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Leftover Salmon at the Stanley 2016 - Sunday

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Leftover Salmon at the Stanley 2016 - Sunday

Leftover Salmon at the Stanley 2016

Festival Experience Archive

for The Lot Scene by Parker

Sunday Highlights

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?

Scramble Campbell

Scramble Campbell

Scramble doing his thing...

Scramble doing his thing...

    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!!

Leftover Salmon

Leftover Salmon

    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!

Ted Atwell and Leftover Salmon

Ted Atwell and Leftover Salmon

    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!!

 

 

 

 

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Leftover Salmon at the Stanley 2016 - Saturday

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Leftover Salmon at the Stanley 2016 - Saturday

Leftover Salmon at the Stanley 2016

Festival Experience Archive

for The Lot Scene by Parker

Saturday Highlights

Larry Keel & Friends (Surprise Matinee Set) - Leftover Salmon

    Up and at ‘em on Saturday and ready for more, the time was growing closer until the “Surprise Matinee Set - It’ll Freak You Out Who’s Playing!”  And, I honestly admit, I was a tad freaked out to discover who would be gracing the stage in the Concert Hall that afternoon.  There had been a few solid rumors floating around that it might be Jeff Austin or Sam Bush as they were both in nearby Longmont that afternoon as well, however, these rumors proved false as we all entered the hall at two o’clock.  All speculation was cast aside as soon as two-thirty rolled around and, lo and behold, Larry and Jenny Keel walked out on stage with Alwyn Robinson!  What a surprise, honest and true!  And what a stellar surprise it was, too!  I am a huge fan of Larry and Jenny and to see them here for this huge party weekend was quite the sight for us all…and a very welcome sight at that.  They opened things up with a song about a haunted house Larry had lived in somewhere in Virginia.  “Little Green Man” instantly gives you that grit and dirty goodness we have all come to expect from Larry over the years.  Great little ensemble sound, too, with Alwyn on drums and Jenny on her erstwhile bass.  I knew this set was going to be great from the get-go.  About a minute into the song, Larry showered us with some serious guitar goodies, fast pickin’ to the core.  No one picks quite like Larry Keel.  They took this directly into a track from Larry’s new album Experienced:  “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong”.  A bit of a cautionary tale regarding the lady in question, this one is bluesy and full of attitude.  Some more tough, tantalizing guitar licks from Larry for us to enhance the mood of this song.  No one sings quite like Larry Keel, either, folks.  Organic, from the center of the chest, full voice and full of conviction.  Love it.  They followed this with Larry’s take on modern technology, “The Internet”.  Slower and bit more brooding than the first couple of selections, Larry almost dropping to a low spoken voice at times, this song possesses its own fierceness all punctuated by the marvelous madness that is Larry’s guitar.  So far, so very good, my friends.  We had the good fortune to shoot a video of the next song for you — “Lizard Lady”.  Please enjoy! 

Now you’ve got a sense of Larry if you’ve never seen him live before.  And, if you have, then you got a bit more of the awesome that is Larry.  I just adore his interactions with his wife on stage, too.  What a couple those two make, both on and off stage.  And we were all certainly very happy that they were joining us that Saturday.  Jenny and Larry wrote the next song together, per their introduction of it.  “The Heartbeat, the Soulbeat” saw the sweeter side of Larry and Jenny come through in music, live for us all to share in.  The lightning quick ending breakdown was pretty magical as well.  No doubts Larry can play and play super fast, right?  Hot damn!  Then Andy Thorn and Drew Emmitt joined the happy throng for some good times done right, Larry telling the audience how lucky he is to get to pick with these guys.  I can agree with that.  Instantly bigger and bolder sound for the next song, “Pioneers” also from his new album.  Fantastic banjo work from Andy as always, really catering to the whole pioneer feeling of this selection.  And Larry crooning out the story of hardship in the west the entire time.  Just lovely.  Drew was up to the microphone next to sing us one.  And sing us one, he did, my friends!  “Nine Pound Hammer” was a fun little romp through some string band musicianship.  Larry throwing down solos on his guitar, Drew answering on mando — pure excellence.  Not to mention Andy going absolutely nuts on banjo.  Just supremely enjoyable music in all regards.  “Bloody Mary Morning” was next in line in the set and was apropos given our location and that we’d all be drinking bloodies the very next morning.  Way to call it, Larry and Jenny!  (Who had their own bloodies on stage I might add.  Lucky ducks!)  Vince Herman ended up coming out on stage to sing a couple of verses for us and join in the ever-building craziness.  A little on down the set we got a nasty good “Culpepper Woodchuck” from that group of maniacs on stage that was all sorts of filthy awesome.  So much gritty playing, so much raw musicality and it went on for minutes and minutes.  We managed to grab the very end part for you on video — apologies for not getting all of it.  Hope you like! 

