Venue: Buffalo Iron Works
Address: 49 Illinois St.
City: Buffalo, NY 14203 USA
Category: Live music
Event url: www.buffaloironworks.com.
Price text: $12 advance, $15 DOS.
About: Some of the best parties are the ones that weren’t even supposed to occur. Two or three friends lazily enjoy each other’s company, then another two or three join the impromptu festivities. Jokes are cracked, drinks are guzzled, and the next thing you know, it’s 3 a.m. Celebration, Cabinet’s third studio release and seventh overall, is that kind of get-together. Initially intended to be a straight bluegrass record, the album instead emerged as the band’s most diverse release yet, which is no small statement when you consider the various genres the band has touched upon in the studio and on the stage to date. What’s remarkable, though, is that the tunes, which span the band’s eight-plus years of existence, showcase that diversity while retaining a distinct, cohesive common thread that the band deftly weaves from track to track. It barely needs to be noted at this stage in the game that the individual musicians’ playing prowess is at a high level, but what makes this a true album rather than a loose collection of unrelated songs is not those acclaimed Cabinet instrumental chops, but its time-honored writing abilities, which are in top form here. Scenes and moods are evoked, established and subtly revisited, sometimes via timeless lyrics and sometimes with just the simple turn of a musical phrase or accent. What’s more surprising is these songs, despite their shared sensibilities, were not all written during the same period. Some have been kicking around the Cabinet catalog for some time, like “Home Now,” a live staple for the Americana outfit since its early days, which gets a relatively raucous reworking here. Others, like “Pine Billy” and “Red River,” are brand new. “Red River,” specifically, finds the band at its introspective best, a yearning, pretty tune that might pleasantly surprise some Cabinet fans. Those long-time fans will delight in the new material, and the uninitiated will be won over, too, thanks to the warm, inviting nature of the songs and the way they’re presented sonically. Themes of home