Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #8—of the Cornbread Cafe. I am the mongrel, and I’ll be back in the kitchen today cooking up a sampler platter of the best from a sprawling menu of American Roots music. Cazh and cozy, we’re located at the five-corners of Blues, Americana, Folk, Country, and Gospel. And you can sometimes catch an express to Rock ’n’ Roll at the bus stop across the way. *
Featured in this Episode:
You know, somebody asked me the other day what makes this podcast any different, or any better than, the radio. Now I don’t know if the Cornbread Cafe is better than radio—I mean, I grew up listening to some of the last great mainstream radio out there, when stations would play an entire new album commercial free late at night, and thousands of teenagers would have their fingers on play and record with a brand new 90-minute CrO2 in the deck, back when we spent Saturday night with Dr. Demento, Sunday morning we ate Breakfast with the Beatles and Sunday night was for headphones, high volume, and the King Biscuit Flower Hour, with Bill Minkin. And if you haven’t heard either of those shows I have good news for you. Episodes of the King Biscuit programs are archived online and Dr. Demento is STILL doing his musical funny business every Saturday night through his websites.
“But what makes the Cornbread Cafe podcast different than today’s radio is that I can showcase songs that might never make it to the airwaves, either because of their length, or because they might appeal to a narrower audience, or because they contain explicit language not allowed on the radio per FCC rules. Such is the case with this next song, “3002 Miles,” by Tanya Gallagher, who gives us a scathing answer to infidelity on her 2016 release Virginia. We featured the title track on Episode #1 and have been hungry to dig in and sample some deeper cuts off what is a graceful, potent, vivid, multifaceted LP. So let’s get this show started with “3002 Miles” here on the Cornbread Cafe.
And that was Kate Lush with “Good, Good Love,” off Let It Fly, and I thought some good, good love might be needed to wipe the slate clean of the bad love in 3002 Miles that started that set off. I have a surprise for you. As convincing as her powerful, soulful vocals are, she’s not American—she’s an Aussie. That’s right, when she contacted me, I was like, really? Australians get the Blues? And then I heard her album, and it was just BAM—she gets it, and she nails it. And come to find out, she’s one of a growing collection of Australians and Britons who are totally into the the American Roots scene. Mayyyybe you recall Gus McCay, and “Extremely Voodoo” from back in Episode #3. There you go. Another Aussie.
Now if Kate Lush did it for you with Good, Good Love, why not check her out live at the Girrakool Blues & BBQ Festival March 2nd and 3rd in Kariong, NSW, Australia. The weather should be great, and the airfare really is a small price to pay for great Blues like Kate’s.
Next set, we’ll pull another track off the 2017 release, I’ve Never Met a Stranger, from the Bumper Jacksons, “Corina Corina,” but first, lets sample a tune from Pile Driver, also released last year, by The Suitcase Junket, “Swamp Chicken.”
So, it is kinda true that Winter in the States is a little thin on American Roots music festivals. Apparently, “Down Under” has a bunch of them this time of year, but then again, it’s more like our September weather over there. On the other hand, South of the Mason-Dixon line things are already starting to heat up, and here are two events going on this weekend you might be interested in. First off is the Mile 0 Fest Key Westgoing on right now. This event is a brand-new music festival assured to be a “must see” in the burgeoning Red Dirt & Americana music scene. Single Day passes for Saturday, February 10 still available.
Also this weekend is the 10th Annual Appalachian State Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention, North Carolina. This new classic festival is
held on the campus of Appalachian State University and is 100% student operated. Events include; concerts, instructional workshops, music competitions, a gathering of luthiers, as well as a handmade market featuring crafters from across the region. Quite a few of the goings on are completely free, and all of it is family friendly.
Bumper Jacksons are hot and sweet, painting America’s story from the streets of New Orleans to Appalachian hollers. Unafraid to scrap together new sounds from forgotten 78’s, the Bumper Jacksons elegantly balance paying homage to the traditions while fashioning their own unique, playful style. The group began as a duo, a city-meets-country experiment between songstress Jess Eliot Myhre and banjo player Chris Ousley. They hopped on bicycles, touring the country, instruments on their backs, seeking to reimagine roots music. In five short years, Bumper Jacksons grew to a brassy seven-piece, with horns and pedal steel.
We’re going to take it down just a notch for the final set of the show, as we often do. You may have realized it, but that’s one of the ways I get you to finish your drinks, tip your waitress, and go home. And well start the pair off with a particularly addictive song from the brilliant LP, Redoubt, by Faint Peter and, “Texas.”
We’ll follow that up with a deeper track off the just released EP, American Flowers, from our good friends, the Birds of Chicago, “Etoile d’Amour.” But don’t head out the door just yet when you hear the final strains of the delicate, wistful torchsong “L’etoile D’amour.” I have another bit of news I think all you pickers out there are going to find really exciting. First though, let’s hear “Texas,” by Faint Peter.
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Musicians’ bio info comes from the artists, their websites, or their publicists. Click on names below to visit their websites where you can get the full story, photos, and very often video.