Cornmeal talks touring, lineup and new album

Cornmeal talks touring, lineup and new album

By Chase Myers

For nearly 15 years, Chicago-based band Cornmeal has traveled around the country blending folk, Americana, and bluegrass into their own unique sound.

Cornmeal brings that sound to Hangar 9 on Thursday. St. Louis-based “jamgrass” band Acoustics Anonymous open the show at 10 p.m.

Cornmeal has recently emerged from a hiatus in 2013 playing in select shows and music festivals throughout the country.


The band consists of founding members Chris Gangi on bass, “Wavy” Dave Burlingame on banjo, along with new members Scott Tipping on guitar, Drew Littell on drums and guest appearances by Phil Roach on fiddle.

The DAILY EGYPTIAN had the opportunity to talk with Burlingame to discuss touring, line-up changes and the future for the band before tonight’s show.

I noticed you are going to be touring with additional member Philip Roach, how is that going to be? 

Yeah, he was with the Giving Tree band, another Chicago Americana band. We’ve done several tours with them and when he left their band, we asked him to help us out and fill in some dates and he’s been playing with us the last six months, pretty much through the summer he helped us out. He really enjoys playing. Phil is really an amazing player and an amazing person. He’s also a road dog just like us, so he fits in great.

How has the band been developing its sound with recent line-up changes? 

It’s been interesting of course. Every new person that comes into the band brings their own bag-of-tricks and we’ve incorporated that into the sound. I would say that we’ve never lost our integrity for putting on a high-energy show. It’s just always high-energy and we’ve never lost that. I mean, we still play a number of the same songs we used to play, plus newer ones. We’re always writing. We have newer songs that we’ve brought into the mix. Drew Littell on drums, he’s fantastic and Scott Tipping on guitar, he’s such a powerhouse. The high-energy quality of our shows has never waivered and that’s one thing that we’ve always recognized that our fans have always appreciated. You know, nobody sits down at our shows, unless they’re about to pass out.

Coming off of the festival season and recent Chicago bar circuit, how will the transition be into your fall tour? 


Well we’ve been touring moderately this year all year long and we’re just coming off of the festival season, in which you’re outside and its nice and you’re among a lot of other bands, friends, musicians and stuff. Transitioning back to the bar is always what happens in the fall. We’re looking forward to getting back down to Hangar. That’s one of our favorite places to play. Then right after that is Yonder Mountain’s Harvest Fest on Friday in Arkansas. Then we head east, to Oklahoma first, then Texas, then down to New Orleans. This is going to be fun-filled. We’re out for about eleven days and we’re playing about nine of those days.

How is your new studio album coming along? 

We just went back into the studio two weeks ago and have started up the new album again. It was hard because in the last couple of years we have gone through some transitions. We started the new album with the original players and when they left it was like “well, do we put this out, or maybe re-record it?” That is basically what we’ve done. We’ve re-recorded what we started a couple years back. We’re really excited about it. We’ve got 10 tracks started, so now it’s a matter of doing overdubs and mixing and we’re hoping to have it out the first of the year.

Chase Myers can be reached at [email protected]on Twitter @chasemyers_DE or at 536-3311 ext. 273