For the past quarter-century, Colorado’s Leftover Salmon has established itself as one of the great purveyors of Americana music, going deep into the well that supplies its influences: rock ‘n’ roll, folk, bluegrass, Cajun, soul, zydeco, jazz and blues. They are the direct descendants of genre-defying bands like Little Feat, New Grass Revival and Grateful Dead and The Band. Leftover Salmon is considered the architect of what is now known as Jamgrass, a style in which bands schooled in the traditional rules of bluegrass break free of those rules through non-traditional instrumentation and an innate ability to push songs in new psychedelic directions.
The band’s history began in 1989, when the Salmon Heads’ Vince Herman called on his friend and fellow Boulder musician Drew Emmitt to help supply a few players from his band, the Left Hand String Band, to fill out a lineup for a New Year’s Eve gig in Crested Butte. Realizing their energy, Emmitt and Herman soon shelved their respective bands and focused their efforts on the new one, which they named Leftover Salmon. These roots set the stage for a long career that has relied as much on spontaneous improvisation as it has on practiced skill.
Leftover Salmon is Drew Emmitt (mandolin/vocals), Vince Herman (guitar/vocals), Greg Garrison (bass), Alwyn Robinson (drums), Andy Thorn (banjo) and Erik Deustch (keyboard).