FreeWheelin' Music Safari

New Friends – Cornmeal!

So the other day, when I was looking up information about Great American Taxi I saw a new music chart at and on that chart at No4 was a band called Cornmeal and their new album Live in Chicago,Il., Vol.1. So I went to Rhapsody to check them out. Rhapsody didn’t have have the new album but did have several others including their 2006 release Feet First. After the first few minutes of the first song “River Gap”, I knew I had another progressive bluegrass band to add to my growing list of new favorites!  These guys and gal are absolutely fantastic! The vocals are great, and the picking is some of the fastest and best I have ever heard! Here is some information about the band from their biography at their website:

Formed over 10 years ago, Cornmeal has grown from humble beginnings into a nationally recognized live music institution. 10 years together is no simple task these days, especially when the last five have seen the band spending over half the year on the road. Heavily influenced by American roots and folk music, Cornmeal blends lightning fast tempos and impeccable harmonies into an unrivaled live performance that continues to expand upon the five-piece acoustic-electric groups’ vast musical repertoire. While steeped in the tradition of the past, Cornmeal continues to forge their own path, pushing the boundaries of bluegrass, Americana and folk for a whole new generation of music lovers. With a rapidly growing fan base and ever-evolving sound, Cornmeal challenges the recipe of the bluegrass sound and live performance.

While playing a blend of high profile venues, jam-band and bluegrass festivals to thousands throughout the region, the band has shared the stage with such highly acclaimed national acts as THE DAVID GRISMAN QUINTET, JOHN HARTFORD, THE DEL McCOURY BAND, LITTLE FEAT, LEFTOVER SALMON, TONY RICE, YONDER MOUNTAIN STRING BAND, DARK STAR ORCHESTRA, moe, SAM BUSH and UMPHREY’S McGEE. They have performed at some of the most high profile festivalin the country including Bonnaroo, High Sierra, Magnolia Fest, 10K Lakes, Wakarusa, Summercamp, DelFest and many others.

Cornmeal is:
Wavy Dave Burlingame-Banjo,Vocals
Kris Nowak-Guitar,Vocals
Chris Gangi-String Bass, Vocals
JP Nowak-Drums, Vocals
Allie Kral-Fiddle, Vocals

Like most of the music I’ve listened to  over the last several months, I like almost every track on this album. The slower songs are just as good the fast stuff well maybe not quite as good because the fast stuff is so good! The tracks that really stood out include “Stofer’s Ramble”, the closing track “Hillbilly Ride” which has some blistering banjo playing! Probably my favorite track on the album is “Hasten Jason” a great song with to me some unbelievable vocals! All in all it is just a great fun album that I want to listen to again and again and I can’t wait to listen to  the Live in Chicago,Il. Vol 1 album!

Looking at their schedule, I see they will be at  Haddon Heights Sundown Music Series in Haddon Heights, NJ on July 14th and so will I! So if you like great music steeped in Americana, folk and bluegrass played at a lightening pace with vocals to match check this band out!