With roster changes completed, the Chicago favorites in Cornmeal are in a getting-to-know-you stage all over again. The new and coalescing lineup is in the midst of a Midwest and Colorado swing before heading to the Northeast -- they are getting their legs way they've always done it, by playing a shit ton of shows.
Bonus for local fans… They've added a standalone tour stop on April 17th at an old stomping ground -- Durty Nellie's in Palatine. Chicago Bluegrass stalwarts in Henhouse Prowlers will open the show. Now…advance tickets are available via GROUPON for only $10.
Bassist Chris Gangi recently opened up to jambase about the new additions to the lineup:
On Drummer, Drew Littel:
He had been a fan of the band for a long time and going to Cornmeal shows for years. He really had a handle and grasp on what we do and also a good feel for what we want to bring out in our music. It was really cool to have someone come in with that level of background knowledge on the band.
On Guitarist, Scott Tipping:
He contacted me early – right when he heard – and said, ‘hey, I heard you guys are looking for a guitarist.’ I wrote it off initially because he’s an electric rock ‘n’ roll guitarist. He was playing in some pretty heavy rock bands and Backyard Tire Fire…that right there is a good old, Gibson-loving rock ‘n’ roll band, you know?
I couldn’t picture it, to be honest. He was a rock guitarist and I was looking for a solid, flatpicking bluegrass guitarist. But six months later, on happenstance, we ended up doing what we call the Cornmeal Ramble, which is a big jam we do with a bunch of bands featured. And listening to him as part of the Backyard Tire Fire part, I looked up at Wavy, and I said, wow, he’s incredible. He can run the gamut of styles. It blew us away. And in truth he brings to Cornmeal a little bit more fire and a little bit more rock ‘n’ roll than we’ve had, which is a really interesting and really cool development. We’re relishing that, and he’s developed a few of his own guitars to fit himself in what we’re doing.
Fiddler Molly Healy still holds the interim label, but her voice and performance -- even her stage presence -- fits right in to the Cornmeal aesthetic.
But what the jambase article lacked, was a taste of what's happening on stage. Luckily, a few videos have emerged from the band's big Thanksgiving Weekend gig at The Vic. Looks like the propensity for stretching out and blending genres has not waned with the new group. Check out "When The Worlds Got You Down" , "Lay Me Down" and the apropos "All Things Must Change". There's a little behind the scenes interview footage in there as well.
When The World's Got You Down
Lay Me Down
All Things Must Change
Behind the Scenes