How exactly do young musicians get turned on to forms of music several generations removed from their own? The six members of Pennsylvania’s Cabinet surely weren’t yet a twinkle in their parents’ eyes when Bob Dylan released “John Wesley Harding” or the Band coughed up “Music from Big Pink,” to say nothing of Bill Monroe’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” And yet, these deep strains of Americana and their offshoots are the common influence for the band – which, as it happens, will be performing at 9 p.m. Friday in Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar.
So they call this stuff “jamgrass,” mostly because it’s bluegrass music played by stinkin’ hippies, who like to solo and carry on a musical discourse during performances and may or may not be wearing hats while doing so. There is certainly a strain of this new roots music that tugs at the edges of credulity – Mumford & Sons, anyone? – but Cabinet avoids the cloying bandwagon-esque trend-hopping in favor of some serious musicianship, strong songwriting, and genre-appropriate harmony vocals.
These guys can play, and that makes all the difference in the world. They aren’t merely dressing up cliché-ridden pop tropes in dusty overalls. Witness “Leap,” Cabinet’s fourth album, not counting live, in-concert releases. The guys tracked the record live in the studio in front of an audience, and the results are about what you’d expect from such a procedure – an album with a decidedly energetic feel.
Cabinet is worth your time if you dig roots music that manages to be authentic without regurgitating the past verbatim. Check the band out at Cabinetmusic.com. Find “Leap” on Spotify, if you must. But certainly consider bringing $8 to Duke’s on Friday. Evil Things will open. Advance tickets are available through mnmpresents.inticketing.com.
Anita West’s weekly Thursday Night Blues @ CPG series – born out of the longtime WNY DJ’s weekly blues show on WBFO FM, heard Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. – has been generating a substantial buzz in the weeks since its inception.
The blues community has rallied around both West and the bands she brings to the Central Park Grill (2519 Main St.) each week. The shows start promptly at 7 p.m., and admission is free, so there go your two primary arguments for staying home.
This week, the series presents R&B/soul/blues collective Dive House Union. If you haven’t caught this band live yet, you should.
A collective of Buffalo musicians will join Preach Freedom of Rusted Root in a tribute to Bob Marley, re-creating one of the late reggae legend’s final concert performances at 7 p.m. Friday in the Water Street Landing (115 S. Water St., Lewiston).
The Tralf Music Hall (622 Main St.) hosts a timely tribute to the Doors at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Mo Porter’s Doors Tribute will be joined by the Petty Thieves: A Tribute to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers and the Filter Kings.
Tickets are $20 advance, $25 day of show (box office). This will be the Filter Kings’ final performance, as guitarist Mark Krurnowski is leaving town. Stop by and wish him well.
The Tins and On Beta share a bill at 11 p.m. Friday in Mr. Goodbar (1110 Elmwood Ave.). Admission will be $3 at the door.
The seasonal “Sunset Sundays” series hosts its launch party at 9 p.m. Sunday in the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery (76 Pearl St.). The free weekly series presents a varied blend of electronic dance music on the venue’s second floor patio. The launch party will feature DJs Lalka, 3PO & Ryan Liddell, Brandon Chase and Rufus Gibson.
Karen Hudson returns to Buffalo to celebrate the release of her new CD, “Sonic Bloom,” with the help of revered guitarist/bassist and all-around good dude Jim Whitford, at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Sportsmen’s Tavern (326 Amherst St.).