JamBase Questionnaire: Cornmeal

Welcome back to JamBase's baker's dozen of probing, wide-ranging questions to the bright lights in the jam scene (and beyond). Last week we heard from Jeff Austin and upcoming weeks will include insights from Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Trampled By Turtles, U-Melt and more!

Chris Gangi by Norman Sands
Cornmeal is rib-sticking stuff. Like the grain that gives them their name, there's some bite and substance to them. Inspired by unorthodox string pioneers like New Grass Revival, Goose Creek Symphony and John Hartford, Cornmeal honors their ancestors by doggedly and vibrantly stretching this line into new places. For a band closely associated with the string band and bluegrass worlds, Cornmeal can be hellaciously rowdy, unexpectedly psychedelic and downright raunchy when they put their minds to it.

All these traits crop up on Live in Chicago, IL Vol. I, their poppin' new live release. Honoring the longstanding Wednesday night shows in their native Chicago that Cornmeal performed between 2000-2006, Live in Chicago, IL Vol. I captures the breakneck pace of their shows, as well as showcases the strength of their songwriting and picking. Recorded live throughout the winter of 2009 at Martyrs’ in Chicago, this set showcases their improvisational gifts alongside their more structured aspects for a fine snapshot of Cornmeal at their rollicking, heart-tuggin' best. (Dennis Cook)

Here's what Cornmeal bassist Chris Gangi had to say to our inquiries.

1. Great music rarely happens without…

2. The first album I bought was…
Queen's News Of The World

3. The last song or album to really flip my wig was…
Backyard Tire Fire's Good To Be

4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be…
An English teacher

5. My favorite sort of gig is…
The one that people show up for.

6. One thing I wish people knew about me is…
I have a secret love of bad '80s movies.

7. I love the sound of…

8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic as…
Beck's Sea Change

9. The best meal I ever had on tour was at…
An all vegetarian Chinese restaurant in Atlanta before playing Smith's Olde Bar. Forgot the name of it.

10. I always find the coolest audiences in…
My mind

11. The worst habit I've picked up being on the road all the time is…
Really nothing, I developed all my bad habits before I started touring.

12. The Beatles or the Stones? Por qué?
The Beatles. Better complexity and depth of songwriting and lyricism. Better overall album production and innovation. Better harmonies and arrangements, the list goes on and on….

13. The craziest thing I ever saw was…
When I was in Chile someone transported a live sheep in the luggage bins of the bus on a 90-degree day. It fought and whined the whole five hour trip, banging against the ceiling.

Cornmeal Tour Dates :: Cornmeal News :: Cornmeal Concert Reviews

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[Published on: 5/18/10]

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