NEPA Scene Staff

Bluegrass artists Billy Strings and JP Biondo of Cabinet play at Jazz Cafe in Plains on April 27

Bluegrass artists Billy Strings and JP Biondo of Cabinet play at Jazz Cafe in Plains on April 27
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From a press release:

Seen at the Susquehanna Breakdown Music Festival in Scranton last year and the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre this year, Nashville bluegrass sensation Billy Strings will return to Northeastern Pennsylvania for a show at the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains on Friday, April 27 with Scranton singer/songwriter JP Biondo, formerly of Cabinet before the band went on hiatus.

Doors at the Jazz Cafe (667 N. River St., Plains) open at 7 p.m., and the 21+ show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets, which are $12 in advance or $18 at the door, can be purchased online via HoldMyTicket.

Whether sharing stages with acoustic music royalty, crisscrossing the nation playing as a solo artist, or performing high-energy, jaw-dropping sets at festivals, the reaction to Billy Strings tends to come in two varieties: “Who is this guy?” and “That kid can play!”

Raised in Michigan and based in Nashville, Strings – real name William Apostol – learned music from his father, who had learned it from his father and his father before him. Maybe that’s why, at 25, Strings’ songs, his articulation, and his entire approach sounds so authentic and steeped in tradition.

While Strings’ profile as a guitar virtuoso and singer in the acoustic/bluegrass scene continues to grow, he has already earned some landmark achievements as he averages more than 200 live performances each year.

He has been invited to play on stage with Del McCoury, David Grisman, Larry Keel, Sam Bush, Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters, Leftover Salmon, and more. He’s landed coveted slots at festivals like Pickathon, Merlefest, DelFest, High Sierra Music Festival, and Grey Fox, to name a few, and he’s shared bills with popular touring acts Greensky Bluegrass, The Infamous Stringdusters, Yonder Mountain Stringband, Leftover Salmon, Cabinet from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and more.

And the industry has taken notice: Strings was named one of Rolling Stone Country’s “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know” in 2017, received the IBMA 2016 Momentum Awards Instrumentalist of the Year (for guitar, banjo and mandolin), and was voted No. 1 in scene tastemaker Bluegrass Situation’s Top 16 of ’16.

On Sept. 22, Strings’ first full-length album, “Turmoil & Tinfoil,” was released to critical acclaim. It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard bluegrass charts and continues to have a seat on the bluegrass radio charts. While the album boasts his usual flare on the six-string, it also showcases Strings as a talented lyricist. On all 13 tracks, he explores his more psychedelic side, with spoken word and trippy lyrics intertwined with heartache, pain and, of course, turmoil.

See NEPA Scene’s photos of Billy Strings playing in Wilkes-Barre last month here and see photos from the 2017 Susquehanna Breakdown here and Cabinet’s final show here. Watch or listen to Biondo talk about Cabinet and their last album, as well as his own solo work, in Episode 8 of the NEPA Scene Podcast, which includes two exclusive acoustic performances: