Leftover Salmon at the Stanley 2016
Festival Experience Archive
for The Lot Scene by Parker
Scramble Campbell Art Show - Leftover Salmon
We’d made it. Sunday Bloody Funday as they were calling it. And we were so ready to do it all over again. Needing some very necessary sleep, we opted out of the Bloody Mary Brunch, rising in time to go and see our good friend Keith Campbell, better known as Scramble, and his art show in the Billiard Room of the main hotel building. A bit chillier and more blustery day, we wrapped up against the cold and sauntered that direction to go soak up some truly wonderful one-of-a-kind artwork and some fellowship of the same variety. If you don’t know Scramble and his works, let me paint you a picture (sorry, couldn’t resist): the man is a master artist having honed his craft over several decades who starts each show with a blank canvas. By show’s end, magically transformed, the canvas illustrates the show itself as seen through Scramble’s eyes that day or night, in brilliant color and vivacious movement for all the world to see. Each painting is a masterful piece of rock’n’roll memorabilia captured in time and paint on canvas for eternity. His process is dazzling to watch, as well — the man moves and dances and grooves with the music adding a stroke here or a dab there really lifting the whole affair to performance art levels. Fascinating to behold and entertaining as all hell. Love watching that main ply his craft!! And he had brought quite a collection of original works to display for us all that weekend as well. Leftover Salmon from the Stanley the year previous, the Grateful Dead, this year’s Stanley work, etc — so many to soak up and wonder at. Scramble was, of course, there to chit chat and discuss his paintings and maybe even sell one or two to an eager fan. So much passion work to peruse, so many lovely works of art to consume. The man certainly knows what he his doing, no doubts there. Always great to watch him interact with folks, too. He is so animated and jovial, a real treat to get to chat with and know. And how can’t you just adore his style? It is so illustrative, literally, of so much of our musical experience, especially at Red Rocks where he is the artist in residence. Simply put, he lovingly paints the music that we love so very much. A marvelously successful show from where I stood — bravo, Keith!! Great job, good sir, and thank you so much for gracing this incredible weekend with your awesomeness!! I have all the time in the world for Scramble Campbell…he is a wonderful friend to The Lot Scene and we couldn’t be happier about that fact! For a more in depth look at Scramble’s work including paintings from this past weekend, please go to www.ScrambleCampbell.com. And after all that truly fine art, how about a little music to accompany?
Just like that, there we were, back in the Concert Hall for our final installment of Leftover Salmon for the weekend. And a matinee, to boot! Always a bit on the strange side to have natural light coming through the windows of an indoor venue for a show. We are all so used to being nocturnal when it comes to music — a matinee can be refreshing! Off and running with the first song after the boys took the stage, “Live High Until I Die” is one that is pretty self-explanatory from the title. Fast-paced and fun, this one is a lesson in living, from a certain perspective of course. Vince was on lead vocals in between the sweet quick pickin’ which got us all a-dancin’ once again on feet sore from stomping around and cavorting all weekend. Erik Deutsch remained with the band for this last show, Jeff Coffin having already departed. Great solo from Erik in this one, too, which was answered by one equal on mandolin from Drew. A hot damn whiz bang start to this whole Sunday affair. Hot damn! Slowing things down a bit, but upping the attitude factor, Alwyn’s familiar and badass drum intro to “Gulf of Mexico” came raining down gratefully onto our ears as the song started up. Drew was on the vocals and sounded near album-perfect. That man can croon like no other, it’s true. All over that sweet, sweet beat of Alwyn’s. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I just really dig on Alwyn’s drumming. Cat’s got some serious beats living inside him that he shares with the rest of us — so thankful for that. Big electric solo from Drew coming out of “Gulf” as well. Just a big song all around. “Get Up and Go” followed, with Vince doling out some supremely fine advice in the form of the lyrics. “It’s a good ol’ day to do a little travelin’, it’s a good time to be up and gone!” I couldn’t agree more, Vince! Always feel great after hearing this song…it’s just a happy feeling maker all around. And how can’t you love it when Papa Vince sings such positivity your direction? I know I do. Andy Thorn took both the lead instrumentally and vocally for the next song (which he wrote) called “Colorado Mountains Evermore”. Definitely more fast pickin’ in the face as his wicked quick banjo line rips the whole thing joyfully open to start. A great traveling song, but one that comes home to roost in our beloved Colorado, this one takes you places both musically and lyrically. And how a man like Andy can play that quickly and sing over the top of it is just gobsmacking to me. Drew’s mandolin solo a couple of minutes in was nothing short of blistering. What a ride! The slower and slightly more brooding “Trouble Times” came next seeing Drew back up to the mic once again. Really lovely ensemble sound in this song — great texture coming from the entire makeup of the band. Erik’s rockin’ keys solo was pretty fat, too, and certainly worthy of mention. His addition to the band all weekend had been so incredibly good. Maybe there is a permanent position for him in the future? Please? Anyways, the man can ball on the keyboards. ‘Nuff said. “Get Me Outta This City” exploded out of the gate up next for us, with Drew on fast vocals over the top of even faster instrumentals. Like lightning quick. Like impossibly quick. What skill on that stage!! And the solos at that speed! Vince’s was something special for sure, followed by Drew’s own crazy fast one. And you had Erik on the melodica at points throughout as well!! Nutso! We had a very special surprise in store next as Vince called Drew’s daughter, Willow Emmitt, up on the stage to join them for a number. Taking center stage and lead vocals, the talented young lady ended up throwing down quite the “Deep Elem Blues” for us, thankyouverymuch. And she killed, ladies and gents. She killed. And here you can see it all go down for yourself:
Quite the talent there, right? I know that Drew must be a very proud papa as well he should be. “Rag Mama Rag” was the last song of the set, Vince belting out those familiar lyrics for us like a champ. And the band nailed it to the floor. What a great set closer, what a jam!! What a Sunday so far!! And there was a whole other set just waiting past set break, too!!
