Greylock NationLocal Weather Alerts
There are currently no active weather alerts.

Birds of Chicago

Cornbread Cafe #12

We celebrate the first inaugural Arcadia Folk Festival with mighty tunes from Laura Berman, Faint Peter, Divining Rod, Birds of Chicago, Darlingside, Heather Maloney, The Nields, and Celine Schmink.

Dawn at Arcadia Wildlife Preserve; photo courtesy Mass Audubon.
Dawn at Arcadia Wildlife Preserve; photo courtesy Mass Audubon.

host, the mongrel
music editor, Serafina

Keep Reading

The Cornbread Cafe #8: Not a Valentine’s Day episode. Unless’n you want it to be.

Tanya Gallagher [explicit lyrics], Kate Lush, The Suitcase Junket, Bumper Jacksons, Faint Peter, Birds of Chicago

Tanya Gallagher; photo courtesy tanyagallagher.com.
Tanya Gallagher; photo courtesy tanyagallagher.com.

“Virginia taught me love, it taught me heartache, but most importantly it taught me that a home away from home can exist. These songs represent an incredible time of personal growth.”

— Tanya Gallagher

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:

Tanya Gallagher“3002 Miles” (explicit lyrics)Virgina
Kate Lush“Good Good Love”Let It Fly
The Suitcase Junket“Swamp Chicken”Pile Driver
Bumper Jacksons“Corina Corina”I’ve Never Met a Stranger
Faint Peter“Texas” Redoubt
Birds of Chicago“Etoile d’Amour (Stardust)”American Flowers

Keep Reading

The Cornbread Cafe #6: INTERVIEW with Janie Barnett, too many new tracks to list!

Janie Barnett discusses her gracefully drifting release, You See this River.

Janie Barnett; submitted photo.
Janie Barnett; submitted photo.

 

Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #6—of the Cornbread Cafe. I am the mongrel, and I will be your waiter today. 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. We hope to become your new new fave hang for the best in a sprawling menu of American Roots music.

 

Click the play button on this audio player to hear the complete interview with Janie Barnett.

 

This is episode six of the Cornbread Cafe, and do I have a special treat treat for you this time around. Actually I have a whole hour of special treats, as always, but one of them is especially rare and wonderful. We have with us Janie Barnett, who if she were the last Americana musician to be minted in this world, would be give us a perfect last lingering chord in the genre.

Artists Featured in this Episode:

Janie Barnett, “You See This River,” You See this River
Janie Barnett, “Better Times Are Coming,” You See this River
Molly Pinto Madigan, “Seven Tears,” The Cup Overflows
Bees Deluxe, “Industrial (espionage),single
Gus McKay, “Married a Snake,Salt Flat Mojo Blues
Heather Maloney, “Let Me Stay,” by Just Enough Sun
Almond & Olive, “We Will,” Standing at the Precipice
Birds of Chicago, “American Flowers,” American Flowers
Janie Barnett, “Sweet Thursday,”  You See this River

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 Amazon.com.

 

On her just released album, You See This River, Janie crafts stories dug out your family’s cedar trunks up in the attic, memories traced in carbon copy from old letters in the shoebox in the back of the closet. Her ballads are painted in emotions as fresh as eternally wet paint. Her creations are woven from Words that seem like she could have teased them out of my own brain if I were an immeasurably more talented poet.

Some are Songs of stubbornly optimistic, inevitable love filtered through a self-knowledge even the most enlightened gurus would envy.

Some Songs echo the lives people who are really living their lives on the back stoops, in the kitchens, in bedrooms together in vulnerable companionship or the complex internal lives we’re living alone in our hearts and minds as we travel through our labors or little luxuries.

Penetrating and heartbreaking. Wise and reckless. True. Imagined. True anyway.

Janie Barnett thanks for being on the show!

(audio clip of our interview with Janie Barnett)

Upcoming Event

Janie Barnett, opening for Paula Cole
Saturday December 16, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.
The Center for Arts in Natick
info & tickets

Molly Pinto Madigan's 2017 release, The Cup Overflows, builds on her impressive songwriting and vocal skills with a heightened level of self-assurance that suits her musical direction.
Molly Pinto Madigan’s 2017 release, The Cup Overflows, builds on her impressive songwriting and vocal skills with a heightened level of self-assurance that suits her musical direction.

I think it’s about time that we all get a taste of the work that I know Janie can do, does do, and has done with Blue Room on this recent release “You See This River.” Before we do, though, I need to pause and explain that I had no idea just how engaging our conversation was going to be. I will confess right here and now that I was prepared to record for 20 minutes, keep the best 10, and share them with you. When I looked up at the clock and saw that a full 30 minutes had gone by, and realized that she had so many more stories and nuggets of wisdom to share, I made the decision to keep rolling tape and figure it out later.

And I think I’ve got it figured out, now. I’ve edited the entire conversation, keeping almost every syllable, and have made the entire talk available as bonus audio here in the show notes. Just look for the audio player below the first paragraph. You’ll want to hear everything Janie has to say. And to create the most powerful, most tempting incentive, I’m going to sprinkle jewels from our talk throughout the rest of the show. That way, you still get almost as much music as usual, AND you get an exclusive interview with one of Americana’s leading ladies.

