CD Review – "Aquatic Hitchhiker" by Leftover Salmon


Written by Bill Whiting

Boulder Colorado’s favorite sons, Leftover Salmon, return with the beguiling masterwork, Aquatic Hitchhiker on LoS Records. Since their formation in 1989, Leftover Salmon has been in the forefront of the jamgrass movement, creating memorable recordings and legendary live concerts. Aquatic Hitchhiker is one of their very best projects, full of sweet harmony laced compositions, and instrumentally diverse passages. Each song is a keeper on Aquatic Hitchhiker, from the deep southern leanings of “Gulf of Mexico” to the glistening, improvisational title track to the cajun seasonings of the fiery “Bayou Town.” Each member truly shines throughout, and Andy Thorn’s banjo lines rip up the frenetic, jazz inflected bursts on “Aquatic Hitchhiker.” Jose Martinez’s challenging drum fills combine with Greg Garrison’s fluid bass underpinnings to propel Leftover Salmon’s rhythmic foundation forward on “Keep  Driving.”  Drew Emmitt is one of the finest musicians alive on mandolin, fiddle and electric guitar, and his high lonesome vocals color the spicy shades of “Bayou Town.” Vince Herman is another iconic figure on guitar, and his sharply crooning delivery of “Liza” is priceless. Whether the listener is transported to the joyously camped out, and revelatory turns of “Sing Up to the Moon,” or the pensive, expanding jams behind “Light Behind the Rain,” Aquatic Hitchhiker places Leftover Salmon in a league all their own, and grants their followers an incredible disc for the ages. Highly recommended.