Planet of the Abts featuring 2 members of Gov't Mule, Cornmeal

Planet of the Abts featuring 2 members of Gov't Mule


Jun 10 2015 · Wed

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$17 Advance / $22 Day of Show

This event is 21 and over

Planet of the Abts featuring 2 members of Gov't Mule
Planet of the Abts featuring 2 members of Gov't Mule
Listening to Planet Of The Abts’s self-titled debut album is like crash-landing right in the middle of some amazingly wild-ass rhythm-infested cartoon world … except the band is very much real – and they happen to be very serious about making music.

But, sweet Jesus … pick a track – any track. Here: “Off The Hook”. It might be an old mid-60s Jagger/Richards chestnut, but by the time Planet Of The Abts (POA) is done with it, the original head-bopping Alley Oopish main riff is vaporized, replaced by a thundering charge that sounds like Iggy Pop fronting vintage Deep Purple, all steamroller organ and fuzzy/crackling guitar. After a couple in-your-face verses, things just explode into a rolling, tumbling ball of pounding sound (I swear there’s even a one-fingered piano part in there ala “I Wanna Be Your Dog”) that never loses the groove. And that as much as anything is the key to the music of POA: as big, wild, and colorful as things get, THEY NEVER LOSE THE GROOVE.

But how could they? Two-thirds of the core band is Gov’t Mule’s rhythm section – drummer Matt Abts and bassist Jorgen Carlsson – and, if anything, the instant bond the two formed when Carlsson joined the Mule in 2008 has only deepened and strengthened. POA is obviously the result of some sort of crazy experiment: the two now share a common brain, doling out a monstrous sound gumbo of bass/drums/bassdrumsbassdrums that moves as one. (Frankly, boys and girls, it would be scary if it wasn’t so damned fun.) Add to that the heretofore undiscovered (in the US, anyway) talents of multi-instrumentalist/vocalist T-Bone Andersson, an old buddy of Carlsson’s. No wonder Sweden’s kept Andersson a secret up until now: check out the album closer “Trying To Be Myself”, for instance. While the Abts/Carlsson machine percolates in a spacey/jazzy/drift that eventually explodes into a Jimi Hendrix Experience-style rave-up, Andersson soundshifts between vintage Van Halen, raunchy Texas blues, a little bit of his own Jiminess, and a jazzbo reserve that most string flailers never come close to achieving. (Go ahead – reread that sentence if you’d like. That was all one song.)

To the band’s credit, they give equal billing on the album to studio wizard Steve Holroyd – and rightfully so. Holroyd’s approach to POA’s sound perfectly complements their approach to their music: nobody is ashamed of their influences here. If a Beatlesque “Across The Universe”-style spacewalk is the obvious way to get from Point A to Point B in “Anything You Want It To Be”, then that’s what they do. (Check out Andersson’s piano, which never quite gives way, eventually reclaiming the song at the very end after a maelstrom of sound marches through.) Or put an ear to “Circus”: the song’s swooping bass, liquidy sound textures, and do-what-you-want-I’ll-be-right-here-when-you-get-back drumming will have you asking, “Which one’s Pink?” Holroyd is blessed with the ability to go from living-room intimacy to fathoms-deep wall of sound without letting a tune sound over-produced or gimmicky.

Personal favorite: the opener, “Planet Pt. 1”. Abts and Carlsson’s Mulemate Danny Louis guests with some cool horn work that leads the way into what can only be described as the psychedelic theme song to a James Bond movie that needs to be made. I shit you not. (Later, in “Planet Pt. 2”, a total no-holds-barred freakout eventually makes its way back to the “Planet” main theme.)

With Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes out exploring the soul music in his soul with the Man In Motion project and the Abts/Carlsson team doling out work like this, one can’t help but believe that the Mule’s hiatus has been nothing but healthy for the band. In the meantime, recognize Planet Of The Abts for what it is: a powerful beast that stands on its own feet.
Cornmeal has never been a band to shy away from reinvention and after over a decade, they are proving 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.
Venue Information:
The Ardmore Music Hall
23 East Lancaster Ave
Ardmore, PA, 19003