Leftover Salmon’s new album Something Higher is yet another experimental step for the Colorado jamgrass outfit. Never a band to settle on any one particular sound, Vince Herman, Drew Emmitt and company created a democratic project that offers a chance for each band member to sing a tune and offer their different seasoning to the musical gumbo.
During a very intimate show at Bowery Electric, a small room in the Bowery neighborhood of Manhattan, the band played the whole album through with a little help from Erik Deutsch on keyboards and Alex Hargreaves on fiddle. Together, the expanded band took new songs for a ride and provided an experience for the patrons that transcended far beyond any typical release show where only new songs are played. The reasoning for that isn’t only just the additions of Deutsch and Hargreaves, it’s because the new songs are also pretty fucking awesome. There’s the optimistic, happy-go-lucky nature of “Something Higher” and “Winter’s Gone”, but also the psychedelic Pink Floyd-tinged “Astral Traveler”. “Evermore” and “Game of Thorns” take the listener on a super-fast bluegrass ride, with the former track mentioning Cloud 9’s Strings and Sol festival by name.
These are traveling tunes, hippie tunes, and Colorado country tunes, but with a seasoned band at the helm, they take a familiar song and recreate it in a way that’s never been heard before. As Herman and Emmitt shifted between various instruments, drummer (and Brooklyn native) Alwyn Robinson proved to be the most lethal weapon in the arsenal, playing absolutely monster drum beats that make him a fit at experimental jazz clubs like the East Village’s Nublu.
Case-in-point: Leftover Salmon’s new album is pretty great, especially when performed live in an intimate setting. Don’t miss an opportunity to see this long-running jamgrass outfit when they play a venue near you soon!