Listen To Leftover Salmon Lead An All-Star Bluegrass Tribute To Jerry Garcia

Stream the concert including sit-ins from Garcia collaborators David Nelson, Peter Rowan, Maria Muldaur and more.

By Nate Todd Apr 1, 2024 10:54 am PDT

Leftover Salmon hosted an all-star tribute to legendary Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia on Saturday to launch the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum exhibit Jerry Garcia: A Bluegrass Journey. The jamgrass pioneers welcomed Garcia collaborators David Nelson, Peter Rowan, Maria Muldaur and more for the concert in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Leftover guitarist Vince Herman got things underway by welcoming the audience before adding, “We like to ask the musical question, does it grass? And we think this one does.”

The band — Herman, mandolinist/guitarist Drew Emmitt, banjo player Andy Thorn, bassist Greg Garrison, drummer Alwyn Robinson and keyboardist/steel guitar specialist Jay Starling along with Del McCoury Band’s Jason Carter on fiddle — launched the show with an uptempo, grassy version of the Grateful Dead’s “Black Peter.”


The Workingman’s Dead cut led into the Dead-covered Bonnie Dobson tune “Morning Dew.” New Riders of the Purple Sage’s David Nelson and Hot Rize banjo ace Pete Wernick then emerged for “Ashes of Love.”

The song is from the repertoire of bluegrass supergroup the Good Old Boys which included Nelson and bluegrass greats like Frank Wakefield, Don Reno and others, as per JerryBase. Jerry Garcia produced the Good Old Boys 1976 LP, Pistol Packin’ Mama, and also sat in with the band on a couple occasions.

After sharing an anecdote about Garcia’s lyrical partner Robert Hunter, Nelson noted that his old bandmate Bob Hunter wrote the next song, “Crooked Judge,” for him. A new round of guests then joined in including Garcia’s Old & In The Way bandmate Peter Rowan as well as guitarist Eric Thompson, the latter performing with Nelson, Garcia and Hunter in early bluegrass group The Black Mountain Boys, and Jerry collaborator Maria Muldaur on vocals.

The fresh collab began with a tune from the Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe’s catalog “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” Rowan got his start in the legendary musician’s Bluegrass Boys and led the band on the Monroe number. The Stanley Brothers’ “Memory of Your Smile” came next with Ralph Stanley collaborator guitarist Jim Lauderdale getting in on the action.

“Louisiana Blues” — first recorded by Cannon’s Jug Stompers, whose songs “Minglewood Blues,” “Viola Lee Blues” and “Big Railroad Blues” were covered by GD — came next ahead of the The instrumental “Jibaro Hoedown.”

Mandolinist Ronnie McCoury then joined in for a trio of Dead classics including “West L.A. Fadeaway,” “Loser” and “They Love Each Other.” Peter Rowan and Jim Lauderdale returned for “I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome,” a co-write between Bill Monroe and Hank Williams followed by the latter-day Dead cut “Black Muddy River.”

Maria Muldaur came back out for a song from the Old & In The Way repertoire, “Angel Band,” ahead of the Rowan classic “Midnight Moonlight,” also part of the Old & In The Way catalog, to seal the set. The encore saw a pair of trusty Grateful Dead closers “Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad” and “We Bid You Goodnight.” The encore saw the guests returning as well as Kyle Tuttle on banjo and Heaven McCoury on guitar.

Listen to an audience recording of the full Garcia tribute concert below via Z-Man:


Setlist (via Z-Man)

Set: Black Peter > Morning Dew, *#@Ashes Of Love, *#@Crooked Judge, ^+$%Blue Moon Of Kentucky, @^+$&Memory Of Your Smile, @^Louisiana Blues, @^!Jibaro Hoedown, @!=West L A Fadeaway, @!=Loser, @!=They Love Each Other, +&!=I’m Blue And Lonesome Too, @&!=Black Muddy River > @$&!=Angel Band, @$&!%~Midnight Moonlight

Encore: @%&!=~Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad > =We Bid You Goodnight


  • * With David Nelson On Electric Guitar And Vocals
  • # With Pete Wernick On Banjo And Vocals
  • @ With Pete ? On Pedal Steel Guitar
  • ^ With Eric Thompson On Electric Guitar
  • + With Peter Rowan On Acoustic Guitar And Vocals
  • $ With Maria Muldaur On Vocals
  • % With ? On Fiddle
  • & With Jim Lauderdale On Acoustic Guitar And Vocals
  • ! With Ronnie McCoury On Mandolin And Vocals
  • = With Kyle Tuttle On Banjo And Vocals
  • ~ With Heaven McCoury On Acoustic Guitar
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