Cornmeal Northwest bound

Allie Krall

Allie Krall

Writer and photographer Alan Crandall submitted the following guest blog:

There is an old saying, “You can take the boy out of the south, but you can’t take the south out of the boy.” I am a southern boy. My love for cornbread, grits, biscuits and gravy are deeply embedded in my early culture and experience. Cornmeal is the ingredient in many Southern dishes including cornbread, hushpuppies, and added to flour is used as a coating for fish and chicken.

A couple of years ago, I discovered a new cornmeal in the form of a Chicago area band called Cornmeal. After seeing them perform

Kris Kowak

Kris Kowak

at several venues since then, I am hooked. Their website, named after their debut album, is www.cornmealinthekitchen.com which, as a southern boy seems fitting for a band that, after a performance, leaves you smiling with a feeling of comfort and satisfaction.

Cornmeal is in the middle of a two Colorado show run before heading up to the northwest for several gigs. The first of the two Colorado performances was last evening at the Aggie Theatre in Fort Collins.

New on the local scene, Nederland band Judd Louis and the Daily Special, featuring Kyle Stersic of Mountain Standard Time opened Friday’s show with a set that had the growing audience dancing to the three member group’s jams. For a video sample of their performance see below.

Judd Louis

Judd Louis

Cornmeal’s next Colorado show will be at Boulder’s Fox Theatre tonight. The band’s last performance at the Fox was last October, on the same night as the Fourmile Canyon Revival benefit. The band pushed back the start time of that show and promised fans that they would play until three in the morning.

Before the Aggie Theatre show I had a chance to speak with Cornmeal String Bass and vocalist, Chris Gangi about that show and their plans to tour in the Northwest, an area previously unexplored by the band. “We did a sold out show after the whole benefit so it was great and we are excited to come back,” said Gangi. When asked about the new Northwest tour he explained, “It has been long overdue, it is a long haul from Chicago and we have been really reserved about getting out to the Northwest … so we are really excited and ever since we released the dates we have had a lot of people interested and excited about it.”

I asked Gangi, after ten plus years of touring, how they keep the road exciting. “We’ve got a whole bunch of new material we are working on and we have a new album coming out. We are getting into the studio in the next month so we have a lot of new stuff to work on,” said Gangi.

Cornmeal

Cornmeal

Friday’s show offered up some old favorites and many new songs, including a long and very bluegrassy-jam version of Pink Floyd’s song Sheep. With the offering of new material mixed with crowd pleasing favorites, this southern boy looks forward to tonight’s performance in Boulder.

Blogger Note: As mentioned above, I have only had Cornmeal on my radar for the past couple of years. After speaking with some Cornstalkers, I discovered that Cornmeal’s version of Sheep is not new and one they used to play in past years. It is just a new and very cool song to me.

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