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Cornmeal - Live in Chicago, IL Vol 1 CD - In the winter of 2000, a band stepped on stage for the first time and called themselves Cornmeal. For the next six years, Cornmeal performed each and every Wednesday in Chicago to small yet loyal crowds. Throughout the winters of 2007-2009, Cornmeal returned to Chicago to pay homage to that tradition. This album is for the fans as a thank you for all the years of dedication, for believing in Cornmeal, and for creating a wonderful community for them to come home to. The album was recorded live throughout the winter of 2009 at Martyrs' in Chicago, IL. Unlike Cornmeal's three previous albums, Live in Chicago, IL Vol. I captures the band in its raw, intense format, bouncing through song after song of fast paced, fierce originals and extensive improvised jams that showcase the immense talent and connectivity that have gained them so much fan appeal from coast to coast. Cornmeal is: Chris Gangi on upright bass, Dave Burlingame on Banjo, Allie Kral on fiddle, Kris Nowak on Acoustic Guitar, and John Paul Nowak on Drums.
Great American Taxi - Reckless Habits CD - In the past five years, Great American Taxi has become one of the best-known headliners on the jam band circuit. Their uninhibited sound is a swinging concoction of swampy blues, progressive bluegrass, funky New Orleans strut, Southern boogie, honky tonk country, gospel, and good ol' fashioned rock 'n' roll. Great American Taxi was born when singer, guitarist, and mandolin player Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon joined keyboard player and singer Chad Staehly for a superstar jam to benefit the Rainforest Action Group in Boulder, in March of 2005. "We put together a dream band of the best local musicians for a one-off gig," Herman recalls. "It worked so well we had to do it again, and again, and again." Great American Taxi quickly evolved into one of the best country-, rock-, and bluegrass- influenced jam bands in the land, masterfully blending acoustic and electric instruments into music they call "Americana Without Borders."
The 13 tracks on Reckless Habits gleefully stretch the boundaries of American roots music with a nod to both tradition and the future. The title track, Staehly's salute to Gram Parsons, is a good example, a song that's as country as it is rock. It's a rousing honky tonk tune, with Carbone's fiddle and Sless's pedal steel kicking up the sawdust on a Saturday night dance floor. The titles of several Parsons songs appear in the lyrics, and there's a definite Cosmic Cowboy vibe to the band's expansive playing. Staehly's "American Beauty" tips its hat to the Grateful Dead and features an extended jam by the ensemble with Sless shining on pedal steel; Herman's acoustic and the subtle twang of Jim Lewin on electric add intertwining guitar parts. Herman's "Cold Lonely Town" is a slow R&B tune that describes life during the long Colorado winters. The Black Swan Singers add smoky doo-wop asides and CoCo Brown's thrilling gospel-inflected melismas to Herman's poignant vocal. Producer Tim Carbone described its swampy, laid-back vibe as "'A Day in the Life' meets Gram Parsons in the high desert." $14.98
March 16 - The Disco Biscuits - Planet Anthem CD
U-Melt - Perfect World CD- Brilliantly capturing U-Melt's amazing ability to shatter musical boundaries and transcend genre classification, Perfect World will capture your imagination and commune with the existential part of your soul that responds to mind-expanding music played by a band whose creativity knows no limits. Consisting of 10 road tested tracks, the carefully crafted music and philosophical lyrics shows off U-Melt's inimitable skill in its finest form. It is a rare band indeed that can navigate the intricate twists and progressive rock turns of "Panacea," "Question Matters" and "Elysian Fields," offer up the eminently danceable riffs of "Pura Vida" and "Clear Light" and gorgeously imbue the title track with a warily optimistic idealism. The inescapable rock and roll energy and dance grooves of U-Melt's Perfect World will move your psyche as well as your feet. $12.98
Bearquarium CD - With their unique blend of afro-percussive rhythms, fiery horn lines, funky dance grooves and soulful vocals, this eight-piece ensemble stands out as a breath of fresh air amongst your run-of-the-mill funk bands. Bearquarium blurs the line between meticulous song craft and cohesive improv, with daring layers of poly-rhythms, textured timbres and colorful soul. As we enter a new decade, it is no wonder Bearquarium's progressive sound is considered a "scene cornerstone for years to come" (Seven Days VT). $12
Carolina Chocolate Drops - Genuine Negro Jig CD - The Carolina Chocolate Drops are as much about revelation as revival. On its Nonesuch debut, Genuine Negro Jig, the trio brings exuberance, humor, virtuosity and an infectious acoustic groove to its exploration of a near-forgotten brand of banjo-driven string-band music originating more than a century ago in the foothills of North Carolina, the Piedmont region where band members Rhiannon Giddens and Justin Robinson were raised. In this rural area, musicians, both black and white, once shared and swapped tunes. Over the decades, the importance of the African-American role in string-band music was diminished, its sound and significance co-opted by minstrel shows and segregated by record labels. CCD -- under the tutelage of nonagenarian fiddler player Joe Thompson, one of the last surviving Piedmont musicians - have reclaimed the old-time songs, making them vital and fresh for right now, reasserting in the process the African roots of the banjo. $15.98
Hot Tuna - Double Dose (2CD) - Expanded two CD edition of this 1978 album including bonus material. Hot Tuna was an offshoot of Jefferson Airplane formed by charter members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady. Double Dose was originally issued as a two-record set on Grunt Records. Previously issued import CDs have been trimmed to a single disc, eliminating one of the essential tracks to make things fit. This Deluxe Edition not only restores the album to its original full length and sequencing order, but adds 27 minutes of rare interviews with the members of the band. 23.98
April 15-17, 2010 - Wanee Music Festival - Live Oak, FL
April 22-25, 2010 - Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival - Pittsboro, NC
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