Photo credit: John-Ryan Lockman ShowLove Media
Known for their exhilarating live shows and musicianship as well as their eclectic musical tastes, Leftover Salmon has been one of Colorado’s most beloved musical exports, picking up where bands like Little Feat, The Band and The Grateful Dead left off and distilling it into their own potent brew of bluegrass, rock ‘n’ roll, folk, Cajun, soul, zydeco and jazz and blues. Today, they’ve released a Salmonized version of Soundgarden’s 1994 hit, “Black Hole Sun,” the first single from their upcoming Compass Records album, BRAND NEW GOOD OLD DAYS. The song is premiering at American Songwriter magazine along with an interview with band co-founder Vince Herman, who recently relocated to Nashville. BRAND NEW GOOD OLD DAYS will be available digitally, on CD and on limited-edition blood orange vinyl HERE.
The band’s ability to make any song their own is never more evident — the cover features their hyperkinetic musicianship while retaining the emotional impact of the original. Leftover Salmon’s Drew Emmitt says, ““Black Hole Sun” has always intrigued me with its haunting lyrics and very cool chord progression. I also felt like it was appropriate for this crazy time we’re in.”
“Well, we wear flannel shirts, too,” Herman quipped to American Songwriter when asked why they covered the song. “That grunge music is all about flannel shirts. And we’d been wearing flannel shirts for years. That song really came out of left field. Soundgarden is outside of our realm. In looking to do a cover on the record, we thought it would surprise people. It’s a rock ‘n roll bluegrass song, which is kind of what we’re all about.”
Members of Leftover Salmon currently include Herman (vocals, guitar, washboard), Emmitt (vocals, mandolin, fiddle, electric guitar), Greg Garrison (bass, vocals), who also produced the new album, Andy Thorn (banjo electric banjo, vocals) and Alwyn Robinson (drums, vocals), all who contribute songs to the album. This line-up’s diversity and range contribute to the continuing evolution of the band.
BRAND NEW GOOD OLD DAYS also finds the group covering John Hartford (“Category Stomp”) and the late Conway Twitty (“Boogie Grass Band”), all of whom contribute songs to the album.
Leftover Salmon have been considered the architect of what has become known as “jamgrass,” a band that has endured through musical fads and labels to maintain a vibrant, relevant and influential voice in the music world. Over that time, their sound has grown and evolved while staying true to the roots and guiding spirit of the band’s founding members – Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman.
Having collaborated with everyone from the cream of American roots artists (1999’s groundbreaking NASHVILLE SESSIONS) and indie oddballs Cracker, to more recent albums produced by Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin, the group has endured the death of a founding member and line-up changes yet managed to stay true to their fans and their sound.
1. Black Hole Sun
2. Brand New Good Old Days
3. Category Stomp
4. Flyin’ at Night
5. Left Unsung
6. Boogie Grass Band
7. Red Fox Run
10. We’ll Get By