As a way of reparation, we’d like to offer this full video of the Andy Thorn-led instrumental “Star of Munster”.  Talk about some fast pickin’!  Wow…how do they do that?  Seriously.  Can you dig it? 

Larry and crew closed the whole show down with a soulful “Freeborn Man”, Larry taking the opportunity to lay down some serious guitar work in between, as well as throwing down some superb vocals.  One helluva Larry Keel kind of way to end a Larry Keel kind of set.  So many huge thanks to the Keels and their pals for putting on such a fantastic show!  And big thanks to Leftover Salmon for inviting them to join in the insanity at the Stanley this year!  And, they were right, I was totally freaked out!

Larry Keel & Friends

Larry Keel & Friends

Larry Keel & Friends Scrambled

Larry Keel & Friends Scrambled

    After a few hours’ break and after we’d had a chance to change into our formal attire (per the instructions) it was time once again to descend to the Concert Hall and soak up some prime time Leftover Salmon.  And, boy, if we weren’t all looking damn good, if I do say so myself.  Not a bad looking crew at all!!  Guess you might say that we all clean up pretty nicely.  Guess you might say…  Ah, to the music!  Jeff Coffin and Erik Deutsch were joining the boys for another evening and it would seem that Larry Keel was to guest in on a couple right from the beginning.  Drew was up to the mic for the first song of the night, “Tangled Up in Blue”.  This was a nice treat, some Bob Dylan right off the bat.  Not a bad way to start things off whatsoever.  Drew sounded great on the vocals, too…really belting them out and getting things going in an energetic way.  Andy Thorn’s banjo was ringing out into the crowd just as Coffin’s sax fired up forming a nice duet for a few bars.  “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” was next up and we grabbed a really nice video of it for you which we have here: 

Just delightful, no?  So great to get two Dylan songs straight in a row, too.  In honor of Greg Garrison’s birthday, he sang us a lovely “When I Paint My Masterpiece”.  Alwyn pounding out that familiar 3-2 clave beat while Erik went to town on the keys for us, Drew nailing down a sweet mando line, not mention Vince on guitar — all made for an excellent rendition of this one.  And more Dylan.  Hmmmmm.  Something was dawning on the crowd, I could see it.  Our mutual recognition that this might just be an entire Dylan set!  What a treat, right?  I’ll say.  “Simple Twist of Fate” had Vince back up to the mic to take the lead vocals.  Drew’s mandolin was ever-present throughout providing a lovely and light backdrop to the slightly heavier lyrics.  Andy Thorn had a really tight and beautiful solo a little ways into the piece.  Just marvelous.  And so it was a Bob Dylan set!!  How ridiculously cool!  Feeling so lucky to have been a part of this!  And grateful.  Andy Thorn stepped up to lead the next one, a Dylan banjo tune called “Nashville Skyline Rag”.  Some good ol’ fashioned straight pickin’ with this selection.  And a great tune for the band to showcase their skills and talents on their respective instruments.  Especially of note was Greg’s birthday solo on that fatty bass.  This led to a crazy big drum solo from Alwyn.  Also a great number for dancing the night away as we all did.  So much freakin’ fun!  Drew grabbed up his electric guitar for the next piece, “Meet Me in the Morning”, and treated us all to a little bit of straight up rock’n’roll.  He also gave us a great treatment of the lyrics, Drew-style.  Really solid keyboards and sax going down in this one, too.  Bravo to Erik on his monster solo.  That cat can hit those keys, man!!  This Dylan set was turning out to be white hot.  Vince gave us that nice familiar lead-in on guitar for the instantly recognizable “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” which followed “Morning” and then took up the vocals in a perfect attitude and style for this iconic song.  Talk about a crowd pleaser, too…but of course.  I mean, who doesn’t love yelling “everybody must get stoned” at the absolute top of her or his lungs alongside a few hundred of your favorite folk?  We all certainly did, as evidenced by the ringing of our collective shouts bouncing around the hall and beyond.  Another beastly piano solo from Mr. Deutsch right smack in the middle here, too.  Just nasty good.  Jeff played the part of harmonica on his sax to much success.  We all got “stoned” together that day let there be no doubt thanks to the boys in that band.  Marvelous.  And so much Dylan!  Can’t stress that enough or be happy enough about it!!  Especially since Leftover decided (apparently) to come out and kill it so summarily that evening.  Must’ve had a band meeting or something.  Ah, but it was now time for set break.  And with it, the now infamous Jay Blakesburg photo shoot of all those assembled in their finery and fancy dress, to be immortalized in print like in that horror movie of renown.  We all posed and smiled and looked the part as Jay snapped a few quick ones and it was done.  Back to mingling and chitchatting for a few more minutes until things continued with the second act.  What an evening so far!!

