Few bands have as enduring a legacy in the acoustic, newgrass, jamband scene as Colorado-based Leftover Salmon. Out today, the band’s second single, “Blue Railroad Train,” — from their upcoming album GRASS ROOTS (May 19 via Compass Records) — features special guest and long-time Leftover Salmon pal Billy Strings who steps out on the track, the perfect vehicle to showcase Drew Emmitt and Strings’ tight vocal harmonies. Co-founder, guitarist and lead singer Vince Herman explains the track is a tip of the hat to old Nashville, and particularly to Doc Watson and Tony Rice, who helped to define the path for contemporary bluegrass.
Listen to "Blue Railroad Train"
Herman shared with The Bluegrass Situation, who exclusively unveiled the track, about recording the new album: “We had a good time making this record. Compass Records has a great studio in Nashville, where some great records have been made. Let’s just say Aereo-Plain by John Hartford was recorded there and Outlaw Country was born there. It’s a good place to make an album about roots, which is what we were after on this one. We cover the music that inspired us to be on this Polyethnic Cajun Slamgrass highway all these years. With guests Billy Strings, Oliver Wood and Darol Anger, we stop in on visits with Bob Dylan, David Bromberg, Link Wray, Dock Boggs and more of the sounds that made us who we are. Hope you enjoy our Grass Roots.”
Carrying the torch passed down by the progressive bluegrass pioneers, Leftover Salmon is a true architect of the contemporary jam grass scene, inspiring the careers of a generation of artists including Billy Strings, Greensky Bluegrass and Yonder Mountain String Band. On their new project, Leftover Salmon reflects on their bluegrass and festival roots with a set of songs that were among their earliest inspirations. Grass Roots is due for release on May 19 via Compass Records.
Pre-Order/Pre-Save GRASS ROOTS
Drawing from the songs and tunes that The Salmon Heads and The Left Hand String Band played when they first converged in a Telluride Bluegrass Festival campground, ultimately merging to form Leftover Salmon. Over the course of their 30+ year run, the band has explored a variety of ‘grass hybrids, creating their own musical culture and earning legions of fans in the process.
Collaborating with jam scene icons Billy Strings, Oliver Wood, and Darol Anger on the new album, and with the recent addition of Jay Starling on resophonic guitar, lap steel and keys to the band’s official lineup, Leftover Salmon has all the instrumental firepower needed to deliver hard driving versions of bluegrass standards and grassed-up versions of songs from Bob Dylan, David Bromberg, and The Grateful Dead. And as co-founder, guitarist and lead singer, Vince Herman says, “when you think of an album title as good as that, that hasn’t been used in our genre, you pretty much have to make the record.”
On the album's lead single, "Simple Twist of Fate," Leftover Salmon reaches into Bob Dylan’s catalog to deliver an up-tempo version that features co-founder Vince Herman on lead vocals. The track showcases and spotlights the band’s all-around instrumental prowess while also allowing Herman to channel Dylan through his storied and gruff vocal delivery.
Listen to "Simple Twist Of Fate"
GRASS ROOTS asserts Leftover Salmon’s place at the crossroads of bluegrass, newgrass and jamgrass, and the importance of their shared musical vision which has helped to broaden the audience for all traditionally-rooted music. The album’s 10 tracks capture the energy and fun of the band, which is central to every Leftover Salmon show. But even more importantly, Grass Roots shines a light on the bluegrass heart, which beats strongly at the core of Leftover Salmon’s music. And it’s an ear-opening pleasure.