Cornbread Cafe #010

March 4, 2018

Pickxen, Grant Maloy Smith, Scott Thorn, Mikalyn Hay, The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, Parsonsfield

Parsonsfield releases their new EP, WE, March 9, 2018; photo courtesy Signature Sounds Recordings.
Parsonsfield releases their new EP, WE, March 9, 2018; photo courtesy Signature Sounds Recordings.

From Parsonsfield on the release of WE:

“Everyone finds themselves searching for this theoretical ‘thing’ that is supposed to make them happy. Whether it’s a relationship or financial comfort, there’s a goal in our minds that once achieved, we’ll be able to start enjoying life,” says singer/songwriter and banjo player Chris Freeman. “Our circumstances, whether we’re rich or poor, are only half of what determines happiness. The rest is our thoughts, habits and connections with other people,” adds songwriter and mandolin player Antonio Alcorn. “WE is an inner journey to appreciate what you have, and to find happiness no matter what your lot in life.”

Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #10—of the Cornbread Cafe. I am the mongrel, and I’ll be your host today. That mouthwatering aroma that hit you when you walked in the door is our buffet, where you can enjoy all you care to hear of the best in a generous spread of the finest in 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:

Pickxen“Poor Lucy’s Crooked Mile”Picks ‘n Vittles
Grant Maloy Smith“So Far Away”Dust Bowl – American Stories
Scott Thorn“Dust Devils and You”Unreleased — Cornbread Cafe Exclusive!
Mikalyn Hay • “Fade Away”12:15
Whiskey Treaty Roadshow • “Close To The Edge” Whiskey Treaty Roadshow EP
Parsonsfield • “Kick Out The Windows”WE



Pickxen — Picks ‘n Vittles; 2017; self.
Pickxen — Picks ‘n Vittles; 2017; self.

In our first set, we are honored to welcome a man who is truly the stuff of legend. Grant Maloy Smith has so many credits and awards to his name, it almost seems a shame to talk about them without him bein here. And that’s why I am ecsTATic that he’s offered to come on the show for an interview. And when we get that set up, I promise you, you will be personally introduced to a musician whose authenticity are heart are the very embodiment of American Roots. In this episode, we’re going to hear, “So Far Away” from his most recent LP, Dust Bowl – American Stories.” But first, let’s spin a track off Picks ‘n Vittles, the debut album from the North Georgia trio, Pickxen. Dixie, Pixie, and Micksy, who are Laura Monk, John Monk, and Micksy infuse their good simple music with both passion and sense of humor. So let’s start this show off with “Poor Lucy’s Crooked Mile,” and we’ll dedicate it to all you beautiful dreamers.


Grant Maloy Smith


Grant Maloy Smith; Dust Bowl - American Stories, Suburban Cowboy Records.
Grant Maloy Smith; Dust Bowl – American Stories, Suburban Cowboy Records.

Again, that was Grant Maloy Smith with “So Far Away” from his most recent LP, Dust Bowl – American Stories.” And if you haven’t heard it yet, you may be interested to know that every song is set squarely in the Great Plains of the 1930’s, during the worst economic and environmental disaster that America has ever seen. We will be playing more tracks from that album, but if you can’t wait until that future episode, why not pick up a copy for yourself? You can find a link to purchase Dust Bowl, every album we feature, actually, right in the show notes at, you heard right, that’s cornbread.c-a-f-e. And because most of the purchase links are through our affiliate programs, we get a few pennies on the dollar when buy through our links. That helps out with the cost of running this cafe.




Scott Thorn


Scott Thorns new track, "Dust Devils," is not yet available for purchase, but I'm betting you'll love his recent album, Ordinary Day, released by Max Beep Records; image courtesy Scott Thorn.
Scott Thorns new track, “Dust Devils,” is not yet available for purchase, but I’m betting you’ll love his recent album, Ordinary Day, released by Max Beep Records; image courtesy Scott Thorn.

Next up, we’ll be hearing from young Canadian singer/songwriter Mikalyn Hay. Be advised that just like her Indie pop tunes, her Americana compositions are laced with nimble, at times jaw-dropping lyrics sung in a smoky alto that’ll have you wondering how far away from world domination can be if she’s capable of this kind of artistry at only FIFTEEN. You won’t believe it, but believe it anyway when you hear “Fade Away,” from her 2017 release, 12:15.


First though, I have the privilege of serving up a Cafe exclusive! Scott Thorn is musician who grew up around the Gulf Coast of Florida listening to Southern blues, country, gospel and rock and roll. Now an award-winning singer/songwriter in the neighborhood of Arlington Virginia, his music bears the marks of his travels and fuses several influences from rock, Americana, and country. And it’s not too likely that you’ve heard this next song anywhere else but right here—enjoy “Dust Devils,” a new single by Scott Thorn right now on the Cornbread Cafe!

I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll get both Mikalyn and Scott on the show for conversations about their work soon.