Bees Deluxe Front: Conrad Warren, Allyn “Aldo” Dorr Back: Patrick Sanders, Carol Band photo courtesy Carol Band via Patch
Bees Deluxe
Front: Conrad Warren, Allyn “Aldo” Dorr
Back: Patrick Sanders, Carol Band
photo courtesy Carol Band via Patch

So let’s have two right now from Janie—One, a searching, buoyant rendition of Steven Foster’s “Better Times Are Coming” from 1862, but first the title track off this tuneful treasure trove, You See This River.

And THAT last number was “Seven Tears” off our old friend Molly Pinto Madigan’s very recent release The Cup Overflows. Before that, we heard Better Times Are Coming and the title track from You See This River, from the very phenomenal Janie Barnett and Blue Room. You can find purchase options for their most recent as well as prior releases in the “Artists Featured in this Episode” section, above.

After hearing Janie Barnett, you’re likely to ask yourself, “This is great, but how and where can I experience the magic live?” You’re in luck, because she has a couple shows coming up in the next couple of months, including a one-of-a-kind performance December 16 opening up for Paula Cole at the Center for Arts in Natick, Mass. If you’re anywhere in the Boston Metro neighborhood, you won’t want to miss what is sure to be a powerful evening of tunes.

Gus McKay; photo courtesy Gus McKay
Gus McKay; photo courtesy Gus McKay

Next course coming out of the kitchen is a sub-genre we have not explored much yet on the Cornbread Cafe—and that’s Acid Blues. Oh it’s true blue, but just a little bit gacked out. We’ll have a double shot that starts with a band I’ve been following since my days at the helm of the Mongrel’s Howl podcast, back in 2005. In fact, that’s why I was so grateful and honored that they responded to my note asking if they wanted to be part of this new show. Ever-gracious, they obliged, and YOU dear listener, reap the benefits of my association, I promise you that.

Also in this block, we’ll hear a deeper cut “Married a Snake,” off Gus McKay’s recent release, Salt Flat Mojo Blues. I don’t know if Gus would categorize his music as acid blues, but I’ll let you be the judge of whether it belongs in the same drawer as Bees Deluxe’s newest single, “Industrial (espionage)” right here on the Cornbread Cafe.

(audio clip of our interview with Janie Barnett)

Heather Maloney; photo courtesy heathermaloney.com
Heather Maloney; photo courtesy heathermaloney.com

That’s Janie Barnett talking about the need to wrangle, and ultimately reconcile time and creativity as responsibilities of family and paying gigs eat away at the leisurely time once spent waiting for the muse to show up with inspiration. In our extended conversation, Janie shares some deeply personal perspectives on subjects like family. I really encourage you to to listen to what was, for me, one of my most absorbing interviews ever. In fact, let’s have a listen to one of my favorite gems from our talk before we hear brandy new just released tracks from Heather Maloney, Almond & Olive, and Birds of Chicago.

We just heard the title track from the just released EP American Flowers, by Birds of Chicago, available through Signature Sounds. On a different podcast, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of sharing a long conversation with JT Nero who, along with Allison Russell, makes up the principle force of the group that’s been described as “secular gospel.” That identifier certainly seems to fit, doesn’t it? The affect some of their songs have on me definitely goes beyond simply my heart and mind.

Almond & Olive; submitted photo.
Almond & Olive; submitted photo.

Before that, we heard “We Will” off the new release from Almond & Olive. This duo, sometimes known simply as A&O, is comprised of singer-songwriters Natalie Alms and Ollie Davidson. The also call Chicago home, so if you think detect some shared musical DNA, you’re probably not wrong. The track comes from “Standing at the Precipice,” an album that came about less than two years after the two met in 2015.

And we started the set with another artist on the Signature Sounds label, Heather Maloney, who brought us “Let Me Stay,” from her latest effort, Just Enough Sun, which also features the instrumentation of Ryan Hommel.

You’ll be hearing plenty more cuts off each of these albums in the near future, probably just as soon as my heart recovers from the extreme emotional workout that triple of tunes put it through.

Birds of Chicago; submitted photo.
Birds of Chicago; submitted photo.

Before them, Janie Barnett gave us a deep look into the emotional dimensions of her own creative source material, and how motherhood instilled a sense of forgiveness in the artistic space she inhabits these days.

Let’s hear from Janie again as we work our way through dessert and coffee. She talks about the process of creating her new album, You See This River, one of the most consistent and structurally sound I’ve heard. She suggested we close out the show with a song she described as one of her more light-hearted compositions, “Sweet Thursday.” I think you’ll agree that it’s just the balm you need some days, these days.

(audio clip of our interview with Janie Barnett)

 

Janie Barnett; photo courtesy janiebarnett.com.
Janie Barnett; photo courtesy janiebarnett.com.

 

Well, that’s our show for the week. I know you won’t want to miss next weeks episode of the Cornbread Cafe, so I’d encourage you to subscribe through iTunes or Google Play Music—you’ll find the subscribe buttons on just about any page of our site. And when you subscribe, I’d be grateful if you left us a review—it really helps people discover us.

I’ve been your host, Jay Vee, aka the mongrel, and I thank you for listening. We’ll tuck into more heaping helpings of American Roots music next week. Take care.

