January 20, 2018

Cooking That Cornbread

We’re excited to announce that our first album, Decent Pan of Cornbread, has been officially released. You know you’re hungry for it! While you’re waiting on your copy to arrive, preheat the oven, so to speak, with a little bit of DPOC trivia.

Where can you get a Decent Pan of Cornbread? Buy the CD direct from Kory’s shop, or sample the tracks and buy digital downloads or physical CDs here on CDBaby.com or here on Kory and Kelsey’s Facebook page. You’ll also find downloads on iTunes and Amazon.

Spoken word and old-time music by Kory & Kelsey Wells

Is Decent Pan of Cornbread a recipe book? A CD about cooking?

Neither. It’s a collection of Kory’s poems accompanied by Kelsey’s old-time music. If the word “poetry” makes you nervous, please substitute “spoken word.” If you’re not sure you know or like old-time music, please substitute “bluegrass” or “Americana” or “folk.”

What is DPOC about?

Well, as the cover and title would make you suspect, there is a mention of cornbread – as well as hominy, grits, fried baloney,  flaky biscuits, sweet tea and more. There are also mentions of Jerry Lee Lewis, Lynrd Skynrd, the Beatles, Bach, Darrell Scott and other musicians. There are poems about working men, jilted women, the new folks in town, and the natives who have never left.

As you’ve guessed by now, Kory’s writing reflects the influences of Southern small town life, contemporary suburban sprawl, and her Southern Appalachian roots. To go with her poems about family, fiddling, food, faith, and a whole bunch of other things that don’t start with the letter f, Kelsey plays old standards like “Cluck Old Hen,” “Angeline the Baker,” and “In the Sweet By and By,” as well as new tunes she’s written.

Three of the tracks feature Kelsey singing the lyrics of some old-time tunes, and Kory responding to those lyrics with her poems imagining the words of the women being sung about.

Who are Kory and Kelsey Wells?

Kory, the mom, is a poet and creative writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications as well in her own poetry collection, Heaven Was the Moon. Kelsey, the daughter, is an award-winning fiddler who is in her senior year at Middle Tennessee State University.

What instruments are on the album?

Fiddle, banjo, cello, feet, gourd, washboard, a singing bowl, an egg slicer, and the Built-Wells Upright 4-String Washtub Bass, which our husband/pa Mike Wells built, with Kory’s help.

Does Kelsey play them all?

Yup. We did have a few very capable assists on some sound effects from our producer, Becky Buller, and sound engineer, Brandon Bostic. Becky also helped with vocals on a couple of tracks, most notably as the lead member of the Honky Tonk Angel Choir. (Kory and Kelsey found woo-woo-wooing much harder than it sounds, but Becky is a pro.)

Which instrument is Kelsey’s favorite to play?

Though a fiddler at heart, Kelsey’s been jamming with the ukulele a lot lately, playing – you won’t believe it – songs like “Hey There Delilah,” “American Pie,” and “Fat-Bottomed Girls.” (Shh, don’t tell!) Why does Kelsey get so excited about this little music maker? It fits in her bicycle basket! The uke isn’t featured on this record, but you can bet to hear it at our next show.

Can those Wells women really cook a decent pan of cornbread?

Absolutely! Although, we confess, the cornbread pictured was made by Mike Wells, and yes, we ate it after the photo shoot. With pinto beans.

What kind of cornmeal?

We’re pretty much a Martha White household (Martha gets a brief mention on track 8, “At the Old-Time Jamboree”), although Kelsey and gluten don’t get along too well, so she uses the fresh ground stuff. Kory’s a believer in cornbread – and, well, just about anything – made with buttermilk.

Sugar in your cornbread?

No. A tiny bit in our fried corn cakes is good, though.

Cast iron or aluminum?

Oh, cast iron for sure – just like you see on the album cover. Kory’s mamaw gave her that skillet 25 years ago, already seasoned and ready to go.

Where did you get them high-top shoes?

Those beginning lyrics to the old tune “Hop High” are some of Kory and Kelsey’s favorites. Kelsey wears almost all vintage/thrifted clothing, so she’s got high top shoes and boots of all sorts – most of ’em from places like Goodwill and Etsy. Kory has fat calves, apparently, so she’s glad to have just one pair of boots that fit.

For more fun related to cornbread, buttermilk, and the album itself, check out Kory and Kelsey’s Pinterest board Cooking That Cornbread. And if you have any burning questions we didn’t answer here, leave us a comment and let us know!

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