Welcome brothers and sisters to episode #14 of the Cornbread Cafe. I am the mongrel, and I will be your grill master at this barbecue bonanza we’re firing up for you 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.
I hope you brought your appetite, too because we’re going to burn a full-rack of meaty American Roots tunes out on the back deck. And not only that — we’re finally going to share an interview that’s been in the smoker for a good long time. I’ve given you nibbles in different shows over the last year, but I am truly honored to present to you, in its entirely, for the first time, the conversation I had with Mike Merenda of the Mammals (first featured back in Episode 13) . If you’re a Cornbread Cafe fan, then chances are good that you already know about this Hudson Valley area band that draws from the very best in the Folk Tradition — stories grounded humbly in the Earth, yet told with a fire and a musical prowess that seems effortless. You can see and hear for yourself, too, because they’ll be gracing the barn boards at Hancock Shaker Village Saturday, July 27, in the next installment of the Shaker Barn Music series. Note that the Hancock Shaker Village is one of our 2019 season sponsors, so be sure to thank them for supporting independent local news when you go.
Featured in this Episode:Todd Snider • "Talking Reality Television Blues" • Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3 The Mammals • “Make It True” • Sunshiner The Mammals • “Sunshiner” • Sunshiner The Mammals • “Fork in the Road” • Sunshiner The Whiskey Treaty Roadshow • “Every Day It’s Always Something” • Heart of the Run Anna Stine • “Eyelids” • Company of Now The Chris Robinson Brotherhood • “Come’n Round the Mountain” • Servants of the Sun Brett Allen Gregory • “Here and Gone” • Tales of the Bed Yam
The core of the group has, since its inception in 2001 consisted of Mike Merenda and Ruth Ungar to whom he’s also married. Other musicians have rotated in and out of the lineup, which has has infused the act with a lot unique talents and perspectives over the years. They’ve shared stages with both legendary figures in roots music as well as artists from recent generations of folk fame. Look for a link in the show notes for more details — a more impressive who’s-who list would be hard to come by.
Also in the first half of the show I’ll be spinning a few tunes off the Mammals 2018 release Sunshiner, which earned a place on the Americana Music Association's “Top 100 Albums and Songs for 2018.”
The MammalsSaturday, July 27, 20019, 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield, Mass.TicketsPoints of Contact:Web, Patreon, Bandcamp, Archive.org Wikipedia
Before we do that though, let me introduce you to the opening act for this episode, Todd Snider. I’ll admit, I didn’t know much about Snider, except that he’s irreverent and witty as hell. His publicist sent me a track that’s a lot tamer than some of the tracks I’d love to play for you, probably following standard decency rules for radio. Except that I’m a podcaster and a streamer and I’ll play whatever I want. But, until they actually send me his entire latest LP, Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3, I guess I’d better just play it safe, and play you “Talking Reality Television Blues,” which should warm up the house nicely. If you like what you hear, visit his Spotifiy for more, and if you REALLY like what you hear, you can check him out live Wednesday, July 24 at Club Helsinki in Hudson, NY. .
Todd Todd Snider plays Club Helsinki in Hudson, New York Wednesday, July 24; photo by Cathy Mills.