Andy Thorn & Erik Deutsch

Andy Thorn & Erik Deutsch

    Vince approached the mic and said “let’s keep this thing going a little longer” and that’s exactly what we did for the second set.  The band looked so good in their tuxedos — they clean up pretty well, too, I reckon.  It’s always interesting to see folks in dress different from their normal way of living.  And formal attire always transforms a person in some or many ways.  A cool process to witness.  They resumed the musical mayhem of the evening with “One More Chance”, a song that Vince introduced by way of telling a bit about his love story with his wife Marisa.  So very sweet.  Just so happens we captured that one on film for you to witness here: 

Love that song.  Just love it to bits.  Drew was back up to the mic for the lead on “Western Skies” which followed.  Great banjo and mando duet intro on this one with Alwyn backing keeping that steady beat.  Building right into Drew’s crystal clear vocals.  Such great motion to this song — you can really feel the forward building sensation.  “…it takes me away, it takes me away.”  True enough, this song took me away!  On the wings of banjos and mandolins and saxophones…up and away!  And then it was time for a little “Home Cookin’” with Vince at the helm.  Another great choice for this evening of fun and finery.  One you can really get down to — and we all did, rest assured.  When you have a wave of sound the mass and magic of which you can practically surf down washing over you from seven different instruments you cannot help but surrender to the flow.  And that is precisely what was going down with this “Home Cookin’”.  Praise Salmon!!  Then it was time to get raucous with a big, bold “Hollerwood” which came after.  Hard drivin’ fast pickin’ was the name of this game all over the board.  From Andy to Drew to Vince and back again and then to Erik and Jeff.  A round robin of musical awesomesauceness in rapid time all up in our business.  And we couldn’t have been happier about it.  Wowsers!  So much great music in one show!!  After that they had brother Larry Keel come back out for some of that mess around du jour and he displayed his waxed mustache for all of us.  Nothing but class, that man.  Nothing but class.  Andy Thorn was up to the microphone for the subsequent “Morning Sun” which continued the theme of super fast pickin’ led by Andy himself on banjo.  Such inhuman quickness!  Seriously, how do they do it?  Never ceases to boggle the mind.  And Vince is no slouch on that guitar, either…quite to the contrary.  Man, that gent can pick that guitar in a masterful fashion.  Which is exactly what he did for us in a huge, badass scorching hot solo.  So, when was the last time you heard Larry Keel cover Grandmaster Flash?  Certainly not soon enough.  Ha!  Was this hilarious and entertaining all in one go!  Too damn funny.  Larry rapped out “The Message” for us in very fine form nailing lyric after lyrics as he strummed along.    The rest of the band were appropriately funky for the occasion, backing Larry up exquisitely and making this song work in so many ways.  Bravo to Mr. Keel for his mad flossing skills!!  Would love to see him cover some other vintage rap works.  “California Love” anyone?  Heh heh.  Silas Herman even came out to play Vince’s guitar in the groovy mix while Vince took over on washboard.  Pretty damn funky to say the least.  So glad I was there to witness it and tell the tale for you.  A huge, wacky finish brought this little present to a final end.  Wow.  What a ride.  The final song of the set was a monstrous and madcap “Jack London” with Vince one last time at the fore to usher us out into the night once again.  Every single member of the band was on absolute fire for this one, pulling out any and all available stops.  Drew shredded his mando to pieces, Andy destroyed all last vestiges of his banjo, Erik’s keys were smashed to bits, Jeff’s sax was done for, Alwyn’s drums were busting one by one, Greg’s bass was basically kaput, and Vince’s guitar?  Gone the way of the dodo.  Such a thoroughly incredible jam through to the very end — one of the very traits we’ve come to love so much in this band.  But they weren’t even remotely done yet!  They went directly into the Stones’ “Honkey Tonk Women” from there and proceeded to blow all our minds with a crazy fast-paced version of this one.  Sizzling good music and so great to hear this song played as such.  Wicked quick playing from one and all once again, Andy Thorn’s banjo shining through about halfway along.  Vince took care of those vocals quite superbly as well — always love hearing Papa Vince sing to us!  Bold, bold sound and so much of it.  Another one of those impressively large sound waves threatening to soak each and every one of us in so much musical bliss.  But they weren’t done yet!!  They, in turn, went directly into “Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad” for a little while to continue the evening with a touch of the Dead before heading right back into “Jack London” to finish it all off with a giant whiz-bang ending and massive thank you to the crowd.  Holy crapness, what a night of music!!  From start to finish just excellent through and through.  So many thanks to the Salmon fellows and their guests for the unparalleled evening of musical adventure!!  So many thanks to everyone at the Stanley Hotel for helping make this marvel of a night possible!!  And, with a head reeling from so much amazingness, we all gathered our things and headed out to regroup for late night with Alwyn Robinson and friends.  Damn, was that fun!  Damn, how we couldn’t wait for more music!  Damn!  And Sunday Bloody Funday was just around the corner.  Hot damn!

Leftover Salmon & Friends

Leftover Salmon & Friends

The Lot Scene takes formal night by storm...

The Lot Scene takes formal night by storm...

Sunday inbound soon, friends!!

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Leftover Salmon at the Stanley 2016 - Friday

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Leftover Salmon at the Stanley 2016 - Friday

Leftover Salmon at the Stanley 2016

Festival Experience Archive

for The Lot Scene by Parker

Friday Highlights

Leftover Salmon - Gipsy Moon (Late Night)

    So, there we were, back at the historic and haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.  Lured there by one of the best parties around, die hards flocked from all over the country to this supremely fun and marvelous merry and strange little festival tucked away in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.  Sitting in a bowl valley with soaring, snow covered peaks all around, the venue is certainly not short on natural beauty or charm making the weekend a coveted one in the musical calendar to be sure.  And then there is the magnificent Stanley itself standing proud and a bit eerily above the town of Estes Park welcoming in every possible way and which certainly played the erstwhile and gracious host to our weekend of merriment and mutual madness.  The party atmosphere was in full effect from the moment we arrived on the Stanley’s property solidifying the fact that this weekend was going to be wonderful on so very many fronts.  And so, with visions of The Shining and Leftover dancing around in our heads we were all ready for things to begin properly…

    The welcome reception officially kicked things off for the weekend with Gipsy Moon providing the live entertainment.  They were, as always, fantastic.  Truly love that band.  But, more on those amazing young musicians later.  After the reception, we had a bit of time to get to the Concert Hall for the evening’s main event:  Leftover Salmon.  The reason for the season, Salmon were to play three full shows over the course of the weekend.  And, a little bit about the Concert Hall at the Stanley — it is a pristine white professionally designed vintage venue space with rich wood floors and superb acoustics, large, stately windows lining each side.  A balcony at the rear of the spacious yet intimate room completes the air of classical concert hall which was to stand immediately juxtaposed to the extremely energetic and madcap musical marvel that is Leftover Salmon, everyone’s favorite polyethnic cajun slamgrass band.  And, while the space was full it was never crowded, with a nice balance of people to room.  Always makes for a finer experience in my opinion.  And what a fine experience this was!  So many great people all gathered together in this hall to celebrate music and life and fellowship.  And with such incredible music all weekend long!  Speaking of which, why don’t we get ourselves to summadat right now?  

