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Cornbread Cafe #15: Sierra Ferrell
Hear our long-awaited conversation with brilliant songwriter and spellbinding performer Sierra Ferrell — who is the. real. deal.
Cornbread Cafe #14: The Mammals
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.
Cornbread Cafe #13: The Black Bear Americana Music Festival
We celebrate the first inaugural Black Bear Americana Musics Festival with potent tracks from The Mammals, Adam Ezra Group, Belle of the Fall, The Nields, Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, The Rad Trads, Violetta Zironi, NuBluzRevue, and the Honey Whiskey Trio.
First ever installment of this huge event to be held at the Goshen Fairgrounds just north of Litchfield, Conn., October 4–8.
Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #13—of the Cornbread Cafe, that new joint on the web offering tasty American Roots treats. We’re located at the five-corners of Americana, Blues, Country, Folk, and Gospel. And sometimes you can catch an express to Rock ’n’ Roll at the bus stop across the way.
I am, of course, your host, the mongrel, a.k.a. Jay Vee, and it’s my distinct pleasure to serve up a show I know we’re all going to look back on some day with kind of a “Yup. I was there” satisfaction.
Featured in this Episode:
The Mammals • “Culture War” • SunshinerAdam Ezra Group • “Steal Your Daughter” • Hurricane Wind Belle of the Fall • “They All Come Crashing Down” • Rise UpThe Nields • “You Don't Have That Kind Of Time” • XVII Whiskey Treaty Roadshow • “Jimmy The Whiskey Boy” • Whiskey Treaty Roadshow EP The Rad Trads • “The Little Pie Blues” • On TapVioletta Zironi • “Little Wound” • single NuBluzRevue • “Think Again” • NuBluzRevueHoney Whiskey Trio • “Grim Reaper” • Rye Woman
Last episode we got to hear from Jim Olsen of Signature Sounds about the inaugural Arcadia Folk Festival going on September 30, in Northampton Mass. This time around, we hear from two of the organizers of the brand new Black Bear Americana Music Festival taking place October 4 through the 8 in Northwestern Connecticut. Beth Murphy and Ian Campbell dialed in to our studio late in the evening earlier this week to talk about the whys and hows of building this exciting new gathering from the ground up.
And how cool is that? Back to back shows about back to back nascent American Roots music festivals. This type of opportunity comes around less than once in a blue moon, and I am pleased to be able to bring you the news, interviews, and sampler platters of music you can expect to hear at these top flight festivals. It’ll be another lean back and loosen yer belt kind of episode.
We also continue our occasional series of music in the American Roots genre that thrives on foreign soil — “Americana Expat.” As promised, this episode we have the JUST released single, “Little Wound,” from Italian born Violetta Zironi—an artist I predict will be making her way into the festival circuit in the next year or two.
Plus, we’ll hear from a couple artists new to the show, as well as making sure we end this musical feast with a sweet finish courtesy our old friends, the Honey Whiskey Trio.’
Adam Ezra Group
I already know we’re going to run over our 60-minute limit with this show, so let’s get right into it with our first Black Bear set, featuring the Adam Ezra Group and particularly smokin’ track, “Steal Your Daughter” off 2017’s Hurricane Wind. We’ll hear Belle of the Fall and the blistering “They All Came Crashing Down,” off their brandy new release Rise Up, and we’ll kick it all off with The Mammals, who also have a brand new album, Sunshiner, from which we’ll enjoy “Culture War,” right here on the Cornbread Cafe.
Again that was “They All Came Crashing Down,” from Belle of the Fall. The album, Rise Up, is Exhibit A for why I do this show and why we all gravitate towards American Roots.
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.
host, the mongrel
music editor, Serafina
Welcome! brothers and sisters to Episode #12—of the Cornbread Cafe, a fine place to get your fill of some of very best in American Roots music. Cazh and cozy, we’re located at the five-corners of Blues, Americana, Folk, Country, and Gospel. And sometimes you can catch an express to Rock ’n’ Roll at the bus stop across the way. *
I am the mongrel, and it does my heart good to see you back again so soon. And it looks like you brought some friends with you. Thanks for dropping in. Always room in the Cafe for folks with great taste in music.We’re sliding back into our long format this episode to celebrate the inauguration of America’s newest American Roots fest, the Arcadia Folk Festival, taking place in Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley September 30.
Not only do we have a block of great tunes from some of artists who’ll be performing there, but we speak both with Signature Sound’s Jim Olson, organizer of the event AND Jonah Keane, Sanctuary Director for Mass Audubon at Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Both Jim and Jonah explain why this enchanting, verdant refuge makes for a setting that’s more than just a gorgeous backdrop.
Featured in this EpisodeLaura Berman • “Come As You Are” • HomeFaint Peter • “Waiting” • RedoubtDivining Rod • “Darling Down The Row” • singleBirds of Chicago • “Farewell Tenderhearts” • American FlowersDarlingside • “Singularity” • ExtralifeHeather Maloney • “A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall” • Just Enough SunThe Nields • “Love Love Love” • XVIICeline Schmink • “Solo Rider” • Faded Wanderings
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At the tail end of this episode, we’ll introduce a new, occasional feature of the show we’re calling “American-a Expat.”
Right now, though, let’s tuck in to this musical spread by spinning a tune that landed in my inbox just this week. You know I love sharing an early taste of albums before anyone else has heard them. This track will appear on Laura Berman’s January 2019 release, Home, and I think it’s a good indication you’re going to love the whole album when it drops. Here’s “Come as You Are,” on the Cornbread Cafe.
Laura Berman; photo courtesy laurabermanmusic.com/.
"Singer and songwriter Laura Berman has reached acclaim for her soul-touching vocal and honest, lyrical poetry. She has performed alongside Rev. Michael Beckwith at the Agape International Spiritual Center, Authors Neale Donald Walsch and Marianne Williamson, and sang backup for Grammy Award Winner Enya on the David Letterman Show. Laura also is a session singer and has a featured song in the children's film and accompanying soundtrack of "Clifford's Really Big Movie." She is currently recording her fifth studio album with producer and multi-instrumentalist Roman Morykit, one half of the musical duo, Gypsy Soul, with the album release set for January 2019."
That was “Darling Down the Row,” a new single from Divining Rod, the new project of former Rogers Sisters member, Miyuki Furtado. It’s a hypnotic song in its own right, but there’s a story attached, and I encourage you to follow the link in the show notes to Diving Rod’s website for an explanation in his own words.