For decades, singer-songwriter Greg Cornell’s soul has been something of an antenna receiving transmissions from America’s beloved heritage of roots music and storing them deep in his being. Before he could add to the canon, however, he had to live his own stories. It took decades of heartbreak, loss, and finding the kind of hopeful disposition that only comes through searching. Today, he’s a critically acclaimed roots musician with a redemptive message.
“I had to live a lot of life before I could turn my experiences into songs,” admits Cornell. “One thing that had a profound effect on me was the death of my father. It made me think about my life, it made me want to pursue things I loved, like music.”
Cornell’s music courses through that muddy river of bluegrass, country, old-time music, and blues. His work conjures the plaintive and unvarnished beauty of contemporary and classic roots artists such as Ralph Stanley, Blind Lemon Jefferson, John Prine, Gram Parsons, Levon Helm, Garcia and Grisman, and Neil Young. Currently, Cornell has a two-album body of work, Deep Ocean Blues and Come On Home. His sincerity, uplifting introspection, and singular approach to making emotionally resonant music from timeless art forms has earned him praise from Americana fans and critics. The popular music discovery and critical outlet Mind Equals Blown says: "Cornell visits the deep, looming sense of longing that's often tied to bluegrass or folksy tracks...and steers clear of any clichés.”
“I love music that has an emotional rawness where you can still smell the soil. A lot of those early roots artists, they had this sound that’s eerie and raises the hair on the back of your neck,” Cornell says.
Cornell has built a robust profile through a diverse calendar of shows. Over the past few years his band, The Cornell Brothers, has appeared at folk conferences and the Sundance Film Festival in Park City UT, toured New England and upstate NY, played festivals throughout the Tristate area, and gigged at the finest listening rooms in NYC.
Cornell is the sole songwriter in the fluid collective of musicians that make up the Cornell Brothers. Though these artistic allies aren’t bonded by blood, they are bonded by making authentic and boldly vulnerable roots music. These musicians are some of the finest Americana players in the Tristate area.