Cornmeal @ Tipitina’s Uptown 1/12/2011

Cornmeal @ Tipitina's Uptown 1/12/2011

New Orleans is an over-privileged city when it comes to live music. If good live music were rich food, we’d all be tubby. But one entree we don’t get nearly enough of here is good bluegrass. Maybe I was just spoiled after 5 1/2 years living in the Music City, where a run down to the legendary Station Inn was always merely a hop and skip away, but it took Chicago jam-grassers Cornmeal playing down at Tipitina’s on Wednesday night for me to realize that this was a void that needed filling in the city. ’s tour stop was the unofficial pre-party to the venue’s 10-day 33rd Anniversary celebration (starting Friday and featuring nights with The funky Meters, Kermit Ruffins, The Radiators, and Bruce Daigrepont). A crowd of roughly 125 people braved the unusually chilly winter night to take in the lightning-fast sounds of this Chicago tour de force (who, might I jealously add, were fresh off a relaxing week aboard the Jam Cruise). This was my first chance to see the band live and comparisons to the complexity of Railroad Earth and the diverse talents of the earlier, rootsy days of The String Cheese Incident (and their inherent blisstonia-inducing demeanor) immediately came to mind as the band blazed through the opening tune. The melodic, energetic progressions built organically, with each member given a democratic voice to add their talents to the foray. Primarily, virtuosic fiddle wizardress Allie Kral, banjo player (and Weird Al Yankovic doppelganger) Wavy Dave Burlingame and guitarist Kris Nowak weaved improvisational tapestries, meeting in the middle for verse-chorus and jam expositions on tunes like “River Gap” and the impressive set closer.

Before the encore, the band graciously thanked the crowd for showing their support and expressed their heartfelt sense of pride to be playing on the hallowed Tipitina’s stage, a first for the band. To close the roughly two-hour performance (the frenetic pace made the show blow by in the blink of an eye), Cornmeal selected The Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet classic “Sympathy for the Devil”, a nice accent to a blazing set.

Cornmeal hereby has an open invitation to play at my backyard BBQ the next time they come to town. Worth a shot right?!

January 18, 2011 |  by  |  Reviews
About the author

Wesley grew up in coastal Georgia and is a former resident of The Music City and The Big Easy where he helped get LMB NOLA off-the-ground after launching in January 2011. Over the past few years, he has also contributed steadily to JamBase and Relix Magazine. Recently, Hodges moved on to L.A. where Abita Beer is hard to find, costs about $6 if located and impromptu parading in the streets will most likely get you arrested on the spot.

 
  • Rleeyates

    thanks justin, glad you enjoyed the show. the guys were indeed glad to be at tips and even played a rousing game of horse after the show on the dancefloor basketball show
    lee yates
    winter circle

    • http://www.livemusicblog.com Justin Ward

      Hey man, it wasn’t me. It’s our new friend Wesley who’s in NOLA managing our coverage there. You’ll likely see plenty more local reviews out of him in the future. Maybe he’s good at dancefloor basketball, also….I’ll let him answer for that… ;)

      • Wesley Hodges

        I am most certainly not good at any form of basketball. But I would love to play a game of dancefloor HORSE

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