The Cornbread Cafe #4: Desirae Bronson, Bumper Jacksons, Maggie Baugh, Comanchero & MORE

Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #4—of the Cornbread Cafe.

Desirae Bronson, submitted image.
Desirae Bronson, submitted image.

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. We are the Internet’s new fave hang for the best in a sprawling menu of American Roots music.

In this Episode:

Desirae Bronson, “Feel Good Song,” A Little Bit Jaded
Birds of Chicago, “Estrella Goodbye,” Real Midnight
Bumper Jacksons, “Many Paths,” I’ve Never Met a Stranger
Christian Coleman and The Blue Zen Band, “4th Street Boogie,” Blues, Boogie, Rock and Roll
Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, “Everybody Loves You,” Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
Maggie Baugh, “Catch Me,” Catch Me
Codie Prevost, “Melting Into You,” All Kinds Of Crazy
The Suitcase Junket, “Evangeline,” Pile Driver
Comanchero, “Have You Seen Her,” Thrown
Comanchero, “Alabama Moonstruck,” Dead Gringo
Francesca Brown, “Collide,” Collide
Honey Whiskey Trio, “Who’s Gonna Be Your Man,” Rye Woman
Fantastic Negrito, “Night Has Turned to Day,” Self-titled EP

Musician 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.

Desirae Bronson

“Feel Good Song,” A Little Bit Jaded


Among the hordes of musical artists Desirae Bronson emerges with beauty and wholeness in a refreshing, homegrown style. Her smoky-velvet voice weaves simple County-Folk-Rock melodies into your mind through lyrics that convey life in a way everyone can relate to. Having begun her career in the unlikely city of Boise, Idaho, this singer/songwriter has found her way on stage with headliners such as Clint Black,The Band Perry, Jana Kramer, Joe Nichols, Trace Adkins, Little Texas and Thompson Square as well as headlining her own shows in concert houses, venues and festivals all over the Northwest. In 2013 she was chosen as RAW artist “Musician of the Year”, Winner of First Place in the National Radio Talent Contest (receiving over 100,000 votes), and a finalist in Nashville’s Music City Songwriting Competition. Her albums title track was also placed on the Big Bang Theory last spring. It won’t take long for you to realize that she has that special something listeners crave. Her album “This Is Me” demonstrates that she is “not afraid to let you see” who she is and what she is about.

 

Birds of Chicago
“Estrella Goodbye,” Real Midnight

In so many ways, we are a word weary culture, ever searching for ways to communicate in fewer and fewer words, letters, syllables…Our online, blogged out, you-tubed attention spans are truncated and fragmented like never before. Birds of Chicago, the collective centered around Allison Russell and JT Nero, reassert the simple notion – radical in these times – that beautiful words and music can still tap deep veins of emotion.

real midnight’s gonna come/ real midnight’s’ gonna come
real wolves at your door/ with blood on their tongues
now what you gonna do/ with your days left in the sun ?
ha da la ha

Stark, elemental imagery that feels like scripture, or a lost folk song recovered; the Birds draw heavily on the gospel tradition and the music feels like a new, secular gospel of sorts. For Birds of Chicago, every word counts. Every note counts. No gold-dusting, no filler. Music is the good news and Real Midnight, the band’s poignant new Joe Henry produced album, throbs with an urgency that feels quietly seismic.

 

Bumper Jacksons

“Many Paths,” I’ve Never Met a Stranger

The Bumper Jacksons; photos by Michael O. Snyder.
The Bumper Jacksons; photos by Michael O. Snyder.

The 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 boldly and elegantly balance paying homage to the traditions while fashioning their own unique, DIY style. Honored as the region’s 2015 “Artist of the Year” and “Best Folk Band” from 2013-2015 at the Washington Area Music Awards, the Bumper Jacksons are playfully creative with their originals and re-imagining roots music with both power and tenderness. Bursting at the seams with some of the richest threads of old America, Bumper Jacksons bring you into the center of a party where everyone’s invited and the dance floor never sleeps.

https://www.bumperjacksons.com/merch-1

 

Links mentioned in the show:
No Depression | The Journal of Roots Music
American Music Association

Christian Coleman and The Blue Zen Band

“4th Street Boogie,” Blues, Boogie, Rock and Roll

Mama Died and Left Me
Papa Died and Left Me
Raised by Wolves on The Mean Streets

Christian Coleman is a 25 year veteran of the Wasatch Front Music Scene. Described as “Bob Dylan meets Muddy Waters”, his solo repertoire consists of Decades of Original Material combined with Classic Blues material from the 1940’s to the present, and Americana Classics that define the Contemporary American Songbook. A One-Man juggling act of Vocals, Guitar, and Harmonica, Christian always brings a signature passion and trademark intensity to every performance!!!

 

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams

“Everybody Loves You,” Larry & Teresa Williams
Multi-instrumentalist-vocalist Larry Campbell and singer-guitarist Teresa Williams have rocked many a venue, as both center stage performers and invaluable assets to world class acts. A shortlist of artists who’ve benefited from their talents, live and in studios, reads like a Who’s Who of Music Icons: Bob Dylan (Larry spent eight years on the Never Ending Tour), Paul Simon, Little Feat, Hot Tuna, Phil Lesh, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples, and, for one miraculous seven-year stretch, Levon Helm. Now, with an eponymous debut album, the couple brings it all back home. Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams may have been simmering awhile, but the timing is perfect; the eleven tracks, produced by Campbell, distill everything into a potent, infectious blend of Americana style and timeless soul, offered with a relaxed generosity that can only come from rich experience.

