Leftover Salmon

Looking back over the past 25 years of rootsy, string-based music, the impact of Leftover Salmon is impossible to deny. Formed in Boulder at the end of 1989, the Colorado slamgrass pioneers were one of the first bluegrass bands to add drums and tour rock & roll bars, helping Salmon become a pillar of the jam band scene and unwitting architects of the jam grass genre.
Though the lineup would change through the years, the foundation of Leftover Salmon was built on the relationship between co-founders Drew Emmitt (vocals, guitar, fiddle, mandolin), Vince Herman (vocals, guitar,washboard) and Mark Vann (electric banjo). Following a decade of constant growth and constant touring, on March 4, 2002, Mark Vann lost his battle with cancer. Vann insisted that the band carry on and Salmon did so for several years leading up to an indefinite hiatus in 2005.
If Leftover Salmon had never played another note after leaving the stage in 2005, the legacy would have been secure; the members' names etched in the books of history. But today, more than two decades after Salmon first took shape, the band has a new album, Aquatic Hitchhiker, due May 22 on LoS Records, a new banjo phenom named Andy Thorn, and a new lease on an old agreement. Leftover Salmon is officially back.
The 29-year-old Thorn grew up a Salmon fan in North Carolina and says the band helped him realize "this is what I want to do with my life." Ironically, it's his presence in the group that has given Leftover Salmon new life. "Andy's a real young guy with a lot of great energy who plays in a way that definitely relates to Mark's [Vann] playing and he's a lot of fun to be around, it's led to a real revival that just clicks on some hard to describe level" says Herman. "We've played with some great banjo players over the past few years, and not to say anything about them being less than great musicians, but there's just something intangible about playing with Andy that kind of makes Drew and I look at each other and grin. This is what we've been missing as far as that feeling between Drew, Mark and I that used to be there."
Produced by Los Lobos' Steve Berlin, Aquatic Hitchhiker is Leftover Salmon's first record in eight years and first ever of all original material. "Steve [Berlin] understood where this album needed to go and how we all needed to work together as a band to make it happen" explains Emmitt. Set for release on May 22, the recording process solidified the new Salmon, cauterizing old wounds and allowing fresh ideas to grow over past scars.
"The time is right for this band to come back on a lot of levels" says Emmitt. "It's taken us a little while, but I think we're finally there."
Today, Leftover Salmon is: Vince Herman (vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, mandolin); Drew Emmitt (vocals, mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar, mandola, fiddle); Andy Thorn (vocals, acoustic and electric banjo, National guitar); Greg Garrison (vocals, acoustic and electric bass, acoustic guitar); Jose Martinez (drums, percussion).

Music patrons of all ages and backgrounds can find something to love about Jatoba. In four short years the Vermont-based trio has cultivated a unique and instantly identifiable brand of music, incorporating styles and genres from all corners of the sonic spectrum, and indeed the globe. In what they have dubbed as “groove-grass”, the three members employ quick bluegrass tempos driven by thumping, rockabilly-like bass lines, and accentuated with soaring three-part vocal harmonies. On top of this, they add effects-driven guitar solos, heavy rhythmic improvisation, beat-boxing, and even the occasional sitar interlude. Their debut album, Death, Fire & Picnic Tables, released in 2011, is a shining example of this eclecticism, and effortlessly showcases their song-writing talents, technical dexterity, and relentless energy.
Since first popping up on the public radar in 2008, Jatoba has accumulated a broad and deeply devoted fan base, both at home and around the Northeast, and has been a powerful force behind the revitalization of the previously lacking local music market. “This is not a ‘what you see is what you get’ group of guys. From their name, to their sound, to their bare feet on stage (weather permitting), and their quirky persona, Jatoba is making noise for the Southern Vermont music scene.” (Brian Joy, Editor Cider Magazine) With live performances that feature ample improvisatory jams, seamless flow, and effective crowd interaction, the band’s loyal following seldom stops dancing.
In addition to sharing bills and supporting artists such as Keller Williams, The David Grisman Quintet, Greensky Bluegrass, and Rusted Root, the group headlines an abundance of their own shows, delivering the same raucous synergy so apparent on recordings, but amplified in its intensity. During the summer months you can catch them at several festivals, as well as impromptu unplugged jams at Phish concerts, public parks, and main streets around Vermont.

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Leftover Salmon with Jatoba

Sunday, September 15 · Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM at Palace Theater

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