in the band entertained their company.

“Doing the Chandelier thing, it’s great, because it’s a little more intimate,” Biondo said. “You’re not in a huge theater with a whole bunch of people, which maybe we’ll work up to one of these years, but for now we’re pretty pumped to be doing the Chandelier thing. It’s fun. It’s a great environment. We just get the whole Cabinet family together and have a good time, lots of smiles and friends all over the place.”

Another perk to performing in the lobby, Biondo said, is the freedom it provides the guys while they’re playing.

“It’s much more relaxed,” Biondo said. “We know exactly what we’re getting into, and we can really let loose and have some serious fun.”

IF YOU GO:

What: Chandelier Lobby Series featuring Cabinet

When: 9 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19

Where: F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts

Ticket information: $25 in advance, $30 day of the show. Two-night pass $40 in advance, $50 day of the show.

Purchase tickets on the Kirby Center’s website, www.kirbycenter.org or at Cabinet’s website, www.cabinetmusic.com.

Pennsylvania bluegrass band to play two shows at Kirby Center

By Matt Mattei

[email protected]

Cabinet performs last year at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre.
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_cabitet-31.jpgCabinet performs last year at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre. Amanda Hrycyna|For Times Leader

Cabinet, from left: Todd Kopec, Jami Novak, Mickey Coviello, Pappy Biondo, Dylan Skursky and J.P. Biondo.
http://theweekender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/web1_cabinet1.jpgCabinet, from left: Todd Kopec, Jami Novak, Mickey Coviello, Pappy Biondo, Dylan Skursky and J.P. Biondo. Times Leader archive photo.
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Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or [email protected]

IF YOU GO:

What: Chandelier Lobby Series featuring Cabinet

When: 9 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19

Where: F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts

Ticket information: $25 in advance, $30 day of the show. Two-night pass $40 in advance, $50 day of the show.

Purchase tickets on the Kirby Center’s website, www.kirbycenter.org or at Cabinet’s website, www.cabinetmusic.com.