Rich Howells

Following Peach Fest debut, Gatos Blancos return to River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains on Aug. 25

Following Peach Fest debut, Gatos Blancos return to River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains on Aug. 25
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Following their well-received first performance at the Peach Music Festival in Scranton, Gatos Blancos will return to the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains on Saturday, Aug. 25.

The group, who made their hometown area debut at the Jazz Cafe last year, features members of popular Scranton/Wilkes-Barre jamgrass band Cabinet (who recently reunited for their only show this year at Peach Fest), local groove rock trio Starbird, and the bands of folk rock singer/songwriter Ryan Montbleau, psychedelic Americana singer/songwriter Brad Parsons, and founding Phish bassist Mike Gordon. Currently based in Vermont, the lineup includes Pappy Biondo (banjo/vocals), Justin Mazer (guitar/vocals), Dylan Skursky (bass), Al Smith (keyboards), and John Kimock (drums). They’ve also played with drummers like Russ Lawton (Trey Anastasio Band), David Butler (Marco Benevento), and Nathan Graham (Midnight North) when Kimock ran into scheduling conflicts.

Gatos Blancos released their first single, “Sunset in Stone,” on April 13, an instrumental tune with Biondo happily strutting his stuff around town in the accompanying music video, and they opened for jam band and fellow Peach Fest alum Twiddle soon after at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg on April 21 and the Rex Theater in Pittsburgh on April 22. They’re set to play at the Night Lights Music Festival at The Heron in Sherman, New York the same weekend as the Jazz Cafe show this Saturday.

Doors at the Jazz Cafe (667 N. River St., Plains) open at 8 p.m., and the 21+ show starts at 10 p.m. Tickets, which are $12 in advance or $18 at the door, can be purchased online via HoldMyTicket.

Local music fans can expect plenty of new original material, extended experimental jams, cool collaborations (Cabinet’s JP Biondo joined them last time for “Cool River”), and even some songs from their other projects. This concert coincides with the birthday celebration weekend of the venue’s talent booker, Tom Moran, who turned 60 today, so with all their shared history, it will surely be a night to remember.

See NEPA Scene’s photos of Gatos Blancos at the seventh annual Peach Festival here, their previous River Street Jazz Cafe show here, and their first show at the Jazz here.

Listen to Mazer talk about Gatos Blancos, traveling the country as a touring musician, the Jazz Cafe’s importance to the local music scene, and more in Episode 40 of the NEPA Scene Podcast:

Photo by Vic Brazen