So it was no coincidence that the end of set break would correspond with 4:20PM that afternoon. Marijuana being legal in Colorado, the culture extends far and wide now and was certainly present at the Stanley that weekend. And so, we all celebrated that fateful time together and the band launched into “4:20 Long Years” in observance of the same. A very humorous song about marijuana’s better attributes, this one was perfectly suited to the time an to the crowd. And we were all certainly very into it — and why not? Vince even tried to get us to sing the chorus on our own but we apparently suffered from some “short term memory problems” as he called them. Maybe he was right. Maybe. Heh heh. A sizzling hot instrumental (which might be called “Charlie”) followed and kind of ripped our faces off with amazingly hard drivin’ fast pickin’. And from everyone in the band, too. Andy, Vince, Drew, Erik, everyone. Greg and Alwyn keeping that steadfast tempo throughout. Just awesome. And then it was time for some John Hartford, and one of my favorites of his with “Steam Powered Aereoplane” — quite literally a ride along a lovely song with Drew at the helm. Andy’s banjo sounded magnificent throughout providing a great backdrop for solos like Vince’s on guitar. Truly love this song and love Salmon’s version of it each and every time. This time, with Erik on keys, it sounded especially nice. Really do dig his style. A little later down the set we got a super awesome “Truckin’” — “gotta keep on truckin’ on down the line!” Damn right you do! And how about that sweet bass solo from Greg in the middle? Hot to the hotness. Bravo, sir! Big time groovy version of this song this time around which was followed by a big time badass version of “Steamboat Whistle”. On fiddle this time, Drew took lead which he handed off to Vince who took the vocals for the song. Always great to get more Hartford, right? Andy Thorn took the opportunity to showcase some of his excellent banjo skills about a minute in which Drew answered on fiddle about a minute later. Great interplay of instruments going on there. “Bolin Creek” was next in line for the afternoon’s musical offerings, another scorching fast one filled with a round robin of musical incredibleness from each and every member of the band. They took the song into a trippy, spacey section which was dominated by Erik’s keys in a great way. But quite the trippy section, indeed. And then a huge finish. Remarkable! Wow! Then a pretty epic (yes, there’s that word again) “Fish Eye View” > “Dear Prudence” > “Fish Eye View” was delivered to us and our mouths hung open in disbelief and appreciation. Some Beatles sandwiched in your Salmon? Hells to the yeah! Vince nailed down the lyrics to both songs so very well, as to be expected. He is quite the front man after all. “Dear Prudence” was such a great surprise and had us all singing along. Quite the happy-making song to be sure. A a big version of the song, too, with its own trippy jam space section in the middle. A musical journey from start to finish. But the finish was back into “Fish Eye” and full of that song’s attitude and energy, slowly building back into it as the familiar guitar riffs explode back out to round things out. Holy crapness!! What a show so far!! Drew’s son, Eli Emmitt, came out on stage to join the band on guitar. “High on a Mountain” was the first of two songs he played alongside Salmon. With Drew on the familiar vocals this was a very fine rendition of the song. Eli more than held his own out there throwing down an excellent solo at one point to the loud cheering of the crowd. He next joined them in a hot instrumental breakdown which we have for you here:
That young man can certainly play a note or two, huh? What an extremely talented family, those Emmitts. So glad Drew’s children had joined in the occasion with us! And then it was time for Andy to cover some Janis Joplin with “Take a Piece of My Heart”, one I’ve heard them do before and really enjoyed. Sunday was no exception. Just a rockin’ groovy Salmon version of this song, you know? Crowd favorites “High Country” and “Liza” followed on the way to the last song of the set, “Reach (A Little Bit Higher)”. Rockin’ things out to the very end, this song was no exception. Drew kicked the lyrics’ ass all over the place as the rest of the band laid down the musical righteousness. Quite the solo from Vince here on guitar, too. At the end, they kicked things into double time for just a bit more fast pickin’ for the night. So fast!! Damn, son! And everyone took up the charge…Erik got right nasty on the keys, Drew did the same on the mandolin going quite mad, Andy then answered on banjo with his own brand of insanity. My gods! What an ending! We were exhausted by the last note to be sure. But there was no rest for the wicked that day, as there were a couple of encores en route. And just what did we get for the encore you might ask? How about a double-barreled dose of “Hot Corn, Cold Corn” and “Up on the Hill Where They Do the Boogie”? Hmmmm?? What did we do to be so lucky? Both were so good!! And “Up on the Hill” is one of my absolute favorite songs! Massive amounts of happy energy all up in our business right until the very end! What can I even say about it all? It was just so incredibly amazing from start to finish. A huge thanks goes out to the band and all their people for making this weekend so special. And a huge thanks to the Stanley Hotel for playing such a gracious host to us all. My heart was filled with so much music and gratitude. What a show. What an awesome Sunday matinee show!
And what simply stupendously amazing weekend, through and through. Second time around is coincidence, right? So, are we going to make it a trend with three? Let’s all hope so. There is no other party I know of like the Leftover Stanley weekends. It has quickly become so special and so magical a thing as to be a force to be reckoned with in future years. And it is worth every ounce of energy to get there — truly. From the Stanley itself to the music to the surprise guests, what more could you ask for? And so, we put the cap on another madcap weekend in Estes Park with Leftover Salmon and Friends. Bravi to us all for making it such a wonderful time!! And thanks to all of you for reading!!