360° with Leftover Salmon on 4/20: Live, Backstage, Photographed, Interviewed & Unplugged

Every genre and subset thereof has a particular person or group that is pointed to as a founding partner of that particular sound. Though the one of whom most credit is almost never universally accepted (with Elvis being the most prolific example) and the credited person or group was certainly influenced by someone who trudged the road before them.

There is no denying the fact that, in spite of their lack of willingness to adopt the role, Leftover Salmon falls into this category. Obviously there was the Nugrass Revival and many more that came before them, but since the Leftover collective rose to prominence, so many bands have followed in their wake, not hesitating to cite the Colorado natives influence on their career.

But in Leftover Salmon’s case, their brand of intensely unique “poly-ethnic Cajun slamgrass” — that was chock full of improvisation vehicles — did more than inspire musicians that would follow. It officially brought the string music based sound into a “jam band” scene that was evolving out of (and thanks to) its Grateful Dead roots, courtesy of avenues such as H.O.R.D.E. and unfortunately, the untimely passing of Jerry Garcia.

Since those days, much has changed. The Leftover Salmon of 2012 only has two remaining original members. They faced the ultimate loss when driving force banjoist, Mark Vann, passed on in 2002. However, the core element remains: commitment to a sound that is as playful as it is sonically sound, driven by stellar musicianship and passion for creativity.

Last week, on what most deem to be a musical holiday, 4/20, Leftover made a stop at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse. It was the first time that the beloved band had trekked through the South in many moons and they were approaching being one month away from releasing their first studio album in eight years, the forthcoming Aquatic Hitchhiker. As though this wasn’t enough, the evening at the Variety was billed with “special guest, Col. Bruce Hampton.”

Simply put, there was no way that we were not going to go all out with covering an event of this magnitude. Fortunately, the band was gracious enough to have us and as a result, we can present 360° with Leftover Salmon on 4/20: Live, Backstage, Photographed, Interviewed & Unplugged.


First up: Live, Backstage & Unplugged…

(Scroll down for an interview and show coverage: photos, setlist & a download link)

Second, a chat with the non-percussive section

(Vince Herman, Drew Emmitt & Andy Thorn)…

(Scroll down for show coverage: photos, setlist & a download link)

Finally, here are some details from the show…

(Bonus: Preview next week on “Salmonlandia” below)



Leftover Salmon, 4/20/12 at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, GA


I: Hollerwood, Carnival Time, Aquatic Hitchhiker, On the Other Side, Sing Up to the Moon, Whispering Waters, 4:20, Soul Shakedown Party, 4:20 Polka, Here Comes the Night, Liza, Whippin’ Post,

II: Ask the Fish, Doin’ My Time^, Yield Not to Temptation^*, Fixin’ to Die^*, Light Behind the Rain^, Gulf of Mexico^,
Euphoria^, Dirty Alabama Road^@, Everything Money Can’t Buy^@, Breakin’ Through^, Nobody’s Fault But Mine^, I’m So Glad^*, Up on Cripple Creek^*@

Encore: Just When You Think it Can’t Get No Better^ > God Save the Queen^

Notes: ^ w/ A.J. (J. Wunder) Ghent on 8 string lap steel, * w/ Col. Bruce Hampton on guitar/vocals, @ w/ Donna Hopkins guitar/vocals

Download an audience recording of this show HERE.

Click the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by David Shehi & Michael Podrid