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CHRIS ROBINSON BROTHERHOOD :: LEFTOVER SALMON :: OCTOBER 16 :: SCOOT INN
October 16, 2015 @ 8:00 pm
Scoot Inn Presents:
Chris Robinson Brotherhood and Leftover Salmon
After party details TBA
The Chris Robinson Brotherhood is touring in support of their latest release, Phosphorescent Harvest. Praised by Rolling Stone as “once quirky, trippy, soulful and downright magnetic,” it’s the band’s third full-length for Silver Arrow Records. Robinson declares: “We’ve created a piece of rock ‘n’ roll here. People can look to us and rest assured the genre is alive and well.
The CRB (as they are affectionately known by fans) made an immediate impact upon their boldly unconventional debut in early 2011. They embarked on close to 50 shows over nine weeks in California before ever leaving the Golden State. In fact, they’d wait until 2012 to truly introduce themselves nationally with the release of two sprawling studio albums: Big Moon Ritual (June 2012) and The Magic Door (September 2012), which showcase a freewheeling improvisational chemistry. The band: Robinson (vox / guitar), Neal Casal (guitar / vox), Adam Macdougall (keys), Tony Leone (drums) and Mark Dutton (bass) — would further develop their identity as a self-defined “farm to table psychedelic rock band” over a 118-show stretch. Late 2013 saw the fruits of this labor forever captured by legendary tape priestess, Betty Cantor-Jackson (Grateful Dead), on the eight-sided limited-edition vinyl release Betty’s S.F. Blends Volume 1, which documented a glorious five night run the previous December at San Francisco’s famed Great American Music Hall.
Only momentarily content with their auspicious rise, the Brotherhood reconvened with producer Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Beachwood Sparks, Devendra Banhart) shortly thereafter to record yet another set of ten songs that would become the 2014 release, Phosphorescent Harvest. Where Robinson had been the primary instigator behind the 14 compositions that populated the band’s first two releases, this latest effort documents his burgeoning songwriting partnership with Neal Casal.
It also finds The CRB refining its approach within the studio. The two previous recordings were for all intents and purposes cut live and released as tracked. For Phosphorescent Harvest, the band spent the better part of 2013 crafting a tried and true studio album. For many artists this would imply intentional neutering in the pursuit of commercial upside, but in Robinson and company’s hands, it meant utilizing the studio to harness their full sonic vision. Indeed, their expansive sense of space and texture has never been so fully realized until now. Casal expands on the process: “The approach was to get far out sonically, while retaining a certain focus on the central melody of each song. Psychedelia, sonic density, and expanded arrangements were the order of the day, but the songs are strong. This band is all about musical freedom. Boundary dissolving is our ideal. Boundary dissolving and a good ole’ Saturday night boogie.”
In an age when so many put their beliefs in trends, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood is committed to something deeper. In Robinson’s words: “We don’t make music that can sell iPads. Our music will not sell you a Prius. I like that. Writing songs has always led me to good things in my life. The songwriting saved me through the dark times, and the songwriting makes it that much sweeter when it’s good. Real success can only come in pursuit of an authentic sound. We’re all very committed to this music, beyond money and egos. That’s a unique place to be.”
About Leftover Salmon:
Looking back over the past 25 years of rootsy, string-based music, the impact of Leftover Salmon is impossible to deny. Formed in Boulder at the end of 1989, the Colorado slamgrass pioneers took their form of aggressive bluegrass to rock and roll bars at a time when it wasn’t so common, helping Salmon become a pillar of the jam band scene and unwitting architects of the jamgrass genre.
Today, Leftover Salmon is: Vince Herman (vocals, acoustic guitar, washboard); Drew Emmitt (vocals, acoustic and electric mandolin, electric guitar, fiddle); Andy Thorn (vocals, acoustic and electric banjo); Greg Garrison (vocals, acoustic and electric bass); Alwyn Robinson (drums); Bill Payne (vocals, keyboards).Though the lineup would change through the years, the foundation of Leftover Salmon remained strongly rooted in the relationship between co-founders Emmitt, Herman, and banjoist, Mark Vann, proceeding through a decade of constant growth and nonstop touring. On March 4, 2002, Vann lost his battle with cancer. He was only 39 years old. Herman issued in memoriam: “Mark lived life to its fullest and he would insist that we do so as well,” so LoS carried on through a succession of replacement players including Matt Flinner, Scott Vestal, Tony Furtado, and Noam Pikelny, but then took a hiatus from touring at the end of 2004. Had they never played another note, the Leftover Salmon legacy would have been secure; but in the summer of 2007, the band were ready to hit the road again. Soon after, banjo phenom AndyThorn was brought into the group, a new album, Aquatic Hitchhiker, (2012) was recorded and released to critical acclaim, NPR’s Mountain Stage, for instance, heralding the group as “one of the most beloved acts on America’s summer-festival circuit.” Said Drew Emmitt of the band’s resumption, “The time is right for this band to come back on a lot of levels. It’s taken us a little while, but I think we’re finally there.”
Enter a man named Bill Payne, who had been circling the LoS orbit for some time now, having produced their 2004 self-titled album. Payne, who had already achieved legendary status as co-founder of the celebrated hybrid country rock outfit, Little Feat, was regarded as one of the finest keyboardists in the biz. By the start of 2014, however, he had also clocked a significant amount of stage time with Leftover Salmon. And so it was that just a few short weeks ago, September 15th 2014, to be exact, Vince Herman officially inaugurated Bill Payne as an active member of Leftover Salmon in front of 2,500 ravenous fans at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville during the band’s 15th anniversary celebration of their much-loved 1999 album, The Nashville Sessions. How perfectly appropriate!
In same breath, Herman announced a brand new long player, High Country, set for release on November 28th, Black Friday, initially to participating Record Store Day indie outlets nationwide.
High Country is a 12-song, rock/country/bluegrass/blues masterpiece, featuring 10 spanking new LoS offerings, including Thorn’s rollicking title track complete with requisite blistering banjo solo, Herman’s Cajun-flavored kick off, “Get Up And Go,” but also sporting 2 covers- a Payne/Robert Hunter tune called, “Bluegrass Pines” and a Lowell George/Keith Godchaux classic, “Six Feet Of Snow,” immortalized on Little Feat’s, Down On The Farm. Then there’s Emmitt’s progressive ramble n’ roll, “Two Highways,” destined to become an LoS classic. All in all, High Country slips seamlessly in and out of character, disposition and style offering the full palette of Leftover Salmon’s aesthetic, from lightening-powered pick n’ grin to thoughtful blues balladry and all in between. The record’s a classic, if we’ve ever heard one. Not bad for a band just shy of their silver anniversary.
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