• Tag Archives Leftover Salmon
  • Leftover Salmon Thanksgiving shows start tonight at the Boulder Theater (photos, video)

    By Alan Crandall, Previously published at the DailyCamera.com

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    Leftover Salmon’s Andy Thorn and Drew Emmit perform at this years Ned Fest last August. By Alan Crandall
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    Aquatic Hitchhiker

    After last year’s successful release of their first album in eight years, Aquatic Hitchhiker, Leftover Salmon has been enjoying continued touring success. Formed in Boulder in 1989, the slamgrass pioneers have firmly established themselves on the festival and jam-grass circuit and show no indication of slowing down. In fact, they teamed up with Breckenridge Brewery last summer to release four new songs.

    The Camera recently caught up by phone with Drew Emmitt, who was in Crested Butte. The Leftover Salmon co-founder, vocalist and fiddle, mandolin and guitar player talked about the band’s new drummer, its music and annual Thanksgiving shows this weekend at the Boulder Theater.

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    Leftover Salmon courtesy of Susan J Weiland

    RMJ: I first saw your new drummer, Alwyn Robinson, performing with Leftover Salmon earlier this summer in Asheville, N.C. How has he adjusted now that he has taken over Jose Martinez’s full-time drumming duties?

    Really great … he has a grip on the Salmon repertoire, which is extensive, so that is definitely a great thing.

    RMJ: The four new songs are “Get up and Go,” “High Country,” “Thornpipe” and “Two Highways.” Did you write “Two Highways,” and if so, did the inspiration come from your busy touring schedule?

    I did. Being on the road and being home are two different worlds, and that’s an idea that’s been in my head for a long time — and trying to put that into a song, those two different realities. It just came to me one night. I was up late and I just couldn’t sleep and I was sitting by the fire and I got the idea and jotted it down.

    RMJ: “High Country” is an Andy Thorn creation?

    That’s all Andy. He came up with that on a hike. And he’s an adventure freak. He gets out and he lives life. Since he’s moved to Colorado it’s just been one adventure after another for him.

    RMJ: For the upcoming Boulder Theater shows, Little Feat’s Bill Payne is on the bill. Has Payne played with Salmon in the past?

    We first met Bill when we did some shows with Little Feat some years ago. And then when we made our last LS record, before our break; we got Bill to produce it. It was great working with him on that record. He played on one of the songs, “Whispering Waters,” and did a fantastic job. Then we brought him out for Telluride Bluegrass two years ago, and it was really great to have him for that.

    RMJ: What’s it like to come back and play for your hometown fans?

    For one thing, playing the Boulder Theater is a really wonderful time; it’s a great venue and it’s always great coming home. And Vince (Herman, a Salmon co-founder/vocals/guitar/washboard) doesn’t live (in Colorado) anymore; he lives in Oregon. I think it’s a big homecoming for him, as well. And it’s such a festive time, you know, right after Thanksgiving, starting off the Christmas holiday, and the winter season.

    RMJ: We have previously discussed the birth of Leftover Salmon, about 24 years ago, teaming your band, The Lefthand String Band, with Vince Herman’s Salmon Heads band. How did Vince come up with the name of Salmon Heads?

    We were actually living in the same house in Gold Hill, and Vince was the seafood manager for King Soopers. Not making a lot of money at the time, he would bring home salmon heads because, after they cut the head off, there was still some meat attached to them. And he would bring the salmon heads home and chop the meat off, and there you go. He would get these free salmon heads. … Well, one day, he and his friends… took a bunch of these salmon heads out in the yard and put them on sticks and took pictures of them. And then when they started this new band, they needed a name. And so, that was the inspiration, that experience.

    RMJ: I see that Leftover Salmon will return Strings & Sol String festival in Tulum, Mexico. How fun is it to play a string summit like that?

    Well it’s just totally different to do a gig like that, in a different country. You are playing basically on the beach which is pretty cool. And, you know the other bands involved are definitely a lot of our good buddies and there’s a lot of inter-mingling that happens. It’s a great break from the norm for sure.

    RMJ: Who’s idea was it to book shows in Hawaii in January, that seems brilliant?

    Well it’s actually something I’ve been pushing our management to do for about the last three years. It finally happened, I’ve been riding our manager’s back a bit for this one. (laughs) I was in Hawaii last year with my family and I just thought if we could somehow turn this into a gig then we could have a paid vacation so it’s something we’re trying to establish and do every year.

