Leftover Salmon, catch ‘em while you can!! 

by terri sapp

with special thanks to “Downtown” Dave Erickson

Photographs by Leah Yetter

© Concert Sutra, All Rights Reserved


click photos for band website

            Sadly enough, after many years of touring together, since their formation in 1990, Leftover Salmon has announced that they will be on a sabbatical of sorts after this most recent tour is over.  This six piece “polyethnic-cajun-slamgrass” band has been through a lot together, good and bad as it goes, with losing one of their most revered banjo players, Mark Vann, in 2002, and adding (formerly with “Derek Trucks Band”) keyboardist Bill McKay, and banjo (among other instruments) player, Matt Flinner, and playing with a myriad number of guests such as John Cowan, Sam Bush, and Count M’butu, who is one of the best percussionists around.  A sign of a great band is their ability to roll with the changes, and Leftover Salmon is always changing.  Even with a break in the near future, most (if not all) of these guys already have their own projects formed and ready to take you on with their own force.

            On Friday, November 19, 2004 in Atlanta, Georgia at the Variety Playhouse, which is Salmon’s most frequented Atlanta venue, Drew Emmitt (vocals, guitar, mandolin, fiddle), Greg Garrison (vocals, bass), Vince Herman (vocals, guitar, washboard), Bill Kay (vocals, keyboards), Jeff Sipe (drums), and Matt Flinner (vocals, banjo), with special guest Count M’butu (percussion) came, saw, and conquered their final Atlanta show for an undetermined amount of time.  Their energy and style of music really meshed well together for plenty of ass shaking.  I must say that the crowd that congregated in the Variety Playhouse for this farewell-for-now tour was by far the largest I have ever seen in my years of going to shows there.  I was amazed. 

            Keeping right along with their status as a true jamband, Leftover played so far into the night, that they even LOS MSSclosed Hotlanta down!  Their first set consisted of (abbreviated song titles, as written on their set list) Rocky MountainBlues, Steam Whistle Blues (“Steamboat Whistle Blues” written by John Hartford), The Other Side, Demon in Disguise, Clinch Mountain, Valley of the Full Moon, Bosco Stomp, They All Asked for You into a Drum Solo back into They All Asked Of You, Booboo (“Mama Look-A Boo Boo” made famous by Harry Belafonte), and Gold Hill Line.  After their first break, Leftover came back with a vengeance, with Out of the Woods, Are You Ready for the Country, Fastest Song, When the Levee Breaks into Zambie Jam (wherein Vince Herman appeared dressed as a flesh colored “mushroom” that strangely resembled a life sized dancing penis), back into When the Levee Breaks, Ophelia, Highway Song, Key to the Highway with Trippe Wright (keyboardist from the opening band, who is too foxy to be hidden in the back of the stage behind the speakers and what not…), and Will Robinson (drummer from the opening band), Nobody’s Fault but Mine with members from the opening band), into a Drum Solo, back into Nobody’s Fault but Mine.  The only encore on record is Doin’ My Time, however, I know they encored til the early morning, so to catch the rest of the impromptu jams that occurred, you would just have to have been there!

            There isn’t much time left for those of you who have not yet caught a Leftover Salmon show, or for those who just need your final fix for a while.  Unfortunately, unless you live near Colorado, or can make it there with no LOSproblem, you are kind of S.O.L. for the time being.  They will be in Vail, Colorado at the 8150 Club on Sunday, December 26, 2004; in Steamboat Springs, Colorado at Levelz on Monday, December 27, 2004; and in Boulder, Colorado at the Fox Theatre for the final four shows on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 through Friday, December 31, 2004 for their last New Year’s Eve party for a time.  Try to catch them before they are no more.

            However, if you do miss them before their time away, you can always take in one of their solo projects.  Vince  Herman can also be found performing at the “Spirit of Guthrie Tour.”  As always, you can find out more on Vince’s solo career at http://www.vinceherman.com/.  You can also check out the Drew Emmitt Band, and their new album (recorded with the ever so talented Matt Flinner), “Freedom Ride.”  Of course, Leftover Salmon fans can still find out the latest updates on the band at http://www.leftoversalmon.net/.