North Mississippi Allstar February 26, 2010 Highline Ballroom New York, NY Taped and Transferred by T.J. Samulis

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cornmeal - 08/31/08 - Main Stage

Cornmeal was the one band (other than moe.) I was most excited to see at moe.down. Their music is rooted with a traditional bluegrass sound, but it also has an element of folk rock to it. Cornmeal is known to bring a high level of energy to their shows, which is the biggest reason I was excited to see them. They had the difficult task of waking everyone up for the last day of the festival on the main stage. It’s a tough time slot because after two days of partying, somehow festival-goers have to gather every last bit of energy to face the day.

They wasted no time giving everyone some high octane music to shake off the grogginess from the weekend. Cornmeal came out with their guns a blazin’ with a fifteen minute version of River Gap and confirmed why we were here to see them: it’s all about the energy! The Way It Ought To Be > Johnny Put Your Gun Down kept everyone moving as more and more people began heading to the main stage. Working On A Building was a great example of Cornmeal’s “jamgrass” sound. About five minutes into the traditional song the band put their spin on it. Cornmeal extended the middle section to include a fast paced jam eventually returning to the composed ending.

The pace was eventually slowed down from ludicrous speed with one of their more traditional sounding bluegrass songs, Got To Be This Way. Even though a little slower paced, this one was still as uplifting as the rest of the set. The Chicago band wasn’t finished and turned things back up to warp speed as they segued into The Road (not to be confused with the moe. song). This was a true ballad in every sense of the word, spanning eighteen minutes of shredding. In case you’ve been wondering while listening to the recording that’s Allie Kral on fiddle and Wavy Dave Burlingame on banjo and they both straight up wail on this one! The dial was turned once more to ludicrous speed with the last song of their set, Hillbilly Ride.

Sure, my review is probably a little biased because I was really psyched to see these guys for the first time. But I can honestly say they lived up to my expectations and really do bring the energy level immeasurable heights. Luckily for us this wouldn’t be the last time we saw Cornmeal grace the stage with their enthusiasm.

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