Leftover Salmon: Celebrating 20 Years Part 4

Leftover Salmon & Friends :: NYE :: Boulder Theater
By Jackson Photo
"The Millennium Hotel was Salmon headquarters over the New Year's run in Boulder. Most of the band and many fans were staying there," explains John Joy of Salmon's management team. "An organized poster signing on New Year's Day took place at the hotel bar and it was dubbed 'Bloodys with the Band.' Longtime Leftover Salmon artists Jason Rizzi and Scramble Campbell, who collaborated on the poster art and the set design that went with the 20th celebration run, where both on hand displaying their work. It was a fantastic event where the entire band was there signing posters for over three hours straight with a constant flow of fans, some great storytelling, and even some picking going on in the hotel lobby with some of the members of Elephant Revival along with Vince Herman's two sons, Colin and Silas. It was the perfect way to erase the hangover from the night before and to reminisce on what a great twenty years it has been."

"Painting with Leftover this New Year's was like riding a roller coaster into a new decade," says Scramble Campbell. "There were plenty of friendly, familiar faces with the music, which simply made my brushes dance. Friday's gathering was the perfect way to start the year off smooth. It was an honor to be invited to be in their historic 20th anniversary."

Emmitt & Herman :: 01.02.10
Ogden Theatre by Jackson Photo
"Needless to say it was a trip to work with Scramble to commemorate twenty years of LoS," says Jason Rizzi. "Scramble has a deep respect for music, art and culture; I appreciate that about him. It's a blast just to be around him. He's got amazing intuition, a big heart, and a swell sense of humor if you catch him at the right moments. This three piece project was a joy to work on and has certainly 'Scrambled' my mind up real good in the process."

"I feel this 20 Year Celebration undoubted marks a new era for Leftover Salmon and their Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass following family," adds Rizzi. "The band is really playing at the edge of magic, and honestly embodies the spirit of renewal and celebration."

But just when you think it can't get no better, it does! The final show at the Ogden Theatre in Denver on January 2 was billed as "Salmon and Friends" with Herman and his Great American Taxi opening.

"From the twenty year perspective, it was really cool to be able to do that, because that is where my focus is now, [with] Salmon being a thing we revisit at times," says Herman. "It's a great repertoire of tunes that I would hate to see go away because it's really fun to play them and share them with the family we've had listening to those tunes. But, the focus of my writing now is in Taxi."

"I think we might start integrating some of our newer stuff since Salmon stopped touring and there might be the possibility of introducing some other stuff, here and there. I think as we get more in the groove with this that will begin to happen," says Emmitt. "In my opinion, I think it's still okay to put this thing back together as it is and as it was. By in large, that's what people really want to hear anyway. I think we are playing some of these songs better than we ever have. There is always the possibility for something new. Just let things unfold. I think at this point with this band we don't need to push it, just let it all happen - just see what happens and what develops and go from there."

There were many guests and friends that sat in with the band in Boulder and that began right from the start of the final night. Just sighting two drum kits onstage, the crowd knew we were in for a rousing treat. It was an underlying tribute and benefit for Little Feat drummer Richie Hayward, who is suffering from severe liver disease. With both longtime Salmon drummers, Jeff Sipe and Jose Martinez, behind the kits, the band sounded better than ever.

"It was like a monster - powerful, with a light laughter thing over the top of it," remarks Herman about the two-drummer set-up.

Leftover Salmon & Friends :: 01.02.10
Ogden Theatre by Joe Belinky
Guests kept filling up the setlist, with Bonnie Paine of Elephant Revival on washboard, the Peak To Freak horns (Danny Sears and Justin Jones), Joe Jogerst on accordion, and Yonder Mountain String Band's Jeff Austin on mandolin as well as Sally Van Meter, who played a big role in the evening, ripping through many tunes on the pedal steel.

"It had been so long since we played with Sally. You hear her play the acoustic stuff and you kinda forget she gets absolutely raunchy on that thing," says Herman. "Her and Drew definitely had a great dueling, slippy-slidey thing going on."

Pete "Dr. Banjo" Wernick was also a friend that sat in on a number of songs, bringing a real full circle moment for Herman.

"It had been way to long since I had seen Pete," says Herman. "Hot Rize is the reason I moved to Colorado, wanting to get out of West Virginia and get into some new bluegrass scene. And Hot Rize was the center of that. I thought it was incredibly poignant to have Pete there."

But, the bulk of the evening was dedicated to the numerous rousing renditions with Cracker's David Lowery and Johnny Hickman, who'd once played a New Year's gig in Denver with Leftover, then stayed on to recreate some of the magic found on the collaborative 2003 O' Cracker Where Art Thou? album. Herman sums it up, "The Cracker stuff was just so fuckin' fun."

As the Ogden show wound down four magical nights, you could see the infectious joy across the faces of everyone on the stage and in the crowd. The music spoke for itself and now after twenty years of ups and downs, it might be said that Leftover Salmon may have found a new niche.

The LOS family has now grown to encompass a number of side projects, and the delicate balance of these influences has set a new direction. Salmon has always been a unique and special sound and gathering, so it should be no surprise that when this bunch assembles the magic is sure to follow.

They are bringing the goods and are once again throwing the special kind of party that they've become famous for. So, when the call comes, both band and fans will be ready to reconvene and come together in the church of Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass.

This video is from the Boulder Theater HD Live stream that was offered the night of the shows. Both Boulder Theater shows are available now for on demand streaming in HD. Details available at leftoversalmon.com.

Download the entire Leftover Salmon Celebrating 20 Years
free double album sampler here:

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4

Continue reading for NYE Run setlists and album track list details...

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