This time Leftover Salmon’s return included Billy Payne.
Leftover Salmon featuring Little Feat’s famed keyboardist Payne performed April 4-5 in the Crystal Ban Casino’s Crown Room. The California Honeydrops opened both nights.
Leftover Salmon appeared to be finished in 2005 but after a few reunion shows, one in 2010 which included a hot young banjo player, Andy Thorn, the bluegrass and jam band reunited and recorded the 2012 album “Aquatic Hitchhiker,” produced by Los Lobos Steve Berlin.
Leftover Salmon performed that year at the Crystal Bay Casino and July 5 at Quincy’s High Sierra Music Festival.
The band first coalesced New Year’s Eve 1989, a combination of Vince
Herman’s Salmon Heads and Drew Emmitt’s Left Hand String Band. Prescient and fortuitous, Leftover Salmon added drums to a bluegrass sound and were part of the post-Jerry bands to be embraced by legions of jam fans. Its 1990’s heyday followed the ’70 and ’80’s eras of Sam Bush’s New Grass Revival and of Little Feat’s Americana (making this weekend’s pairing with Payne most apropos.) But in 2002 banjo player Mark Vann died of cancer and three years later Herman focused his attention to Great American Taxi and Emmitt with his own band and later Emmitt-Nershi, with Billy Nershi of the String Cheese Incident and the aforementioned banjo savant Thorn.
All of the projects began in Colorado, the adopted home West Virginia native Herman and Nashville’s Emmitt.
“Colorado has one of the best music scenes in the country, and a lot of the jam band scene came right out of Boulder,” Emmitt told this reporter
working as an Action figure in 2012. “A lot of people move there after going through the usual rigamarole of Nashville or L.A. or New York. They realize they can just move to Colorado. There are a lot of great musicians a lot of great places to play and there is all the ski towns and theirs Denver and Boulder and Fort Collins. There’s a really rich musical culture going on there.”