Leftover Salmon feat. Bill Payne 11.29.13


Boulder Theater
Boulder, CO

Words By Brad Yeakel (Opti Mystic Outlooks)
Photos By Justin Gardner


My Black Friday was spent at work recovering from a food battle. When I got out of work, I had some leftover turkey, and then some Leftover Salmon. I have only seen Leftover a handful of times, and not anytime recently. From the look of things Friday night, things were good in Salmon-ville. The band had changed a lot since the last time I saw them. All for the better. The last time I had seen Leftover was as a supporting act and Vince Herman was a little sauced. It didn't make the show any less enjoyable, but it didn't allow for the fiery precision I witnessed at the Boulder Theater. Since I had seen the band, they added banjo master Andy Thorn and drummer Alwyn Robinson. Both phenomenal players! Thorn seemed to inject a vitality into the band that was ferocious and ambitious. Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman were visibly elated to have their baby firing on all cylinders again.

Then there was Bill "Bring The" Payne. Little Feat keyboard wizard, Payne, was outstanding. His playing was not only flabbergasting musicianship, but his intimate knowledge of Salmon's tunes could have fooled me into thinking he was a full time member. From jazz passages through honky-tonk, funk through rock, Bill made me laugh repeatedly in bewildered delight. Holy smokes, he was amazing. His improv skills were honed, sharp, lethal doses of creative genius. At one point he and Andy had me captivated in a jam, and I realized it was only the beginning of first set. The boys were on! Drew's playing was stellar as usual, alternately bringing Jeff Austin and Sam Bush to mind. I can say honestly, Drew Emmitt has never let me down. He has always been energetic, enthusiastic and exciting to watch, but something about Bill Payne and Andy Thorn kicked him into overdrive as he destroyed solos on every instrument he touched. Fire, I tell ya.

With a sturdy rhythm section of Greg Garrison and newly acquired Alwyn, Vince Herman was the last piece of the puzzle. The first time I saw him was in Allentown, PA opening for Bruce Hornsby. After their set, I had a chance to ask Vince a couple of questions. The one thing I've always remembered... I asked him if he had any advice for musicians who were just coming up or finding their way. Vince said, "Play it all at once. Don't build walls around yourself or your music." That was, after all, how "poly-ethnic, Cajun, slam grass" came to be, right? So, more than a decade later, I was happy to see that while some things have changed... That had not. From my limited Leftover history, I can say Friday was the best show I've ever seen them play. It reminded me of the passion and love for music that was evident in early Salmon shows I've heard. This time the Leftovers might have been just as good as the first go-round. Yum.

Justin's Photo Gallery

www.leftoversalmon.com

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