 

Maggie Baugh

“Catch Me,” Catch Me

Multi-instrumentalist, and singer/songwriter, Maggie Baugh is a young, South Florida based county music sensation! At 17 years old, she has a publishing deal, she is a Nashville Recording artist, singer/songwriter, guitar player and dynamic fiddle player. Maggie Baugh has played fiddle onstage with Neal McCoy and Charlie Daniels Band. (Yes, she is the one that played Devil Went Down to Georgia with Charlie Daniels – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylWjExfL5ew).

Playing guitar and singing, Maggie Baugh has opened in South Florida for Ashley Monroe (of Pistol Annie’s), Craig Morgan, Neal McCoy, Cole Swindell, Phil Vassar, Taylor Hicks, Chase Bryant, Drake White, Josh Dorr, Radio Romance, Drew Baldridge, Montgomery Gentry, John Anderson, Cowboy Troy and Old Southern Moonshine Revival.

 

Codie Prevost

“Melting Into You,” All Kinds Of Crazy

Codie Prevost is a Canadian country music sensation. When he was 14 he picked up his first guitar, and since then his career hasn’t stopped accelerating. He began his journey on the path to fame by playing guitar, and writing songs simply to entertain his friends and family. Little did the world know that those family concerts would spark the pilot light on one of the biggest engines in Canadian country music. Codie has been nominated and won dozens of awards for his art, from the Saskatchewan Country Music Awards to the Canadian Country Music Awards.

Codie grew up on a 2,000-acre farm, where his mother runs a small town bar. He has two sisters, one older and one younger. During family events Codie would listen to his mother and his uncle as they played guitar and sang songs. These family concerts were what began to grow the love of music within Codie.

Festival Update
Festival International de Louisiane • Lafayette, La. • April 26–30
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival • N’awlins, La. • April 28 –May 7
Mid West Music Fest • Winona, Minn. • April 27–29
MerleFest 2017 • Wilkesboro, N.C. • April 27–April 30

Comanchero

“Have You Seen Her,” Thrown

“Alabama Moonstruck,” Dead Gringo

Since 2003, Comanchero has crafted an Americana sound that combines old traditions with new, Country with Rock, Bluegrass with Blues, Honky-Tonk with Funk, and Roots with Rockabilly. While unique in their own sound, there is something strikingly familiar in Comanchero’s songs that weave influences ranging from The Allman Brothers, The Band, Little Feat, & Led Zeppelin, to today’s contemporaries such as Wilco, The Drive -By Truckers, & Mumford & Sons.

Highlights:
– Boston’s Americana Jam Band since 2003
– Four studio albums
– Songs licensed by PBS (Road Trip Nation) and ABC (20/20 with Diane Sawyer)
– Direct support for artists such as: ZZ Top, Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Yardbirds, & Passion Pit
– Winner of Relix Magazine’s “Jam Off” competition & featured in magazine and monthly CD
– Nominated by Red Line Roots for Favorite Local Rock and Rollers
– Over 500 performances including international (Ireland, UK tour)

 

The Suitcase Junket

“Evangeline,” Pile Driver

Matt Lorenz sits alone on a suitcase in the center of a complex construction of upcycled cookpots, saw blades and broken chairs. Artist, tinkerer, tunesmith, swamp yankee. A one-man salvage specialist singing into the hollow of a Dumpster guitar, slipping a broken bottleneck onto the slide finger, railing on a box of twisted forks and bones, rocking till every sound is ragged at its edges, till the house is singing back. Then, unplugging all the amps and letting one mountain ballad soar over the raw strings on that guitar. Every night is a hard-driving, blues-grinding, throat-singing search-and-rescue junket. Sooner or later everything rusts, busts, and gets tossed into the junk heap: iron, bones, leather, hot rods, muskrats, the night, theheart. The goal is to recover it. To waste nothing. To create new ways from old. This is The Suitcase Junket.

Matt Lorenz was raised in Cavendish, Vermont, the son of teachers. He learned to sing by copying his sister Kate. (The siblings are two-thirds of the touring trio Rusty Belle.) Lorenz graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 2004, having taught himself to throat-sing thanks to a South Indian cooking class. On moving day, he pulled his guitar, filled with mold and worse for wear, from a dorm Dumpster. He fixed it up and started pulling songs out of it. That was the beginning.

 

Francesca Brown

“Collide,” Collide

Francesca Brown’s music is best described as Americana. It is rooted in folk and country, but has elements of blues and hints of 90’s alternative rock at moments.

Francesca brown was born in San Clemente California, but spent much of her childhood moving between northern Illinois and southern California.  Some of her earliest and fondest childhood memories were spent in Hemet California, which at the time was a small agricultural town.  It was here where she remembers falling in love with desert landscapes, Native American art and culture, a simplistic way of life, and the surrounding snow capped San Jacinto Mountains.  As a child her family took frequent visits to the artist mountain town of Idyllwild, which still serves as artistic inspiration in her life today.
From about the age of nine up through high school, she lived in and around Rockford Illinois near the Wisconsin border.  It was pretty rural, but close enough to cities like Chicago and Madison to be exposed to great music and culture.  She spent a lot time at outdoor music festivals and concerts with her mother and siblings seeing artists such as BB King, Lonnie Brooks, Buddy Guy, Little Richard and The Smashing Pumpkins to name a few.

