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Deep Roots Mountain Revival Festival on Marvin’s Mountaintop (Sept 15-18)

Deep Roots Mountain Revival Festival
Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown, WV
September 15 – 18, 2016

Deep Roots Mountain Revival Festival is proud to announce the daily performance schedule for its inaugural music and arts festival on September 15-18, 2016. Top-tier bluegrass, jam band, rock and country acts will convene on the legendary Marvin’s Mountaintop in Masontown, WV, the original site for the All Good Festival. Performing on Thursday, September 15th, is jam band pioneer Melvin Seals and the JGB and more. On Friday, September 16th the dynamic and genre-defying Greensky Bluegrass performs, along with outlaw country music and southern rocker Shooter Jennings with Waymore’s Outlaws; Love and Theft; Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives; Cabinet and more. On Saturday, September 17th, slam grass virtuosos Leftover Salmon are joined by grassroots phenomenon Blackberry Smoke; The David Grisman Sextet; Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder; Rising Appalachia and more. Sunday, September 18th, features country music favorites Jamey Johnson; Corey Smith; The Marcus King Band and more. A full daily schedule can be found on the Deep Roots Mountain Revival website at www.mountainrevival.com.

Deep Roots offers a full schedule of community-building, family-friendly activities and events. Kids and their guardians are encouraged to visit the Family Activity Zone featuring scheduled events including yoga, hula hooping, instrument making, a t-shirt tie dye station, art and nature encounters. On Saturday, September 17th, shuttles will be available from the festival grounds to the Hovatter’s Zoo. Adults are also encouraged to play like kids with daily yoga sessions, paintball, a cornhole tournament, nature hikes and mountain bike tours. A schedule of activities can be found by visiting www.mountainrevival.com/kids-activities/.

The festival will donate $3 from all purchases of 3-day passes to the United Way of Southern West Virginia to support flood relief efforts. The recent flooding left many West Virginia communities in dire need of help. Deep Roots Mountain Revival in partnership with the United Way of Southern WV is committed to long term flood recovery. General Admission Tier One tickets are currently available for $150 for 3-day passes and $180 for Thursday early arrival tickets. On August 1st, GA tickets increase to Tier 2 prices, $165 and $195 respectively. VIP tickets are available for $570 per person. All VIP ticket packages include early entry; catered meals; access to premiere viewing areas at all stages with beer and wine; access to private bathrooms and showers; VIP camping sites; VIP lounge access; discounts on festival grounds beer; and a stainless steel souvenir mug. Tickets can be purchased at www.mountainrevival.com/tickets.

For more information on the Deep Roots Mountain Revival Festival, visitwww.mountainrevival.com.

WHAT: DEEP ROOTS MOUNTAIN REVIVAL FESTIVAL
WHEN: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2016
WHERE: MARVIN’S MOUNTAINTOP IN MASONTOWN, WV
TICKETS: Tier 1 General Admission 3-Day $150 (on sale now) // GA + Thursday Early Arrival $180 (on sale now) // VIP $570 (on sale now) // Tier 2 General Admission 3-Day $150 (on sale starting August 1) // GA + Thursday Early Arrival $180 (on sale starting August 1)
PURCHASE TICKETS: www.mountainrevival.com/tickets
FESTIVAL WEBSITE: http://www.mountainrevival.com

ABOUT THE UNITED WAY OF SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA
The United Way of Southern WV is committed to long term flood recovery, along with The United Way of Greenbrier Valley and The United Way of Central WV. 100% of proceeds donated to the flood relief effort will be used to help our communities repair their infrastructure, to return to normal life as quickly as possible, as well as provide long-term support to the region. Our sincere thanks to Deep Roots Mountain Revival for their generosity, their confidence, and their trust in our organizations. We promise to combine your gift with others to deliver long-term solutions for southern West Virginia’s people in need. Thank you for investing in Southern West Virginia! More information can be found here www.mountainrevival.com/partners/united-way-flood-relief-campaign/ Continue reading Deep Roots Mountain Revival Festival on Marvin’s Mountaintop (Sept 15-18)

Huck Finn Jubilee Bluegrass Festival 2016

Huck Finn Jubilee 2016
June 10-12
40th Anniversary
Ontario, CA
Photographer: Allen Erwin

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Huck Finn Jubilee

Huck Finn Jubille

Ontario, California

June 10 – 12, 2015

Featuring sets from Bela Fleck, Sierra Hull, Hot Rize, Del McCoury Band, Steep Canyon Rangers, Ricky Skaggs & The Kentucky Thunder, Steve Martin, Jeff Austin Band, Railroad Earth, Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, The Infamous Stringdusters, Keller Williams’ Grateful Grass, Greensky Bluegrass, and Leftover Salmon.  