    RMJ: lets talk about your equipment you always have an arsenal of instruments can you run down for us what you are currently playing and if you like one guitar for rock tunes and another for bluegrassy songs?

    On the past tour I had my Gibson 335, my Gibson SG and my Strat. And I kind-of ended up going to the Gibson’s more. Alot of times I play a Les Paul issue gold-top which is kind-of my main guitar. I do tend to lean toward the Gibsons a little more; they have a little more oomph, for what I do. But you know I still do appreciate the Fender thing. But Gibson’s become sort-of my mainstay. The SG is kind-of a new one for me. I got that back in the Spring. And it’s a re-issue of a 60 SG. yeah I definitely am very into the Gibson sound. I have a San Juan F5 Mandolin and a Nugget F5 Mandolin, and those are my two mainstays.

     

    If you go

    What: Leftover Salmon’s Thanksgiving concerts; Bill Payne of Little Feat opens both shows

    When: 9 p.m. today and Saturday

    Where: Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder

    Tickets: $29.50

    Info: bouldertheater.com

    Conscious Alliance Food Drive
    Leftover Salmon is teaming up with Conscious Alliance for an ‘Art that Feeds’ Food Drive. All patrons who donate 20 non-perishable food items will receive a FREE event poster created by the very talented artist, Nathaniel Deas. For more information, click here

  • Elephant Revival play benefit with Leftover Salmon at Pisgah Brewing Company (photos, video)

    LeftoverElephantNC13-120Elephant Revival followed Dangermuffin (acoustic) and warmed up for Leftover Salmon at Pisgah Brewing Company in Asheville, North Carolina on Sunday, May 26.  The event was in part a fundraiser for a local nonprofit called FATE (Funding America Through Entertainment) with a portion of every ticket going to the organization.  It was a great show in an almost hidden outdoor venue under beautiful skies with perfect spring weather.   It is always a treat to see Elephant Revival play at the same venue with Leftover Salmon because you know the bands are going to mix it up a bit and join together on stage.  Also joining Elephant Revival was Town Mountains fiddle player Bobby Britt. Here are some photos and a video from the event.

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  • Leftover Salmon three night run at Denver’s Bluebird Theater (photos)

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    Leftover Salmon rolled through Colorado earlier this year with a three day stop at the Bluebird Theater in Denver on March 28th, 29th & 30th. The following are images from those shows.

    To hear the shows you can purchase downloads here:

    Thursday, March 28

    Friday, March 29

    Friday, March 30

     

     

     

    Thursday notes: Singing the Blues through Better with Sugar Blue on harmonica, Dance On Your Head through Better with Steve Berlin on sax
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    Friday Notes:     Singing the Blues through Better with Sugar Blue on harmonica, Dance On Your Head through Better with Steve Berlin on sax  Dave Bruzza sat in for encore.LS_Bluebird_13-0513   LS_Bluebird_13-0532 LS_Bluebird_13-0582 LS_Bluebird_13-0588 LS_Bluebird_13-0595 LS_Bluebird_13-0609 LS_Bluebird_13-0614 LS_Bluebird_13-0680 LS_Bluebird_13-0784 LS_Bluebird_13-0815 LS_Bluebird_13-0837 LS_Bluebird_13-0892 LS_Bluebird_13-3118 LS_Bluebird_13-3164 LS_Bluebird_13-3327 LS_Bluebird_13-3385 LS_Bluebird_13-3457 LS_Bluebird_13-3495 LS_Bluebird_13-1060797 LS_Bluebird_13-1060827 LS_Bluebird_13-1060829 LS_Bluebird_13-1060835
    Saturday Notes: Who Stole My Monkey through Euphoria with Steve Berlin on baritone sax.

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  • The Motet, members of Leftover Salmon & String Cheese Incident to play Joe Cahill benefit concert tonight in Boulder

    Originally published at the DailyCamera.com

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    The Motet, members of Leftover Salmon and members of the String Cheese Incident plan to perform for tonight’s benefit at the Fox Theatre.

    Joe Cahill, a beloved member of the Boulder music scene and longtime lighting designer for the Fox and Boulder theaters who was killed last week in New Orleans, will be honored Monday during a benefit concert at the Fox Theatre.

    Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Monday for the memorial concert. The event will feature performances by The Motet and members of Leftover Salmon.

    Tickets are $15 and are available now. All of the money collected at the event will go to a fund benefiting Cahill’s 16-year-old daughter, Cassidy, according to organizers. A raffle and silent auction also are scheduled. Read More.


  • Interview with Leftover Salmon’s Drew Emmitt on new music, Bluebird Theater shows

    By Alan Crandall

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    Drew Emmitt

    Twenty four years ago Drew Emmitt of The Left Hand String Band sat in with Vince Herman’s Salmon Heads at the Mill site for a gig. That was the beginnings for a now favorite Colorado Band, Leftover Salmon. Next the group played a new year’s show in Crested Butte in 1989, maybe the first official LS show. And then the magic happened at the Telluride Bluegrass festival when an impromptu campground jam session introduced Vince and Drew to banjo player Mark Vann. The rest as they say is history.

    Today Leftover Salmon is at the top of the jam grass circuit selling out shows and performing at festivals from coast to coast. Spreading their Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass and redefining the kind of music a string band can perform.

    Like all bands with the staying power of 24 years Leftover Salmon has seen many changes. After the passing of Mark Vann in 2002 to cancer, the band went through some tough times and even went on hiatus for a couple of years. Members worked on on their own projects like Vince Herman’s Great American Taxi and Drew’s Emmit/Nershi band teaming up with Billy Nershi of the String Cheese Incident. It was in the Emmit/Nershi band that they discovered Andy Thorn. Thorn, still in his twenties was already an accomplished banjo player that had won the Rockygrass banjo and band contest in 2003 and 2005.

    Once Thorn sat in with Leftover Salmon the band found new life. They began hitting the festival circuit and put out their first album in 8 years “Aquatic Hitchhiker.”

    Now the Leftover Salmon is back in full swing, again selling out shows and creating new music. The band just got back from Suwanee Springfest and have been in the studio all week recording new songs to release this summer. It is here that Rocky Mountain Jams caught up with Drew Emmitt, Salmon’s mandolin, guitar and fiddle player who was kind enough to offer up an interview.

    RMJ: Hi Drew, thank you for talking with us today, is this a good time.

    DREW: Yeah, we’re actually in the studio.

    RMJ: That’s great news. You’re cutting new tracks that you’re going to release in conjunction with a brewery?

    DREW: Yes we’re right now working on six tracks to go with Breckenridge Brewery. And if we have time we’re trying to get a full record out of it. It’s going great. We didn’t think we had anything. All of a sudden we show up at the studios and everyone’s got some great ideas, and we’ve got some really cool songs coming together, it’s exciting.

    RMJ: So this is all new songs, previously unrecorded?

    DREW: It’s all brand new, YEP! And we’re basically collaborating in the studio, and coming up with all this new material. It’s really fun and exciting.

    RMJ: I know in the past you’ve collaborated with other artists on your albums, is there anybody else in the mix?

    DREW: Um, not really. I mean not so far. A couple of the tunes I sort of brain stormed with Bill Nershi, so he’s a bit of a part of it but at this point I’d say that it’s all within the band.

    RMJ: I heard you got a little soggy this weekend down in Florida at Suwanee Springfest?

    DREW: Oh yeah it was great. Yes it was a really fun time. Yes we did get a little soggy. And in fact we did spend most of Saturday in the hotel room; but it was a great festival, it was a lot of fun.

    RMJ: Are you thinking about doing a live album anytime soon in Salmon’s future?

    DREW: Not really, there’s really no plans to do that. No. We originally planned to do this record and do another one in the fall. As far as things are going this might be our main focus now and just work on getting this out. We’re just going to go with the flow and see what happens at this point. It’s great because we got the creative juices flowing, you know? There’s no telling where it’s going to lead.

    NOTE: Get your free live Leftover Salmon HERE.

    RMJ: Is the New Year’s gig in Crested Butte in ’89 considered the first Leftover Salmon show?

    DREW: Pretty much, although we did a gig at the mill site with was the Salmon Heads and I went and sat in along with our bass player from Left Hand String Band. So that might have been one of the earlier incarnations. But really where it all started was Telluride. When we were all in the campground and we decided to enter the band contest, and also play a gig at the Roma. So that was probably really the incarnation of LS, what was going on in the Telluride campground.