 

Honey Whiskey Trio

“Who’s Gonna Be Your Man,” Rye Woman

The Honey Whiskey Trio explores harmony in folk, bluegrass and any melody that catches the ear. Through their powerful, yet sweet harmonies, body percussion, haunting melodies and vitality on stage, Honey Whiskey Trio captivates and moves audiences. These storytellers in song found their roots in vocal jazz, all singing in Pacific Standard Time, CSU Long Beach’s award winning vocal jazz ensemble, though at different times. This foundation in jazz gives Honey Whiskey Trio an inherent flexibility to their sound, allowing them to change and adjust their tone to best fit the mood of each song.

In 2013, after singing together for only 5 months, Honey Whiskey Trio won the Harmony Sweepstakes National Competition, also winning Audience Favorite at both the Regional and National sweepstakes. They have gone on to headline the Los Angeles A Cappella Festival, the Women’s A Cappella Association‘s SheSings Festival, the South Eastern Minnesota A Cappella Festival, and have been featured artists at the FAR-West Folk Festival, the Rogue Valley Roots Festival, the Long Beach Folk Revival Festival,and the Shedd Institute for the Arts. Called “One of the most talented vocal harmony groups performing today” by John Neal, Harmony Sweepstakes executive producer and ”One of the very best arrivals this year on my stage. Solid in every way and fully entertaining” by Bob Stane, of The Coffee Gallery Backstage, Honey Whiskey Trio is a group you don’t want to miss experiencing live.

 

Fantastic Negrito

“Night Has Turned to Day,” Fantastic Negrito EP

Fantastic Negrito won his first Grammy Award for 2017 Best Contemporary Blues album.

Listen to my June 2015 conversation with him just after his NPR Tiny Desk Concert win.

Fantastic Negrito's June 24, 2015 release, "Fantastic Negrito" is as raw, tender, funny, and honest as you could ever want.
Fantastic Negrito’s June 24, 2015 release, “Fantastic Negrito” is as raw, tender, funny, and honest as you could ever want.

Fantastic Negrito is the incarnation of a musician who is reborn after going through a lot of awful shit. In fact, the name Fantastic Negrito represents his third rebirth, literally coming back from death this time. The narrative on this man is as important as the sound, because the narrative is the sound. Songs born from a long hard life channeled through black roots music. Slide guitar, drums, piano. Urgent, desperate, edgy. Fantastic Negrito is the story of a man who struggled to “make it”, who “got it”, and who lost it all. For anyone who ever felt like it was over yet hoped it wasn’t, this is your music; blues harnessed, forged in realness. For anyone who ever considered getting their old high-school band back together, this is your inspiration. These are singular songs by a true musician who writes and produces. They are his fuel as he embarks on the third comeback of his life.

The Cornbread Cafe #001—Serving Roots for Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner!


Welcome, cousins to Episode #1 of the Cornbread Cafe—your new fave hang-out for the best in a sprawling menu of American Roots music.

"Torch Song," from Echo Sparks' release, Ghost Town Girl, was one of the earliest inspirations for the launch of the Cornbread Cafe!
“Torch Song,” from Echo Sparks’ release, Ghost Town Girl, was one of the earliest inspirations for the launch of the Cornbread Cafe!

I am the mongrel, and I’ll be your waiter today. 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. We are the Internet’s new hang-out for the best in a sprawling menu of American Roots music.

Each week, we’ll be serving up appetizers of event schedules, side items of music news, and the occasional sweet treat of an interview. But our heaping portions of house-made entrées are why the parking lot’s always packed. So sit back. Relax. And tuck in to one whole hour of stick to yer ribs tunes, including “Remember Wild Horses,” by Birds of Chicago, off their 2016 release, Real Midnight, and Echo Sparks with “Torch Song,” from Ghost Town Girl, but let’s kick off this first course with a new single by Karianne Jean Perpoli, entitled “Cactus,” here at the Cornbread Cafe.

Karianne Jean Perpoli, with "Cactus," from her EP, Don't Miss
Karianne Jean Perpoli, with “Cactus,” from her EP, Don’t Miss

 

When you’re running a music show, fresh ingredients are a must, and we have those in good supply. But if you don’t keep both the kitchen AND the dining room impeccably clean and tidy, the customers aren’t gonna keep coming back. That’s why when you visit the show notes to each episode, you’ll find everything spic and span. If you stumbled into the Cornbread Cafe through your local independent online newsthing, well, then you already know how to find the show notes. If you found your way here through iTunes or Google Play: Music, or some side door, just go to cornbread.cafe (and yes, that’s a real domain name) to find track names, links to the bands’ websites, photos, and news. A place for everything—everything in it’s place.

Birds of Chicago, with “Remember Wild Horses,” from Real Midnight
Birds of Chicago, with “Remember Wild Horses” from Real Midnight

 

Now, this first episode was released just a little before Valentine’s Day, so perhaps you’ll forgive me if my selections are weighted a little heavily towards the subject of romance. But, because that little flying ankle-biter drops in on the lonely as well as googley-eyed swooning lovers, I made sure to put a couple of songs of heartache on special tonight.

