28 Mar 2015 - Cannery Ballroom - Nashville, TN
Live Music Review
for The Lot Scene by Parker
Since we were on our way to Leftover’s Bluegrass Underground show on Sunday, we decided to hit up yet another round of slamgrass with the boys from Boulder (or thereabouts) the night before. And this time, in Nashville, TN. Having the good fortune to be staying with friends in the area, we all headed down to the Cannery Ballroom part of town en masse ready to fill our ears and eyes with those oh-so-unique stylings of Vince and Drew and Andy and all the fellas. The Cannery as a venue is small and vintage -- a 1000 person space of brick and history and exposed timbers. Certainly an intimate setting in which to see the manic, marvelous energy of this band, Leftover Salmon. Out of the gate with a fave, “Liza" took center stage as their opener, a perfect way to begin the evening. A smoking hot Drew song came next, “All Night Ride” bringing some more fire to the growing momentum of the show. “TU NA PAS ALLER”, a little Cajun song written with the band’s Kentucky friends (according to Drew), followed which led to some good old rock and roll care of “The Other Side” and Mr. Drew Emmitt. The show’s energy and that of the band and crowd seemed to build steadily throughout the night...from what felt like a slightly reserved start in some ways to a steam piston-powered musical juggernaut by show’s end. Billy Payne tickled the ivories and took the mic for the next tune, “Way Down Under” — man do I love that man’s piano skills. His playing can be just the perfect addition to an already favorite sound and musical texture for me. Andy Thorn and “Bolin Creek” dominated the show for a long, sweet while, the tune being a simply badass instrumental...everyone tore it up taking their turns at soloing..Bill even stood and took a half bow after his portion. Crowd freaking pleaser, no doubts there. And thanks, boys!! “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?” came on the heels of that sizzling jam and it was, of course, a great selection for the town. All the present Nashville folk ate it up - certainly a crowd of stomping/clomping people. John Frazier joined in for some fast pickin’ at the end of first set on mandolin and wearing a Hot Rize t-shirt (awesomesauce). He and Salmon then proceeded to tear through “Danger Man” and then end the set with a personal favorite of mine, ”Euphoria”. Incredible first set. Truly, it was. However, things were only just getting started around here I was soon to discover. As we were all soon to discover.
Busting out with still more fervor and energy, Salmon tore the top off the second set with a particularly quick version of “Keep Drivin’". Right near the end of the song, Andy, Vince, and Drew 'trio-ed up' standing close enough to one another to practically interweave the very strings they played as easily the notes and chords of the musical tapestry the wove together in that moment. In a word and as a way to get things going again post set-break, it was magnificent. And with some Paul Hoffman, Anders Beck, and Dave Bruzza sightings in the crowd, there was the promise of even more delectable musical mania. "Light in the Woods" was second, a darker and brooding song by Drew. Pulling out the title track of their new album, they boys gave us one hell of a ”High Country" which we all needed a bit to pick our spirits up out of the woods...nothing like a good Colorado anthem to brighten the mood. Bill Payne (of Little Feat) was set to croon again with “Rooster Rag" as well as give us all some groovy and tasty piano licks. Anders Beck and his electric dobro joined in the fray for some more rock with “Get Er Rollin’” with Drew on electric guitar -- the hotness. Then things got really out of control with an epic rendition of "Soul Shakedown" with the indomitable Paul Hoffman added to the mix…just an amazeballs version!! By the end, not only had we gone through “Soul Shakedown” but we also made our way through “Hot Corn, Cold Corn”; “Buffalo Soldier”; “The Beverly Hillbillies Theme” (but LS’s cannabis version); “Rocky Top” (FAST pickin’); and “Hotel California” — it was unreal and so very much fun. Phoff took lead vocals next for “Railroad Blues” thus proving that Salmon was making one hell of a good use of available guests. Which brought the second set to a slamming hot close. Wow, what a special show. But, wait…there’s more!! The first of two encore songs was “Squirrel Heads and Gravy” because who doesn’t want to roll up a fatty, you know? But then it was all about to get a bit nasty with some Guns’n’Roses. No, you read that right. With Dave Bruzza guesting in on washboard of all things, the first strains hit our ears from the guitar and mando and banjo and we all knew "Sweet Child of Mine" was on its way. That sweet “Sweet Child”…Bruzza even had a solo!! Phenomenal close to a unique and special show. Really happy to have caught this one. All of this fervor, of course, getting me ready to a fever pitch for seeing Salmon again at Bluegrass Underground, but that’s a tale for another day, my friends. Tomorrow, in fact…