Leftover Salmon at Red Rocks 2016
|Origin||Boulder, Colorado, United States|
|Genres||Cajun Slam grass|
|Labels||Hollywood Records, Compass Records, Compendia, Los Records, Whirled Beats|
|Left Hand String Band, Salmon Heads, Great American Taxi, Drew Emmitt Band, String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, Punch Brothers, Emmitt-Nershi Band,|
Leftover Salmon is an American jam band from Boulder, Colorado, formed in 1989. The band's music is a unique blend of bluegrass, rock, country, and Cajun/Zydeco, which it calls "Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass."
The band formed in 1989, when members of the Salmon Heads, Vince Herman, Dave Dorian, and Gerry Cavagnaro, combined with members of the Left Hand String Band, Drew Emmitt and Glenn Keefe, to play a New Year's Eve show in 1989 at the Eldo in Crested Butte. Herman had previously played with Emmitt in the Left Hand String Band, and had called on his former bandmates Emmitt and Keefe to fill in for some missing members of the Salmon Heads for the New Year's Eve show. They chose the name Leftover Salmon on the drive to the show.
The synergy worked and the result was Leftover Salmon. The lineup changed significantly over the years, but the "Big Three" - Drew Emmitt, Vince Herman and Mark Vann -- remained the heart of the band until Vann's death in 2002.
After the independent release of Bridges to Bert in 1993  and the 1995 live follow-up Ask the Fish, Leftover Salmon gained a spot on the H.O.R.D.E. festival tour and a contract with Hollywood Records. Their Hollywood debut and second studio album, Euphoria with guest keyboardist Pete Sears, continued to define their eclectic sound and introduced many songs that became their most notable. They released four albums with the Disney owned label. In 2000, Bill McKay, formerly of the Derek Trucks Band, joined the band on keyboards and vocals and the band recorded several of his songs. He remained with the band until late 2011.
In 2004, the band announced they were going on hiatus at the end of that year.
An award-nominated documentary film of Leftover Salmon, titled Years in Your Ears, was released on DVD in November 2006.
Leftover Salmon reunited in 2007 and played six performances, including the High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, California, the All Good Festival in West Virginia, as well as Denver and Boulder, Colorado shows in late December. Leftover Salmon marked their unofficial return to the stage with a performance at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival on Sunday, June 24, 2007, as "Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman and Friends." They were introduced by Jeff Austin of Yonder Mountain String Band with the line, "We know what it might say in the program, but I think we all really know what's going on here."
Despite their various successful side projects, Leftover Salmon played seven times during the summer of 2008 and 2009. For a special New Years run, the band celebrated 20 years as a band by returning to the site of their first show in Crested Butte, Colorado: The Eldo. The band played four shows through Denver and Boulder Colorado during this run while celebrating their 20th anniversary. Since moving Andy Thorn in to the banjo role, the band has been touring more than usual with small runs throughout the country.
On May 22, 2012, the band released their first album since their hiatus. The album was called Aquatic Hitchhiker. An extensive promotional tour followed including the Summer Camp Music Festival and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
In 2015, they released the studio album High Country and the following year released a compilation double album of live performances with the title 25.
|1993||Bridges to Bert||Whirled Beets|
|1995||Ask the Fish||Bert|
|1999||The Nashville Sessions||Hollywood |
|2004||Leftover Salmon||Compendia |
|2012||Aquatic Hitchhiker||Los Records|
|2014||High Country||Los Records |
|2018||Something Higher||Los Records|