 

Hailing from Wenatchee, Wash., Gideon’s Daughter dispenses a little girl-to-girl advice in “Never Gonna Love You,” from their latest release, Steel Octopus Arms, which you can pick up right now through CD Baby or Bandcamp. I bring this up because I was JUST at their website, like, a week ago, and everything was there, and I just went to check today and see that they have a coming soon page up. I’m betting that this means great things from the band, but it also means I can’t tell you to just go to their site to pick up the release. And that’s cool—both CD Baby and Bandcamp are perfectly respectable outfits.

Echo Sparks, with “Torch Song,” from Ghost Town Girl

 

After that Jordan Patterson guides us solidly into the Blues cuisine section of the menu. Off his latest release, The Back on Track Recording Project, he pleads, “Can We Fall in Love Again?” I don’t know ladies—what do you think? Listen and let me know if he’s made a convincing argument.

 

We’ll wrap this block up with Joe Olnick’s “Glendale Avenue,” from Defiant Grooves, released just this past fall. We’ll polish this course off with Joe Olnick’s “Glendale Avenue,” from Defiant Grooves, released just this past fall. It’s a little bit like what might happen if Eric Johnson sat down with the Allman brothers and picked up where Led Zeppelin left off with” Over the Hills and Far Away.”

 

Gideons Daughter, with "Never Gonna Love You,” from Steel Octopus Arms
Gideons Daughter, with “Never Gonna Love You,” from Steel Octopus Arms

Now, let’s fire that order for “Never Gonna Love You,” by Gideon’s Daughter.

It’s true that most of the Roots and Folk festivals take place mainly around Harvest time. But not all, dear brothers and sisters, not all…first up is Wanderlust: Hawaii, which they describe as a one-of-a-kind festival bringing together the world’s leading yoga teachers, top musical acts and DJs, renowned speakers, top chefs and winemakers, and much, much more — all in a setting of breathtaking natural beauty. Not Now, all this is going on in O’ ahu, Hawaii, February 23–26, and last I checked, you could still get tickets via wanderlust.com. Check out their site, and you’ll see that, while it’s definitely not a Roots-specific festival, it might be the four days in paradise you need before 2017 gets much older.

Jordan Patterson, with The Back on Track Recording Project
“Can We Fall in Love Again?” from The Back on Track Recording Project – The Jordan Patterson Band

 

On deck is the Okeechobee Music Festival taking place in Florida March 2–5. The festival’s home, Sunshine Grove, is widely regarded amongst the best music festival destinations in the world, featuring lush grassy flat lands, a sandy beach, stunning tufts of tropical jungle and a majestic grove that houses the main stages. Tickets at okeechobeefest.com/

And that same weekend is the McDowell Mountain Festival. This 100% nonprofit music festival uses its success in attracting audiences to promote Community, Culture, and Charity in and around Phoenix, Arizona. This year, the Festival is celebrating its 14th year, attracting visitors to the State with previous headliners such as Beck, Porter Robinson, Kid Cudi, The Avett Brothers, and more. Go to mmmf.com for tickets and more information

Joe Olnick, with “Glendale Avenue,” off Defiant Grooves
Joe Olnick, with “Glendale Avenue,” off Defiant Grooves

 

Like any good waiter, right now I’m checking back with you to refill your coffee, clear off some plates, and let you get back to enjoying this feast of great tunes.

 

A new Old-Timey morsel from Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams entitled “Did You Love Me At All,” should send you to their website, larryandteresa.com to find out more about them and their self-titled debut album. When you see the list of artists they’ve worked with, either together or individually, you’ll understand how a debut album can be so pristine. We’re talking about Paul Simon, Mavis Staples, BB King, Elvis Costello, The Dead, Roseanne Cash, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, among others. Remember that you heard Larry and Teresa here at the Cornbread Cafe FIRST.

Tanya Gallagher, with “Virginia,” off the eponymous release
Tanya Gallagher, with “Virginia,” off the 2016 release “Virginia

 

I’d be remiss, this week, if I didn’t include a tune from our friend, Xavier Dphrepaulez, who, as Fantastic Negrito, just won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album for his 2016 release, “The Last Days of Oakland.” In keeping with the theme of this episode, I’m actually going to play “The Time Has Come,” from his debut, self-titled EP.

Another debut album, No Fences, from And the Neighbors yields pure Roots bliss with “Long Season.” I got to meet the core creative duo, Debra DeMuth and Dave Houghton last summer, and have been looking for every chance I can find to turn people on to this release which also features Terry Adams from NRBQ and Robin Lane of Robin Lane and The Chartbusters as well as Neil Young’s Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere, among others.

Love comes back to town as we finish up the show with “Stay Up Late,” by Codie Prevost, off of All Kinds Of Crazy and then Keeton Coffman, with “The Mountain,” from Killer Eyes.

Right now, though, you’ll be getting a taste of Virginia, with the delectable title track from the new release by Tanya Gallagher.

