Pert' Near Sandstone & Cabinet 3.10 & 3.11.16
Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel (Opti Mystic Outlooks)
With a smattering of newer tunes peppered through some staples, the Pennsylvanian sextet traded riffs, harmonized, and shared their songs with an enthusiastic theater full. The faithful came out in force to hear Scranton's sons. At one point, I found myself marveling at the consistency of their brand. Everything from their attire to their sound had an authenticity that was born in the history of their own coal-crackin' region of Pennsylvania. And though these boys haven't mined a day in their lives, you wouldn't know it to hear them sing those Appalachian tales. The thing about coal mining was that it was incredibly hard work. Likewise, their music was a nicely refined labor of love that reflected their commitment and dedication to the craft. Every time I've seen them, they've made progress, worked harder, raised the bar, and outdone themselves. They haven't given up, and for all we know, they haven't even gotten started yet.
Wrapping their set with the Pappy led, "Heavy Rain," I was excited to journey up to Fort Collins and see them again the following day.
Pert' had some guest musicians sit in, and as the music heated up, I checked my phone. It was just after midnight. With a 7:30 am shift to make, and another night of 'grass ahead of me, I threw in the towel. I found my way to my car, fired her up, and drove straight to work. I knew it would save me a precious hour in the morning. I keyed into the office, spewed my thoughts on a page, and settled into the couch, feeling 'grass-stained and happy as I drifted towards slumber in my office lobby.
Brad's Photo Gallery
The Aggie Theatre
Ft. Collins, CO
Cabinet's set leaned a bit more on JP's vocal offerings than the previous night which was more heavily on Pappy's shoulders. The room had filled in a bit by the time they started, and the Pennsylvanian pickers provided the crowd with a swirl of psychedelic melodies. They had a way of interweaving their lines in a similar way to what the Grateful Dead did live. The band cohesively dropped out at various sections, all coming back in on the same beat, and adding dynamics to some of the more familiar tunes. Every time I've seen the band, I've become more impressed with different members. Each of them adds a layer of spectacular individual talent, yet they always serve the whole over their own ego. From harmonies that blended like Chivas Regal to rhythmic fidelity that could be used as birth control (with a very low success rate, mind you), the band was a well-oiled machine that seemed to roar to life in a ramshackle barn, burst through the weathered doors, and squeal down the dirt road in search of whiskey. Their small town start had left a casual, familiar, and down-to-earth impact on their lyrics, their melodies, and their camaraderie. They were a joy to watch in the Aggie Theatre. They're really a remarkable band, and one of my favorite Bluegrass acts on the road today. I couldn't wait to see them again as soon as they left the stage.
Driving back down 25, we safely navigated our way to our home before crashing harder than a toddler after a sugar rush... Drained and 'grass- stained!
Brad's Photo Gallery