NEPA Scene Podcast Episode 40 - Touring guitarist Justin Mazer on cross-country music and travel
In Episode 40, we sit down with Shavertown native Justin Mazer, guitarist for Gatos Blancos, Starbird, Ryan Montbleau, and many other bands over the years, including Tom Hamilton’s American Babies, Leroy Justice, and MiZ. His longtime Led Zeppelin tribute act Misty Mountain will reunite for two shows with special guests at the River Street Jazz Cafe in Plains on Friday, Dec. 22 and Saturday, Dec. 23. Before and during the interview, we drink Beer Boys crowlers of BennyFest, an Oktoberfest-style lager by Benny Brewing Company in Wilkes-Barre, Maple Mistress Imperial Pumpkin Ale by Saucony Creek Brewing in Kutztown, and Quinannan Falls IPL by Bell’s Brewing. Each one ended up being flavorful and perfect fuel for a discussion after Justin’s long drive. We talk about how Justin started as a young guitarist, spending an average of 175-200 days on the road and playing in at least 40 states, his travel highlights, how the local music scene influenced and boosted his career, the importance of open mics to his development as a guitarist and to other artists, the recent Cabinet hiatus announcement, how he effectively juggles different projects and practices consistently, the musicians that started at and grew out of the River Street Jazz Cafe, what our scene can learn from other music scenes across the country, his celebrity run-ins with artists like Jim James from My Morning Jacket that didn’t go as planned, his crazy story of flying from gig to gig, the origins of Misty Mountain and its ambitious 10th anniversary show this weekend, and more. We also answer some questions and react to comments from live viewers, discussing Justin’s favorite venues, who is on his bucket list to play with, underrated bands, staying grounded, and our first albums and concerts. The award-winning NEPA Scene Podcast covers arts, entertainment, and the issues that matter to Northeastern Pennsylvania. It airs as a live video stream every Wednesday at 7 p.m. on NEPA Scene’s Facebook page and is available afterward on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, YouTube, and nepascene.com. This episode and all previous episodes are available now on NEPA Scene, the award-winning independent arts and entertainment website that combines the accuracy and professionalism of a print magazine with the immediacy and convenience of a blog, offering a wide variety of content to readers in NEPA, Philadelphia, New York, and beyond. The show is made possible by local sponsors Beer Boys, The V-Spot, The Keys, Loyalty Barber Shop and Shave Parlor, Coal Creative, and viewers who tune in every week.