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Feet First
Artist: Cornmeal  
Label: Livin' Free Records
Length: 12 tracks

Cornmeal represents several major reasons why the jamband movement is such a good thing. Harkening back to the beginning sounds of country rock in the late '60's and early '70's with tracks like opener "River Gap," this Chicago band is bringing their bluegrass and Americana sound to a whole new generation. The band has a lovely way of tying together the past and the present.

"Hasten Jason" is a bluegrass workout featuring some wicked sweet banjo by Wavy Dave Burlingame and the fiddle of Allie Kral. Lyrically, Wavy Dave gives us a history of washing up: "Hasten Jason, Get the basin, fill it up and put your face in, get the soap, its on a rope hanging from the door/use the Johnson's  No More Tears, kindly wash behind your ears, oops, slop, get the mop, it's spilling on the floor."

Bassist Chris Gangi has a more introspective way with his words. "The Girl I Left Behind," "On My Own," and "Onward" all give a sense of looking inward,  travelling; yearning to find something on the road. The tracks are given plenty of  time to develop. The full band stretches out on each song.

Throughout Feet First_you get a familiar, comfortable feeling. Reminders of John Hartford and The Dillards. A sprinkling of "Orange Blossom Special" and "Old Man at the Mill," and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia." 

Cornmeal says it all. "Feeling good, spirit's up and the sun is shining down."

Bob Felberg



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