The summer-concert season gets an early start tomorrow as the band Cabinet hosts its second annual music festival at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain.
Last year’s inaugural festival was called the “Old Farmers Ball” (derived from the Cabinet song “Old Farmers Mill”), but this time it’s the “Susquehanna Breakdown.”
“We found out someone else owns the name,” mandolinist and vocalist JP Biondo said of the festival’s original name. “They graciously allowed us to use it for one year, and we needed to change it.
“This name fits better in my opinion,” he said. “Again it’s named after one of our songs, but I think it better describes the vibe we’re trying to bring.”
Thanks to suggestions from its fans, this year’s model has been expanded to include camping and late-night music. Seventeen bands will appear on two stages from 11:30 a.m. Saturday until 1:45 a.m. Sunday.
Besides Cabinet (who will play the Susquehanna Stage — the Pavilion’s main stage — at 10:45 p.m.), other artists scheduled to appear include local favorites Coal Town Rounders, And The Moneynotes and Leroy Justice, plus Floodwood (with Al Schnier and Vinnie Amico from moe.), Marco Benevento, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds and Terrapin Flyer featuring Melvin Seals (who played organ in the Jerry Garcia Band) and Mark Karan (guitarist with Bob Weir and RatDog).
There also will be a third stage showcasing special performances such as an early Saturday morning campers-only set by Pappy (Cabinet’s banjoist/vocalist Pappy Biondo) and a last-call, late-night set beginning at 1:30 a.m. with Rogue Chimp, a Scranton-based electronica/techno/jazz/fusion/drum & bass ensemble.
After its own festival, Cabinet will hit the road for more festival appearances all summer long, including: Brews and BBQ Festival with Amy Helm (May 17 in Danbury, Ct.), DelFest (May 23 and 24 in Cumberland, Md.), the Hot August Music Festival (Aug. 16 in Cockeysville, Md.) and LOCKN’ (Sept. 5 in Arrington, Va.), where the band will appear on the same bill with Furthur (Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and Bob Weir in the group’s only 2014 performance), The Allman Brothers Band, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and dozens more.
“We’ve been playing festivals for a long time,” Biondo said, “and now we’re kind of progressing to some of the larger ones. So we’re all really excited.”