Article Contributed by Absolute Publicity | Published on Wednesday, October 5, 2022

For the first time in his 30-year music career, Leftover Salmon’s Vince Herman is venturing into uncharted country music waters with the upcoming release of his first-ever solo album, Enjoy the Ride. The twelve-track album is set to release on November 18 via LoHi Records.

Herman wasn’t thinking about making a solo record when he decided to take to the highway in August 2020. “During the pandemic, I got an RV and just decided to have my own bubble and drive around the country,” he explains.

The longtime co-leader of the popular and pioneering jamgrass band Leftover Salmon was on the road for around five months and spent a month and a half of it in Nashville. It was there he bumped into some old friends who helped set him on a course that led to Enjoy the Ride.

He says the solo record is “a bit of a departure from anything I've done before.” That’s especially true of the way he approached it. The aforementioned old friends — Donnie and Chris Davisson of the Davisson Brothers Band — played a key role in that regard.

Through the Davissons, Herman met Erv Woolsey, who probably is best known as George Strait’s manager. Woolsey became his manager and publisher, and like the Davissons, helped facilitate writing sessions for him. It wasn’t long before Herman had “a big pile of songs.”

“So I decided to make a record with all these songs I've been writing,” he says. “The Davissons had worked with Ferg [producer David Ferguson] on their upcoming new record, and I met Ferg, and we got along great.”

David Ferguson, a highly-acclaimed producer who has worked with Johnny Cash, Sturgill Simpson, John Prine, U2, and more, remembers that meeting well. “I was making a record on the Davisson Brothers and they were writing with Vince,” he recalls. “Vince wrote a couple of songs with ’em on their record, and he came over to play on ’em, and he just liked what we were doing. So he goes, ‘Man, How would like to make a record on me?’ I said, ‘Hell, I’d love to,’ you know. ‘Let’s just do it.’”

A couple of months later in December 2021, Herman was at the Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa — the studio made famous by the late Cowboy Jack Clement — cutting tracks with a crack group of musicians assembled by Ferguson to back him on the sessions. All the songs were tracked live over three days with a studio band featuring guitarist Pat McLaughlin, multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott (acoustic guitar, 12-string baritone guitar, banjo), bassist Dave Roe, drummer Pete Abbott, keyboardist Mike Rojas, guitarist and pedal steel player Russ Paul, fiddlers Jason Carter and Bronwyn Keith-Hynes, and Herman’s son Silas Herman on mandolin. Tim O’Brien stopped by the studio during that time to add some harmony vocals.

Enjoy the Ride features a dozen memorable songs, eleven of which came out of Herman’s writing sessions in his new hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. In addition, to the Davisson brothers, Donnie’s son Nick Davisson, Levi Lowrey, Aaron Raitiere, Phillip Lammonds, Ronnie Bowman, Adam Hood, Rob Snyder, Benny “Burle” Galloway, Channing Wilson, William Paul McDonald and Dave Pahanish are Herman’s co-writers on the album. He also wrote a pair of songs with Ferguson and Pat McLaughlin.

Vince Herman | Photo Credit: Michael Weintrob

The material is an Americana travelogue that takes the listener from Prine-ish country-folk rock (“Lost Lover’s Eyes” — the album’s first single, available today, October 5), funky swamp rock (“Rattlesnake”) and jazzy Dixieland polka (“Any Other Way”) to straight-up bluegrass (“The Ride”), classic Cajun country (“Coraleen”) and traditional country (“Drinking Alone”).

After the three days at the Cowboy Arms, additional overdubbing and mixing took place at the Butcher Shack, Ferguson’s post-production facility. The overdubbing included some lead vocals by Herman and vocal harmony parts by Bowman, who is best-known as a member of the Lonesome River Band, and Mike Armistead of the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band. Rob McCoury from the Del McCoury Band and Tuttle also overdubbed banjo parts, and George Harper added a trombone part to “Any Other Way.” Additional recording for that song was done in engineer Jake Eckert’s Rhythm Shack Studio in New Orleans, where Tom Fisher and Kevin Louis added clarinet and trumpet respectively.

It may have taken Herman nearly three decades to get around to making his first solo record, but it was certainly worth the wait. “Enjoy the Ride represents what country music is to me,” he says. “Rooted in tradition but wide open and ready for a good ride.”

To support his solo venture, Herman plans to tour with a new band consisting of several Nashville players and his son, Silas.

Upon its upcoming release, Enjoy the Ride, will be available to stream or download through all digital music retailers. Pre-order the album now HERE. Herman will be offering a limited edition signed print of a painting he illustrated to the first 250 pre-orders of the CD or vinyl from the LoHi store. All pre-orders will automatically be entered to win.

Enjoy the Ride Track Listing:
1. Lost Lover’s Eyes
2. Flying
3. The Ride
4. Coraleen
5. Rattlesnake
6. Any Other Way
7. I’d Rather Be Alone
8. Better Way
9. Lately
10. Old Pictures
11. All Outta Love Songs
12. Drinking Alone

Vince Herman 2022 Solo Tour Dates:
Nov. 3 - Winston-Salem, NC - Ramkat
Nov. 4 - Charleston, SC - Pour House
Nov. 5 - Durham, NC - Motorco
Nov. 6 - Atlanta, GA - Smith’s Olde Bar
Nov. 10 - Petaluma, CA - Mystic Theatre
Nov. 11 - Truckee, CA - Alibi Ale Works
Nov. 12 - Arcata, CA - Humboldt Brews
Nov. 13 - Felton, CA - Fenton Music Hall
Nov. 17 - Denver, CO - Cervantes’ Other Side
Nov. 18 - Nederland, CO - The Caribou Room
Nov. 19 - Basalt, CO - Tacaw
Dec. 1 - St. Louis, MO - Old Rock House
Dec. 2 - Columbus, OH - Woodlands Tavern