 

Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, with “Did You Love Me At All,” off their self-titled debut release
Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, with “Did You Love Me At All,” off their self-titled debut release

 

Well, how was everything, folks? Good? Are you full? Glad to hear it. And you finished everything! That’s great, because the one thing we don’t have are doggie bags. Remember, you can find all the information and links that we mentioned in the show notes. Check them out either at your favorite Indie news site that carries this show or swing by and see us at cornbread.cafe. If you know of musicians who’d like to be featured on the Cornbread Cafe, tell ‘em to drop by and introduce themselves.

Fantastic Negrito with “The Time Has Come,” from his debut, self-titled EP.
Fantastic Negrito with “The Time Has Come,” from his debut self-titled release

 

 

 

This show was engineered and hosted by me, the mongrel, and I’m looking forward to serving up more great Roots to you and your kin next week. No reservations needed. Just bring your appetite for great music.

 

Debra DeMuth and the Neighbors, with “Long Season,” from their debut release, No Fences
Debra DeMuth and the Neighbors, with “Long Season,” from their debut release, No Fences

 

 

 

Roots Music Report

#1 Bluegrass Chart
The Infamous Stringdusters
Laws of Gravity
Label: Compass

#1 Country Chart
Gillian Welch
Boots No. 1: the Official Revival Bootleg
Lable: Acony

#1 Blues Chart
John Mayall
Talk About That
Label: Forty Below

 

Cody Prevost, with “Stay Up Late,” Cody Prevost, off All Kinds Of Crazy
Codie Prevost, with “Stay Up Late,” from All Kinds Of Crazy

Festivals

Wanderlust Hawaii
Space: O’ ahu, HI
Time: February 23–February 26, 2017

Wanderlust is a one-of-a-kind festival bringing together the world’s leading yoga teachers, top musical acts and DJs, renowned speakers, top chefs and winemakers, and much, much more — all in a setting of breathtaking natural beauty.

Okeechobee Music Festival

Space: Okeechobee, FL
Time: March 2–March 5, 2017

The festival’s home, Sunshine Grove, is widely regarded amongst the best music festival destinations in the world, featuring lush grassy flat lands, a sandy beach, stunning tufts of tropical jungle and a majestic grove that houses the main stages.

Keeton Coffman, with “The Mountain,” from Killer Eyes
Keeton Coffman, with “The Mountain,” from Killer Eyes

McDowell Mountain Festival

Space: Phoenix, AZ
Time: March 3––March 5

McDowell Mountain Music Festival is a 100% nonprofit music festival that was established in 2004 and quickly became a musical destination for festivalgoers. This year, the Festival is celebrating its 14th year attracting visitors to the State with previous headliners such as Beck, Porter Robinson, Kid Cudi, The Avett Brothers, and more.

McDowell Mountain Music Festival is a great opportunity to experience the spirit cultivated when people join together to enjoy themselves and help the community.

Save

INDIEcent Exposure #29: Birds of Chicago, Iron Age Mystics & more

Iron Age MysticsBirds of ChicagoBitter’s KissJoe Mansman and The Midnight Revival Band

Birds of Chicago—Winter Migration

In this episode, we speak with JT Nero, who, along with Allison Russell, makes up the creative core of intracontinental Roots treasure: Birds of Chicago. We hear “Barley,” “Dim Star of the Palisades,” and “Kinderspel” (Child’s Game) from their 2016 release, Real Midnight.

JT Nero and Allison Russell, creative core of Birds of Chicago; submitted photo.
JT Nero and Allison Russell, creative core of Birds of Chicago; submitted photo.

When we first made contact, JT and the band were making their way East in the bus, just passing through Gary, Indiana. Headed for the Word Cafe Live in Philly, the first stop on their 2017 tour, JT talked about where the creative fire all comes from, the band’s origin story, their latest release, “Real Midnight,” and what’s in store for fans later this year (hint: summer release).

With limited East Coast dates on this tour, you’re probably going to want to grab tickets now. if you want to see Birds of Chicago live (and you DO want to see Birds of Chicago live—I have it on good authority that the full band is on that bus). If you’re a citizen of Greylock Nation, either the few openings left at The Parlor Room in Northampton, Mass., or at Hudson, New York’s landmark venue Club Helsinki Hudson are probably your best bet. Of course, The West Coast dates are none too shabby, so if Spring in SoCal or Santa Cruz seems like a sweet dream to you, Birds of Chicago would make for one fine soundtrack.

And check out the Birds of Chicago YouTube page for a great video of Kinderspel.

Birds of Chicago
Saturday, February 11; 7:00 p.m.
Parlor Room @ Signature Sounds
Northampton, Mass.

Sunday, February 12; 7:00 p.m.
Club Helsinki Hudson
Hudson, New York
Check for ticket availability

Iron Age Mystics—insurrection between your ears

Iron Age Mystics in action; submitted photo.
Iron Age Mystics in action; submitted photo.

We have played tunes off Iron Age Mystic’s latest release, “Pride Before the Fall,” on our live streaming station, Greylock Nation. If ever there was a good time to jam to my angst, it’s got to be right now, you know what I’m saying? And THIS WEEK is the episode I knew I HAD to treat you all to some top shelf tunage that will absolutely pump you full of the rebel fury you’re going to need to get you through the next four years. I give you…

Iron Age Mystics.

And I know, I know. I said I don’t do reviews. Didn’t someone say the exception makes the rule? And these guys are definitely worth making an exception. Enjoy the title track off their recent release, “Pride Before the Fall.”