Festival Outlook

Big Ears Festival

Let’s take a break before our final set to check in on the festival scene for just a bit. Later this month, you might want to make your way down to one of my old stompin’ grounds, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Big Ears Festival 2018. This International Cultural Gathering taking place March 22–25 is a dynamic, interactive experience that explores connections between musicians and artists, crossing all musical genres while interfacing with film, performance, and the visual arts. We’ve had the good fortune of featuring one of acts who’ll be there, Anna & Elizabeth, on episode #5. As an added bonus, Rhiannon Giddens, founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, will deliver a keynote address at the historic Tennessee Theatre on Saturday, March 24.


The Suwannee Spring

The 2nd Annual Suwannee Spring Reunion occurs in the exact time envelope of time—March 22–25—at the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, Florida. If this festival seems familiar, but the name doesn’t quite match up, that’s because it’s a new take on the classic gathering, fondly remembered as Suwannee Spring Fest. This year, if the American Roots scene is where you want to be that weekend, you can head to FLA and catch Donna the Buffalo, The Infamous Stringdusters, Dar Williams and many more.


The Savannah Music Festival

The following week sees the kickoff of the world renown Savannah Music Festival. Lasting from March 29–April 14, The Savannah Music Festival is dedicated to presenting world-class celebrations of the musical arts by creating timeless and adventurous productions that stimulate arts education, foster economic growth and unite artists and audiences in Savannah. A few of the many artists from the multi-genre line-up include Tedeschi Trucks, Gillian Welch, Bela Fleck, and Audra McDonald.


The Americana Music Festival & Conference

And hey! Are you a musician wondering how you can insert yourself into the Festival circuit in 2018? I’ve got good news for you. Showcase submissions for AMERICANAFEST 2018 are now open and will be accepted through Monday, March 26, 2018.

Formally known as the Americana Music Festival & Conference, this annual event brings together fans and music industry professionals alike, offering six days of celebration through seminars, panels and networking opportunities by day and raw, intimate showcases each night. This year, AMERICANAFEST will take place September 11–16, gathering thousands of artists, fans, and industry professionals from all over the world in Nashville, TN.

If you want to get in on this action, remember, submission deadline is March 26, so be sure to look for the link to the submission page in the show notes for Episode 10 at

Mikalyn Hay


Mikalyn Hay; 12:15, 741607 Records DK, 2017.
Mikalyn Hay; 12:15, 741607 Records DK, 2017.

Well, we’re down to it now—the dessert course of this extremely decadent American Roots music feast. I was going to play this next track off the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow’s recent release, the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow EP last week, but when I dropped it in place, and listened to the entire music library for the episode, I felt like the fit could be better. And that’s what makes the Cornbread Cafe different than just setting your playlist to shuffle, or turning on the radio, which might as well be random these days. I hand select every single tune and then listen to hear how well they all go together. If the batch doesn’t taste right, I scrap the episode and start over. Obsessive as hell? Why, yes it is and yes I am. Does it make for a superior show? Damn straight it does.




The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow


The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow; self-titled EP, self, 2017.
The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow; self-titled EP, self, 2017.

So when I got my hands on the as yet unreleased new effort, WE, from Parsonsfield, I was happy as a jackass in clover to hear that not only was every single track on the EP profoundly tuneful, but opened up new worlds of song pairings. Just in time, too. When I heard “Kick Out the Windows,” the final track off WE, I knew it was just the song to go with the Whiskey Treaty Roadshow’s “Close To The Edge,” that I didn’t play last episode.

Parsonfield’s WE releases Friday, March 9th, but you can hear the brilliant “Kick Out the Windows,” right after “Close to the Edge,” right here, right now on the Cornbread Cafe.








Parsonsfield; WE, Signature Sounds Recordings, 2017.
Parsonsfield; WE, Signature Sounds Recordings, 2017.

Parsonfield’s WE releases Friday, March 9th, but you can hear the brilliant “Kick Out the Windows,” right after “Close to the Edge,” right here, right now on the Cornbread Cafe.

Well, that pretty much does it for our show this week. I hope your musical digestive system is fat and happy! As I said, I’m hoping to do interviews with most, if not all, of the artists featured in this episode, and I’ve already got some pretty enthusiastic yesses, so I’ll keep you posted as things develop.









Remember, if you’re an American Roots artist looking to have your work featured on the Cornbread Cafe, just send us a note through the contact link in the Main Menu. And, musician or fan, if you haven’t subscribed to this podcast, please do, either through iTunes or Google Play Music, and once you do, leave us a review. That helps us get found by more Americana music lovers, and that’s a good things. I’ve been your host, the mongrel, also known as Jay Vee, and I’m already looking forward to serving up another heaping helping of great tunes next week. Until then, thanks for listening, and keep supporting Indie music.


WE is the highly anticipated fourth release from Parsonsfield, a quintet praised for making “the most jubilant and danceable indie roots music this side of the Carolinas” (NPR). The band continues to push the boundaries of their harmony- driven grassroots origins creating their own distinctive Americana, integrating pop and bold rock flourishes along the way.

Just remember, WE is not about you and me. Freeman continues, “It’s about struggling with depression and anxiety from living in a divisive world, yet we have so much to be grateful for. It’s about being at the crossroads of yesterday’s dreams and tomorrow’s plans.”


* Note: Artist links provide access directly to artists’ websites or social media homepages. All album links provide access to song or album purchase options, often through our affiliate programs with Apple Music or, which help make this show possible.

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.

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