Chattanooga’s Live Music Scene – Cornmeal & Soul Mechanic At Riverfront Nights This Saturday

Thursday, August 14, 2014 - by Bob Payne
Cornmeal Plays Riverfront Nights On Aug 16
Cornmeal Plays Riverfront Nights On Aug 16

The free Riverfront Nights Music Series continues this week and features local favorites Soul Mechanic and Chicago based Cornmeal at Ross’s Landing in downtown Chattanooga. Soul Mechanic opens at 7 p.m., followed by Cornmeal at 8 p.m.

From Cornmeal’s Bio:

Cornmeal has never been a band to shy away from reinvention and after over a decade, 2013 proves to be just that as the band sets out with a newly reformed lineup, a fresh energetic sound and heads back into the studio to fi­nish their long awaited ­first studio album after almost 6 years. A nationally recognized live music institution, Cornmeal is heavily influenced by American roots and folk music and seamlessly blends lightning fast tempos and impeccable harmonies into an unrivaled live performance that continues to expand upon the ­five piece acoustic-electric groups’ vast musical repertoire. While steeped in the tradition of the past, Cornmeal continues to forge a path all their own, pushing the boundaries of bluegrass, Americana and folk for a whole new generation of music lovers. With a growing fan base and ever-evolving sound, Cornmeal challenges the recipe of bluegrass and live performance.

With the release of their debut album "In The Kitchen" (2001 Livin' Live records), Cornmeal secured its place as one of the top bands in its genre. 2003’s “Tales from Magic Stone Mountain” (Livin’ Live records) garnered much critical attention and became a staple on College and AAA top 10 lists throughout the country. In May of 2006, Cornmeal released their third album, “Feet First”, which became proof positive that Cornmeal’s tenure on the road brought on an honest and mature sound. Produced by former guitarist Kris Nowak and bassist Chris Gangi, "Feet First" features a strong confidence in songwriting, musicianship and the ability of this band to stylistically ride the fence and bring it back home without missing a step.

In the beginning of 2010, Cornmeal released their fi­rst live album, “Live in Chicago, IL Vol. I” (2010 Livin’ Live Records), an album that pays tribute to the fans. Towards the end of 2011, Cornmeal released the follow up, “Live in Chicago, IL Vol. II” (2011 Livin’ Live Records). During this time the band went into the studio set to record their ­first album in over 5 years. Self-produced by bassist Chris Gangi and tracked in Chicago at the prestigious Rax Trax recording studios, the process was cut short due to lineup changes and the album was shelved. After almost a year of auditions, rehearsals and wood shedding new material the band is poised to return to the same recording space to fi­nish the album polishing the old material and setting forward with a new sound, new songs and a fresh perspective on the future.

While playing a blend of high profi­le venues, jam-band and bluegrass festivals to thousands nationally, Cornmeal has been a main stage act at some of the most renowned festivals in the country. These festivals include Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Magnolia Fest, Wakarusa Music Festival, and Summer Camp Music Festival as well as having performed on multiple stages at Bonnaroo, All Good Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, 10K Lakes, and many others. They pride themselves on the energy they put forth each night creating an unrivalled live performance that continues to shape itself into an energetic one of a kind experience. “Live in Chicago, IL Vol. I & II” prove that Cornmeal continues to be a band to watch out for. Every show they play is a unique experience that leaves fans begging for more.

Also, if you’re part of the Chattanooga Mud Run to help Habitat for Humanity, don't forget the party on the pier!  Mud Runners will get the VIP treatment with a post run party on the pier for the concert.

Riverfront Nights continues in two weeks, as it takes next weekend off for the Southern Brewers Festival.

Bob Payne grew up in Chattanooga and graduated from Baylor School. He is the Entertainment Editor for the and talent buyer for Friends Of The Festival.

Email Bob Payne at or catch him on Facebook at

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