In the realm of myth and fable, at the moment when all seems lost and Dark Forces are poised to blot out the last ray of hope, a band of heroes nearly always appears to rally the people, restore courage, and save the day. Well, here in the neo-realist nightmare of 21st Century Earth, we’ve been waiting. And waiting. And waiting some more. And now that the Iron Age Mystics have FINALLY freaking showed up, we want to say first and foremost, “where the hell have you guys been the last couple decades? We’ve been getting killed here!”

Wielding “Pride Before the Fall,” IAM charges right up to the front lines of the struggle to reclaim Meaning and Purpose in Rock ‘n’ Roll. With precision, laser-sighted lyrics, these songs take aim at the corruption and abuses of power running rampant in the corporate oligarchy that the Western world has degenerated into.

Diametrically opposed to simpering, hand-wringing collections of whiny “woe is us” victimhood dirges I could name, this release is defiant, daring, and demanding. The title track itself is an anthem to the rebellious spirit in us all that makes tyrants know fear. Put on your headphones, close your eyes, and smell the burning tires. Feel the crunch of glass under your boots as Greg Mount’s driving, zero-tolerance percussion propels you along dark and chaotic streets with the growing throng of resistance all around you.

Sure, Kevin Connelly’s searing vocals project unrelenting accusation at our would-be corporate masters, but a little unapologetic derision is reserved for the masses who have been shown the truth but would rather remain blind. The Mystics challenge fans with the only question that matters: “What Ya’ Gonna Do About it?”

Hesitant about answering? Not to worry. The masterful, contrasting call-and-response between Allan Wohng on guitar and Clayton Rudy on bass in songs like “You’ve Got the Power” creates a sense of safety in numbers in a sketchy world.

The thing about “Pride Before the Fall” that’s maybe most unsettling is that these guys are so damn polished. Iron Age Mystics could be cranking out pop-rock like some Pla-Do Fun Factory of musical crap. After all, the quartet has decades of experience between them—they know how to build a song. And yet they spend their seemingly inexhaustible supply of creativity on music designed to wake audiences up and make them think. Only a couple tracks into the CD, and I found myself peering through the blinds to make sure there wasn’t some unmarked van on the street outside. A van with a satellite dish on top. And lots of antennae…

Can these guys really be saying this stuff? Is free thought still legal? Do I even want the NSA to know I’m listening to music that suggests human beings should cling to our dignity? Can I pay for that CD in cash?

And that’s what’s heroic about Iron Age Mystics. They could have used the same music to prop up some artificially sweetened, commercial fauxetry. But they didn’t. They want us to understand that even though it may seem like we’re looking at democracy’s last stand, we can snatch it back from the brink by showing real solidarity: “When we join altogether, on our backs we carry forward the dream,” they remind us. With these eleven tracks, they make a convincing case for the defense of that dream of liberty, however hard-won it may eventually be.

They don’t say it will be easy. They don’t say the bad guys are going to give up without a fight. But like a drum and bugle corps from battles for freedom past, these guys are going to be there to provide the marching tunes. And if we stay fierce and positive, “Justice will prevail, because we’re just too big to fail.”

I can’t tell you if they have any tour dates lined up, but you can definitely check them out on Facebook and on their website where you can hear more tracks and sign up for their newsletter.

Bitter’s Kiss

Singer/songwriter Chloe Baker is the heart of Bitter's Kiss; photo courtesy Bitter's Kiss via Facebook.
Singer/songwriter Chloe Baker is the heart of Bitter’s Kiss; photo courtesy Bitter’s Kiss via Facebook.

We have yet to make contact with Chloe Baker since her team sent us some tunes, photos, and the like. And we’ve been stalling for a good reason—we don’t want to short change this young genius by rushing an episode. After doing further research, we have two words for the brilliant poetics of Bitter’s Kiss: elegant anguish.

At times brilliantly searing, at others hollowly melancholy, her music is almost too intense to absorb in great quantity—that is, it would be if the lyrics didn’t so perfectly conjure the gossamer wisps of humanity that balance out the sorrow with the serenity. We play “Love Won’t Make You Cry,” in this episode, but hope to have Chloe on as a guest in the near future. In the meantime, you show also definitely check our her YouTube channel, where some of her best songs are treated to extremely creative and well-produced video incarnations. No word on tour dates at this time, but we’ll definitely keep checking back.

Joe Mansman and The Midnight Revival Band

Joe Mansman and The Midnight Revival Band; photo courtesy the band via Facebook.
Joe Mansman and The Midnight Revival Band; photo courtesy the band via Facebook.

We finish out this episode with a tune from a Glens Falls, New York group who came to my attention through Chris Hantman, owner of Sounds and Tones Records, as we enjoyed some locally brewed IPA over at Bright Ideas Brewing in the MASS MoCA complex in North Adams, Mass. S&T is the MRB’s label, and Chris and I have been talking about getting them on the show for a while now. Of course, like with Bitter’s Kiss and so many other bands, once I hear a couple of the tunes, I’m dying to ask all kinds of questions about their art and performance and views on life, the universe, and everything. One day. For now, have a listen to “Reap and Sow,” which happens to be a free download at their website. Check them out there and keep up with them through Facebook.

/*
0 $0.00
Go to Top