    RMJ: You guys met Mark Vann there in Telluride, right?

    DREW: That’s exactly right and that was that year.

    RMJ: What would you say is the biggest difference between the Salmon of 20 years ago and the Salmon of today?

    DREW: Well there are a lot of differences. There are some new people in the band. We’re definitely a lot more refined. And we’ve learned a lot. We’ve been doing this for almost 24 years. And the original band was kind of a conglomerate between the Salmon Heads and the Left Hand String Band, and we were trying to find our “sea-legs” and figure out what it was this band was going to be. And there was an accordion player so it was a little more Cajun-ey, and a little less bluegrass and rock-n-roll. And I think now we’re more defined by our originals, as well. Basically back then we were throwing songs together and doing covers; we had a few originals. Now we have a whole lot more originals and I think we’ve defined ourselves a lot more since then.

    RMJ: I heard Vince say once that you guys have a repertoire of something like 400 songs you can draw from at any one time.

    DREW: mm-hmm. Yeah we’ve got quite a few. And we’ve got some we don’t do real often, only every once in a while. But yeah there’s quite a catalogue to work from.

    RMJ: Are you guys gonna be ready to perform one of these new songs this weekend at your gigs at the Bluebird?

    DREW: I think so. I think we’re going to be able to bust out with a couple of them. We’ll just see how brave we get. But also we’ve got a special guest coming in today. Sugar Blue from Chicago. Great, great harmonica player. He’s been tracking with us. He’s on the Rolling Stone’s “Some Girls” album. You know that harmonica line to “Miss You,” that’s Sugar Blue. Yeah so we’ll get to feature him the next couple of nights. Yeah we’re really looking forward to this run of shows it should be a blast.

    RMJ: Salmon’s got a lot of gigs coming up. What about Emmitt/Nershi? Anything on the calendar?

    DREW: Well we’re kind of stepping back from that. There’s really no plans, there’s nothing on the books for Emmitt Nershi Band. I think that Billy and I both felt like it was time to focus on Salmon and String Cheese. And I think Billy also felt like he wanted to be home more. And so we just decided to step back from that. And at this point there’s really no plans to do anything. We’ll see. If some things come up then we’ll entertain the thought. But at this point that band is officially on hiatus, (laughs) until further notice.

    RMJ: We were lucky enough to catch you and Andy at the Boulder Theater the other night. That was a very cool performance. Do you think there might be any more of that in the future?

    DREW: We’re doing a thing at the Mishawaka, opening for Head For The Hills on May 18. We’re going to do a trio with Andy Hall from String Dusters on DoBro. Yeah, we’re going to kind of fill in here and there. I’m going to get my band going again. Probably more a bluegrass context. But it’s really nice right now to just focus on Salmon. You know the last few years were so busy. Once Salmon got going again you know the Emmitt Nershi Band was tracking too. And I was never home. So it’s nice to focus on Salmon right now. Andy and I, we’ve got a pretty busy year ahead of us.

    RMJ: Who picks the songs when you go out to do a show? Is that a collaborative thing?

    DREW: As far as set lists? It’s kind of my job, although everybody pitches in a little bit. Usually I’ll go to a quiet place and come up with a set list. And then present them. It’s just kind of something I’ve always done. And I just kind of feel like it’s my forte. I kind of envision the sets and break it up into main events and mix up the styles if possible. Of course once we hit the stage anything can happen. We’re not the kind of band that will stick hard and fast to a set list. In fact it’s kind of a rarity when we actually play the list exactly as it’s written. (laughs)

    RMJ: So we did a little research about your history. You started to play guitar when you were 5. Banjo a little bit later and then took Mandolin lessons with Tim O’Brian. Did you come from a musical family?

    DREW: Yes, and my parents were writers as well. My dad was a novelist. And my mom was a playwright and a poet. And they were both singers. And my mom played the piano. And my dad played the autoharp a little bit. But he was a really great singer and came from a long line of singers. And my brother played guitar and harmonica. And my older sister writes plays as well. So there’s a lot of writing going on in the family, that’s for sure. There was always a lot of music around.

    RMJ: Thank you for talking with us today, we are really looking forward to the shows at the Bluebird.

    Drew: Thank you.