Looking back over the past 25 years of rootsy, Americana, string-based music, the impact of Leftover Salmon is impossible to deny. Formed in Boulder, CO in 1989 the group was one of the first bluegrass bands to add drums and tour rock & roll bars, helping Salmon become a pillar of the jam band scene and unwitting architects of the jam grass genre.
Though the band members are reticent to accept the weight of their influence, Leftover Salmon co-founder, singer, guitarist, fiddle and mandolin player Drew Emmitt does reflect fondly on the band’s early days. "We knew we were doing something special" he says. "At that point in the early-90’s, it was the birth of the jam band movement, Phish was starting out, Widespread Panic was starting out, and they were a little ahead of us, obviously, but we were one of the first bands to get out there with bluegrass and just get on the road and try to make something happen without a record deal. We were just following in the footsteps of New Grass Revival, Hot Rize and Little Feat, but by doing that I think we inspired some other bands too."
If Salmon had never played another note after the devastating death of banjo player/co-founder Mark Vann in 2002, the legacy would have been secure; the members’ names etched in the books of history. But today, more than two decades after Salmon first took shape, the band has a new album ("Aquatic Hitchhiker," released May 22 on LoS Records), a new banjo phenom (Andy Thorn), and a new lease on an old agreement. Leftover Salmon is officially back.