Floodwood returns to Wilkes-Barre with new players, new music to perform at Bart & Urby’s April 1
Floodwood, the all star “newgrass” group, performs yearly in the Wyoming Valley. They’ve played the River Street Jazz Cafe, Coal City Tavern, and one uniquely intimate private party in 2014 for about 40 people at the home of Matt and Pati Bobeck of West Wyoming.
With a newly secured lineup, the masters of progressive string music will perform at 8 p.m. April 1, at Bart & Urby’s, 119 South Main St., Wilkes-Barre. Supporting act Lithium Angels, featuring Dylan Skursky of Cabinet and Justin Mazer of American Babies, will open the show.
Jason Barady of Woodenspoon and Vinnie Amico and Al Schnier of moe., founded Floodwood in 2011. It had to regroup in 2015 after Schnier bowed out to spend more time with his children and focus on moe.
Barady said the band returns to Wilkes-Barre frequently and he recalled how much fun Floodwood had at the Bobeck residence.
“It was fantastic,” Barady said. “The Bobecks are amazing. They’re music lovers, and without people like that, we don’t exist. It was a great musical night, because you feel like you’re a teenager again playing at a high school party.”
Pati said she and her husband, Matt, became fans after seeing Floodwood at moe.down, moe.’s music festival, and became more intrigued after the band played a charity event at the Jazz Cafe.
“I thought they were fantastic,” Pati said. “The level of energy coming off of that stage was impressive. Then they played the Rock the Walls benefit. That’s when we really got into them.”
Pati said the show at her home was a combination of wanting to host a great band for friends and wanting to help the band fund a record.
“They did this Kickstarter thing, so it was to help with their album,” she said. “We love having house parties. We love creating an environment where everyone can hang out and enjoy the moment.”
When Floodwood returns, Pati can’t wait to hear their sound with talented players filling in around a solid core.
“Jason and Nick have this interaction,” she said. “It’s infectious. They get everybody involved with their energy.”
Floodwood’s current ensemble is comprised of veterans Barady on mandolin, Amico on drums and Nick Piccininni on violin and banjo with the additions of Tony Markellis of the Trey Anastasio Band on bass and Chris Eves of Castle Creek on guitar.
Floodwood released its first studio LP in 2013 with the crowd funded This Is Life. They followed up the next year with This Is Live. Barady said the band has a stable of new originals and a forthcoming studio record.
“We’re trying to shoot for getting something out by summer time, but we’ll see what happens,” Barady said.
Floodwood’s live performances encompass everything from their bluegrass fusion originals to inventive takes on traditional songs with the occasional Grateful Dead cover or jazz jam interjected. Barady attributes eclectic sets to influences from Sam Bush to Miles Davis.
“That’s just all of our musical influences coming out,” Barady said. “Instead of being one genre, that’s how we play. We’re all very worldly when it comes to music. We can play a lot of different genres.”
The Wyoming Valley, Barady said, always gives the band positive feedback.
“We love coming to that area,” Barady said. “You guys have always been one of our top places to come. The support’s been fantastic for us there.”
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651