Cornmeal w/ WhiteWater Ramble 1.21.11
Words By J-man
It's rare that one sees two bands of such a high caliber on the same bill. In regards to talent it could have gone either way; Cornmeal could have opened or WhiteWater Ramble could have filled the slot. WhiteWater Ramble took the opening slot due to Cornmeal's increased popularity and fanbase. It was going to be a killer night regardless, due to the fact that I was surrounded by a handful on my closest friends. We entered Cervantes, acquired our drinks and settled into our respective location on the main floor.
Whitewater hit the stage playing a few moderate tempo songs with great organization and overall production. Turning to my friends, I could see their pre-show conversations die off as they took in WWR. Cervantes had a better crowd than I had seen in attendance that early, ever. A few songs deep, the energy really picked up and the place began to move like crazy. I was so excited to see such a great response to such a great band.
Patrick Sites came charging through with his excellent mandolin playing. Adam Gulblum was right there to step in and was a melodic force to be reckoned with on the fiddle. Between Adam and Allie Kral (Cornmeal), I knew that I would have my fiddle fix fulfilled. The combination of Howard Montgomery on bass and Luke Emig on drums had folks dancing their asses off. Patrick Latella was the musical icing on the cake displaying a wide range of talent on the acoustic as well as the electric guitar.
The highlight of their set came with a lengthy version of the Grateful Dead's "Shakedown Street". The place went as crazy as I've seen it get at Cervantes. The energy was so high as they ripped through and completely annihilated the song. I glanced around to see a good majority of folks singing alone. It was an incredible feeleing. At one point they were joined by Wavy Dave from Cornmeal on the banjo.
"Mark my words, WhiteWater Ramble is next in line..." -J-man
After a short setbreak Cornmeal took the stage. By that time The Masterpiece Ballroom was packed and energetic as hell. Cornmeal aims to please and they did so from the first song. Their energy is at the top of the scene in regards to consistency and continuous rage. First and foremost, as we all know:
"Allie Kral is insane. Her playing is so prominent and forward both rhythmically and melodically that there are very few single musicians who elevate a band as much as Allie elevates Cornmeal." -J-man
Kris Nowak has been killing it as of late on the guitar. His tasteful intertwining of effects into the acoustic-based music adds a very unique layer to Cornmeal. Wavy Dave (Banjo), Chris Ganji (Bass) and J.P. Nowak (Drums) really help to round out the project and create a truly unique band on the scene. Cornmeal's proven ability to improve and entertain has me really excited about the direction of string music and the band itself.
Cornmeal pleased the Denver crowd with some extremely developed/extensive jams, that helped to take me to space. I lost track of the songs and transitions and got lost in the music itself. I found myself and everyone I was with dancing with rage and youthful exuberance. My girlfriend's jaw was hanging open following most of Allie Kral's solos. At one point she turned to me and said in a disoriented fashion "I think I'm in love... with a girl." One of my friends, Spuckes had his hands in the air for almost the entirety of the show. At times his eyes would be closed as he swayed and tilted his face towards the venue ceiling.
Cornmeal had done what they set out to do, tear down Cervantes. The turnout was amazing, the energy was the highest that I have felt in some time, and folks were buzzing with joy. With Cornmeal and WhiteWater Ramble touring together and sharing a stage, rage was inevitable. I knew what I was signing up for and I was more than pleased. Don't miss either band...
J-man's Photo Gallery From The Show