By Jeffrey Allen Federowicz
For The Daily Item
WILLIAMSPORT — Mama knows best and when it comes to blues infused tunes, the Altoona-based band, Mama Corn knows best and rocks it really good.
Labeling this quintet as strictly a blues band, however, is incorrect since their musical style is harder to describe that stuffing a cat into a standard size envelope.
“Our style of music would be classified under the umbrella of bluegrass, however, bluegrass music is like a big tree with many branches. We have captured the interest of a new generation of listeners by pushing the parameters of the genre, while adhering to the traditions of the music,” said Jeremy Nelson, who provides both vocals and banjo work for the band.
“Our sound is very organic, genuine and spontaneous, because we follow a no rules attitude with our music.” In a world where so much of today’s music is manufactured, disingenuous and overproduced, bluegrass music echoes the history of the American experience through songs and instrumentation that reflect something real and tangible. Nothing is fake or over produced.
The seeds of Mama Corn’s formation were first planted in Altoona six years ago by a group of accomplished musicians in the Central Pennsylvania music scene.
Since that time the band has earned a steady following of fans and has performed their dobro, fiddle and mandolin infused music at everything from weddings to square dances, from lumberjack competitions to county fairs, watering holes and the occasional dingy bar.
“Our music is a healthy mix of what ever we like to play. We like to keep things diverse and interesting,” Nelson said. “But generally, our music is a balanced mix of traditional folk music, bluegrass standards and our own unique, Appalachian flavored originals. We also have a lot of surprises and tricks up our sleeve to keep things interesting and spontaneous.” One of the main comments the band receives is how their performances are filled, overflowing with fun loving charisma.
“On top of being great musicians, we are also good entertainers and so often that is missed in many bands. We have a presence about us that conveys undeniable chemistry, friendship and a love for what we do,” he said.
And a signature accomplishment the band strives for is the ability to make the entire audience be part of the fun and not just passive listeners.
“Someone coming to see the show can expect a red hot, high energy, fun loving experience from Mama Corn. Don’t expect a lot of glitz and glamour or pyrotechnics. That’s not what our kind of music is all about. They will see is that there is something magnetic about the acoustic instrumentation of bluegrass music and the fun that is conveyed in the performance,” he said. “Beside the fact that we are extremely good looking, people should come see us because we are a fun band to watch. Not only have we become known for our fret board fireworks and crisp vocal harmonies but also our fun loving stage show. It’s been said that we are a comedy act with a bluegrass problem.”