Gipsy Moon

Gipsy Moon

    We decided to head a different route than normal and bring you a video of the first song of Leftover’s Friday night show.  That way you could get that initial flavor of the spectacle for yourself.  The band opened with “Out in the Woods” and took the opportunity to showcase the friends who had joined them for the night:  Jeff Coffin (The Dave Mathews Band) on saxophone and Erik Deutsch on keyboards.  Drew Emmitt took the lead on this one, crooning to the audience in his instantly recognizable voice.  But, listen to me gabbing on…why not take a quick look and listen yourselves? 

Off to a pretty good start, right?  I’d say so in the very least.  And how about those friends joining in?  That Jeff Coffin can wail on the sax, am I right?  And he continued to do so all night long, but I am getting ahead of myself.  And Erik on those keys?  Salmon and keys is always a great combination.  And continuing straight on into the fun of the night, “Sing Up to the Moon” was next in line for all of us.  One of the perfect examples of their self-professed genre and style, “Sing Up” is an instant crowd pleaser each and every time.  And, believe-you-me, this crowd had come to dance and party and rage until the break of dawn.  And what an excellent selection for just such activities.  Vince sounded album-perfect on the vocals as he led this juggernaut of joy on that Concert Hall stage.  Andy rocked out a tight little solo for us banjo a couple of minutes in — smiles all around.  This was answered by Erik throwing down on the keys in very fine fashion.  And, of course, Jeff on that sax of his.  A small aside here:  Salmon with saxophone is a pretty righteous experience.  Especially with a player as phenomenal as Jeff Coffin.  What a ride and only two songs in!  Andy Thorn was up to lead the next tune, that magical musical journey otherwise known as “Aquatic Hitchhiker”.  The usual lulling of the soft and sweet intro section did its job perfectly setting us all up for the expected madness that was to ensue.  And, just as gleefully anticipated, Andy and the band erupted into a cyclone of hard drivin’ fast pickin’.  Hurtling along at the speed of sound we were all of us on one giant thrill ride of stupendous string band music.  Not to be left behind, Jeff added his horn to the mix with some solo work followed by Erik on the keys.  Both of which were wonderful and proof that Salmon were employing the skills of their friends to the utmost that weekend, a trait of the shows we would all come to appreciate so fully by Sunday’s last note.  Alwyn Robinson laid down a pretty serious drum solo in this one, too, which is most certainly of note.  Love his style of playing so much.  And, after a mellow and mysterious center section, they brought things to a huge and magnificent whiz-bang of a close to copious amounts of applause and praise from the audience.  This was shaping up to be one helluva show!  Drew snagged the mic and took the lead for the next song, “All Night Ride”, another scorching hot, swift-paced adventure through quick pickin’, Salmon-style.  Andy Thorn’s banjo set the blistering stride counterpointed by Drew’s mandolin and punctuated by Jeff’s sax.  All at breakneck speed thus showcasing and proving this band’s serious musical acumen.  And Drew was really going for it on the vocals as well, kicking ass and taking names as only that man can when on the mic.  You know, just another face melter from this crazy ass band we all love so much.  Then there was that one time at the Stanley when Salmon played some Zappa.  Mainly in the form of “Camarillo Brillo”.  A bunch of whack ado awesome nut jobs playing the music of another whack ado awesome nut job?  Why the hell not?  Especially when it was that good.  And then it was time for some T. Rex.  Yup…you got that right.  T. Rex.  “Bang A Gong” anyone?  Vince laid down the vocals for this one, kicking some ass in the process.  Some great interplay between keys and banjo on this one.  Not to mention Greg’s ever-present and balanced bass badassery keeping the rest of these maniacs driving forward.  Such big sound coming from that stage!  And so good, to boot!  Whew!  

