Rowman & Littlefield publishers have announced a February release for Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival, by Tim Newby. It will tell the three decade story of the band, who have pushed hard against the boundaries of bluegrass from the start, through interviews with the members, and with many other musicians who have been influenced by their music.
The Salmon played their first show together on New Year’s Eve in 1989, and they have made NYE a special night for fans ever since. Faces in the group changed a good bit in those early years, but most folks think of the core of the band as founders Drew Emmitt on mandolin, Vince Herman on guitar, along with early banjo player Mark Vann. They blended their bluegrass roots with influences from blues, cajun, and rock, forming a style all their own signified by an eclectic sound, and Herman’s distinctive singing voice.
When Vann died from cancer in 2002, the band went on hiatus until 2007, after which they played mostly reunion shows and special tours. But in 2012, they recorded their first new album since Mark’s passing, with Andy Thorn on banjo. The current group, now touring regularly, still includes Herman and Emmitt, with Greg Garrison on bass, Alwyn Robinson on drums, and Erik Deutsch on keys.
Newby came to prominence in the bluegrass and acoustic world with his book, Bluegrass in Baltimore: The Hard Drivin’ Sound & Its Legacy, published in 2015. He reached out to the Salmon several years ago about a book on their storied career, and has completed many hours of research and interviews in getting the story ready for an audience.
To celebrate and promote the book, Leftover Salmon will embark on a Stories From The Living Room tour starting in late January, which will feature a segment with the guys on stage in a sitting room setting, talking about the book and the long road from ’89 to ’19.
Details on the tour can be found online, including the run of shows on and leading up to their New Year’s Eve bash in San Rafael, CA.
Pre-orders for Leftover Salmon: Thirty Years of Festival can be placed online as well.