Rich Howells

NEPA SCENE PODCAST: JP Biondo of NEPA jamgrass band Cabinet and the Susquehanna Breakdown in Scranton

NEPA SCENE PODCAST: JP Biondo of NEPA jamgrass band Cabinet and the Susquehanna Breakdown in Scranton
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The NEPA Scene Podcast is back in a new location with new co-hosts and a fresh format, conducting the same honest, uncensored interviews and in-depth discussions about Northeastern Pennsylvania that the show has become known for, covering local arts, entertainment, and the issues that matter to the area.

Recorded and produced every week by Internet marketing company Coal Creative in their production studio in downtown Wilkes-Barre, the podcast is now presented as a live, multi-camera show that streams in high definition on NEPA Scene’s Facebook page on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. Every hour-long episode is hosted by Rich Howells, editor and founder of NEPA Scene; Brittany Boote, owner of Boote Photography Studio in Forty Fort; and Johnny Popko, the senior marketing consultant at local radio stations Alt 92.1, Rock 107, and ESPN Radio. Viewers are encouraged to tune in and interact during the Facebook Live stream so that the hosts can address comments and answer questions as they come in.

After the live webcast, the show is available the following Friday as an audio podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud, and Stitcher, while the video version can be seen on Facebook and YouTube.

In Episode 8, we chat with singer, songwriter, and mandolinist JP Biondo, who is both a solo artist and a member of Cabinet, the popular Scranton/Wilkes-Barre jamgrass band hosting the fifth annual Susquehanna Breakdown Music Festival at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton on Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20.

We talk about whether or not he would define Cabinet’s music as “bluegrass” and how that type of music came out of NEPA, his personal musical influences and how they play a role in the band, jamming and improvisation, keeping the band together despite being spread out across several states, recording their new album “Cool River” in Vermont with Phish engineer Ben Collette, taking musical risks and not worrying what others may think, letting fans record shows and releasing them for free online, his solo work and recording locally at the Windmill Agency, a song written by his mother, the importance of family in his own life and in the band and their special relationship with fans, playing Montage Mountain and what that means to local musicians, how the Susquehanna Breakdown began and has grown over the years, a touching moment at last year’s Breakdown, what’s in store for this year, and more.

Instead of The Last Word segment, we spent more time in this episode answering both funny and serious fan questions during the live stream, considering how important the “CabFam” is to the group. JP also opens the show with an acoustic version of Cabinet’s latest single, “Bottom of the Sea,” and closes with one of their classic songs, “The Tower.”

Watch the live video version on YouTube:

Listen on iTunes.

Listen on SoundCloud:

Listen on Stitcher.

Watch “Bottom of the Sea” on YouTube:

Stream/download on SoundCloud:

Watch “The Tower” on YouTube:

Stream/download on SoundCloud:

Watch the original Facebook Live stream:

The views and opinions expressed during this podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the hosts, NEPA Scene, Coal Creative, or our sponsors.