Leftover Salmon

Leftover Salmon

    Set break was a much needed bit of down time to recover our strength for the next set soon around the bend.  The chilly breeze blowing in through the open windows was so welcome to cool the heated brows of those gathered in homage to some of that sweet, sweet Salmon sound.  But we weren’t to rest for too long, since the band came back out blazing both barrels into the night to the delight of us all.  “Better” got things instantly going once again with its intensity of motion and feeling and we were all dancing wildly once more to the music of this wonderful band.  Nice fat, fantastic keyboard solo from Mr. Deutsch about a minute into it — excellent sound to have alongside Leftover.  Loving his addition to the band for the weekend.  Coffin took over from there, taking the opportunity to wail out a tasty and lengthy solo blanketing the concert hall in that unique timbre.  And, just like that, we were off once again!  At this point, Vince announced that they were just going to play the entire Euphoria record.  And I’ll be damned if they didn’t do just that!  What a treat…damn, son!  Of course, he didn’t mention that they were going to go completely ape while they did so.  They injected so much energy and merriment and pure, undiluted joy into this set — it was just so much fun to be there and to be a part of it all.  And it was just the first night, too.  So hard to believe.  Alwyn’s steady and steadfast beat launched us all into the next song from the album, “Highway Song”.  Drew nailed the vocals down on this one sounding so much like the recorded version it was kinda scary…not to mention his monster electric solo in the middle.  An excellent live version of “Highway” which was followed, in turn, by an excellent version of “Baby Hold On”.  Another good dance tune, that one, and with lots of lovely keyboard work from Erik.  “River’s Rising” was next in line for the evening which brought its welcome form of raucous and rowdy to the table — just a big energy song.  Andy Thorn had a pretty stellar solo a couple of minutes into things which Drew answered on electric guitar with some solo work of his own.  Interesting juxtaposition of those instruments there.  The bad and boisterous breakdown in this one was nothing short of epic.  Yeah, I used that word.  But, trust me, I know of what I speak.  Between Andy losing his mind on banjo and the rest of the band doing the same, what more can I say?  Epic.  Drew just shredding the hell out of his guitar while everyone else jams away like madmen?  Epic.  The trippy Erik-led mellow space jam section?  Epic.  Quite the momentous “River’s Rising” to say the least.  But they weren’t done yet…  No, to the contrary since there was a bunch of album left to play.  Vince brought his brand of insanity to the fore as he took the lead vocals on “Mama Boulet” changing the lyrics to “she’ll turn into Sheryl Crow for you” a couple of times and simply rocking it out for us.  Another big time dance number for the crowd.  Banjo solo from Thorn in this one was out of this world.  What a phenomenal player we have in Andy, no?  Jeff Coffin strutted his musical stuff again with a hefty solo of his own.  This song really was a perfect place for some sax.  Mr. Robinson gave us another of his signature solos while the rest of the band left the stage — always a cool visual.  This was a rather lengthy and large solo, too.  And one that led us directly into “Funky Mountain Fogdown” by way of an exploratory instrumental segue.  But once “Funky” hit properly it hit us all squarely in the face with some extremely fast pickin’.  Damn!  Drew’s fingers were flying over his mando just as fast as Andy’s were over the banjo.  Coffin kept pace with them both on saxophone, blowing out a mean melody of his own.  Vince was rocking his own craziness on the guitar the entire time.  The expressions on that man’s face…priceless!  He clearly loves his job to death.  “Muddy Water Home” was up next with Drew taking his familiar lead on the mic.  Vince had a particularly nice guitar solo early on which was followed by some more of that awesome horn from Jeff.  Great version of this one to be sure.  “Cash on the Barrelhead” followed (these two songs being in switched order from the album, why not) and featured Drew on vocals as well.  Quite the impressive piano solo from Erik Deutsch during “Cash” — just adore having keys with Salmon!  The breakneck tempo of “Ain’t Gonna Work”  took things from “Ridiculous Speed” to “Ludicrous Speed” in the blink of an eye.  Such wickedly fast quickness, such impossibly speedy playing.  So very impressive each and every time I see it.  And so many notes from every man on the stage…the wall of sound coming down at us was just staggeringly amazing.  Andy, Drew, Erik, Vince…all of them just bringing it to the next level all at once and all incredible.  Loved Vince’s guitar solo in this one — full of so much of that unique form of, well, Vince that we’ve all come to love and respect over the years.  Erik went a bit out into insane Salmon territory with his solo, too.  Good stuff.  Finishing up the Euphoria album, “This is the Time” and “Euphoria” rounded out the evening in lovely style.   “Euphoria” is a personal favorite of mine and I am always grateful to hear it even when I’ve been expecting it for an entire set, anticipating and waiting happily for the goodness to come.  Vince gave one helluva a performance on the vocals this time around, vaulting this song up to the rafters and back again.  And the entire ensemble on stage followed the lead and poured a whole heaping help of fun into this one for us.  A perfect way to end the first evening of superb music and enjoyment at the Stanley Hotel with Leftover Salmon and friends.  And they played us an entire album, too!  What a surprise…what a present!  The second installment of “Leftover Stanley” was going swimmingly thus far, so very fabulous on all fronts.  Many thanks to the band and their guests for the entire evening of musical adventure!!  So looking forward to the rest of the weekend!  But there was late night Friday to be had first and foremost…

Vince, come play with us...forever and ever and ever...

Vince, come play with us...forever and ever and ever...

    Gipsy Moon.  A superlatively talented and skilled young band.  And they played one incredibly good late night rest assured.  I’ve really enjoyed getting to know this band over the past couple of years, both musically and personally.  Not only are they amazingly good and talented young musicians, they are also amazingly good people.  Humble, organic, real.  Just the kinds of traits you look for in great musicians.  And so late night took place in the main Stanley Hotel building in the McGregor Ballroom, the same location as the welcome session earlier that evening.  Alas, we arrived a tad late to the party and so missed the first few songs.   We did have the privilege of walking in during the beginning of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon”, a perfect cover for this band.  Mackenzie Page’s voice is well suited to this song as is the song itself for the band.  A very good choice from a group that makes many, many of those already.  The instrumentation of the band really lent itself very well to the mood and feel of “Rhiannon” a song not without a bit of mystery.  Made me sad to think we’d missed precious minutes of this show.  “Dying of Days” followed and was very bit as marvelous as can be expected.  One of my favorites of their originals, the chorus is as haunting as the instrumental lines.  Thankfully, you don’t have to listen to my prattle on about how wonderful it is because we recorded a nice video version of it for you here:  

Just lovely, wasn’t it?  As always with this band, they play really gorgeous music.  Not all bands have such beauty inherent to their style of playing.  Matt Cantor led the next piece, a familiar jig whose name escapes me, on his rich-timbred bass.  The interplay of the melody line between bass and Silas Herman’s mandolin here was simply splendid.  A really fun reinvention of a classic fiddle tune.  “Right Before the Dawn” was next in line and featured a soulful intro from Andrew Bain Conley on cello.  Again, Mackenzie’s unique, sweet, dusky, and lovely singing featured in this piece.  How can one not just love her voice?  Fantastic ensemble work from all four band members as well.  Excellent breakdown at the ending of “Right Before the Dawn”, too.  Just magnificent all around.  Eli Emmitt, son of Drew Emmitt (Leftover Salmon), joined them on stage for a number that he wrote, a guitar tune.  The “Spawn of Salmon” as Mackenzie called Eli and Silas.  A nice reel of a tune, to be sure.  Really dug what Eli had written.  Lead in came from Andrew on cello which he handed off to Silas on mandolin.  In turn, Mackenzie joined in on banjo and eventually Eli himself taking melody on guitar.  Such talent all over that stage!!  Such good music!!  Next up Mackenzie went back to crooning once again for us all with “Lonely Girl at Heart”.  Just gorgeous!!  Man can that lady sing!!  And when she has such stellar instrumental backing as Gipsy Moon, she can truly soar as a vocalist.  And I so love the texture of this band as well — having cello makes for a very unique overall sound and one that I truly appreciate fully.  A little farther down the set before they closed things out they played a particular favorite of mine:  the sad and soulful “Clementine”.  Not the way you used to sing it around the campfire, mind you, this one is mournful and dirge-like, but not without the original dark humor of the lyrics.  Matt’s low and deep bowing on his bass provided the appropriate foundation for this one.   Most certainly a different take on this song and one that is pretty damn amazing.  Love it.  “Oh my darling…oh my darling Clementine.”  Oh my, indeed!!  What a late night show — truly I cannot say enough good things about Gipsy Moon in one go.  They deliver so much already and have so much promise for the future.  This is definitely a band to keep your eye on over the next few years, I know I will be.  And it was nice and late in a haunted hotel for a Salmon weekend.  What more could you ask for?  I know I was happy as all hell and it was only just Friday.  Friday I tell you!!  Time for some really late night creeping to begin.  And then time to do it all over again on Saturday.  But that’s a story for another time.

Gipsy Moon

Gipsy Moon

 

Saturday and Sunday on their way, folks!!  

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