DAY 1

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn 01 Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn 02 Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn 03 Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn 04 Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn 05 Del McCoury Band 01 Del McCoury Band 02 Del McCoury Band 03 Del McCoury Band 04 Del McCoury Band 05 Del McCoury Band 06 Del McCoury Band 07 Hot Rize 01 Hot Rize 02 Hot Rize 03 Hot Rize 04 Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers 01 Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers 02 Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers 03 Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers 04 Sierra Hull 01 Sierra Hull 02 Sierra Hull 03

DAY 2

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DAY 3

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2015 DelFest Preview

Delfest 2012 Honest Tune-3-2Entering its eighth year, DelFest has firmly established itself as one of the premiere bluegrass Festivals in the Country. Returning to the Allegheny Fairgrounds in Cumberland, MD, with a line-up this year topped by Old Crow Medicine Show, Trampled by Turtles, Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, Jason Isbell, and Greensky Bluegrass, it is again one of the best festival schedules around.  Throw in namesake Del McCoury’s five sets over the weekend (which inlcudes a set with David  Grisman and a Family Jam on Sunday) and you would be hard pressed to find a better four days of music over Memorial Day Weekend this year.

Delfest 14 2As usual DelFest features three stages and will host late-night shows every night.  The three stages are in close proximity and allow easy travel back and forth allowing for maximum music viewing over the weekend.  The four late nights this year will feature Railroad Earth and Larry Keel Thursday, Greensky Bluegrass and Steep Canyon Rangers on Friday, Leftover Salmon and Dead Winter Carpenters on Saturday, and a Sunday night blow-out with The Travelin’ McCourys and Jeff Austin.

 

With a line-up that covers all ends of the bluegrass spectrum – from classic bands like the Seldom Scene, Hot Rize and Del McCoury, to established jam-grass stars Leftover Salmon, Railroad Earth, and Greensky Bluegrass, to bands slightly outside the bluegrass world Trampled by Turtles, Jason Isbell, Otiel Burbridghe & Roosevelt Coolier – DelFest has something for everyone and something new for everyone to discover.  It is a can’t miss event on your festival calendar.  tickets are still available now at: DelFest.com


 

Check out past coverage of DelFest from Honest Tune:

DelFest 2014

DelFest 2013

DelFest 2012

DelFest 2011

 

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Leftover Salmon Spring/ Summer dates

DSCN2584editedLeftover Salmon has announced a slew of dates, including Festival stops, a night in Chicago to kick of the Dead’s Fare The Well Celebration, and a 25th Anniversary Hootenanny in Littleton, CO at the Breckenridge Brewery.

Check out Honest Tune’s recent interview with Vince Herman and Bill Payne:

Interview! Leftover Salmon’s Vince Herman and Billy Payne

 

Leftover Salmon Tour dates:

Mar 26 St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House

Mar 27 St. Louis, MO – Old Rock House

Mar 28 Nashville, TN – The Cannery Ballroom

Mar 29 McMinnville, TN – Bluegrass Underground

Mar 31 Bowling Green, KY – The Warehouse at Mt. Victor

 

Apr 02 Flagstaff, AZ – The Orpheum Theater

Apr 03 Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom

Apr 04 Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up Tavern

Apr 06 Chico, CA – Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Apr 07 San Rafael, CA – Terrapin Crossroads (Sold Out)

Apr 08 San Rafael, CA – Terrapin Crossroads

Apr 09 San Rafael, CA – Terrapin Crossroads

Apr 10 Crystal Bay, NV – Crystal Bay Casino

Apr 11 Crystal Bay, NV – Crystal Bay Club

Apr 17 Live Oak, FL – Wanee Festival

Apr 18 Charleston, SC – Spring Jam

Apr 19 Black Mountain, NC – Pisgah Brewing Co.

Apr 20 Charlotte, NC – Visulite Theatre

Apr 29 New Orleans, LA – Oak Street Block Party

Apr 30 New Orleans, LA – Tipitina’s (Uptown)

 

May 02 Austin, TX – Derby in the City

May 22 Evans, GA – Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que Music Festival

May 23 Cumberland, MD – DelFest

May 24 Cumberland, MD – DelFest

 

Jun 14 Ontario, CA – Huck Finn Jubilee

Jun 18-21 Telluride, CO – Telluride Bluegrass Festival

Jun 24 Owensboro, KY – ROMP

 

Jul 01 Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest

Jul 02 Chicago, IL – Park West

Jul 11-12 Courtenay, Canada – Vancouver Island Musicfest

Jul 18 Littleton, CO – Breckenridge Brewery’s Hootenanny

Jul 22-26 Floyd, VA – FloydFest

 

 

Aug 08 Liberty, PA – Bear’s Picnic

Sep 18 North Adams, MA – FreshGrass Music Festival

Interview! Leftover Salmon’s Vince Herman and Billy Payne

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Words and Images by Tim Newby

 

This New Year’s Eve Leftover Salmon celebrated twenty-five years as a band.  In that time they have established themselves as true-leaders of the jam-grass scene with their influential and unique mix of sounds and styles that has branded them as a truly special one-of-a-kind band that is beyond description.  For many bands entering their 25th year they seem to be on cruise control, coasting towards retirement.  But Leftover Salmon is not one of those bands.  Since their return from a brief three-year hiatus from 2004-2007 following the death of founding member and banjo picker extraordinaire Mark Vann, the band has been anything but coasting.  The addition of Andy Thorn in 2010 on banjo seemed to push the band to new, exciting,  innovative heights.  The release of the 2012 album, Aquatic Hitchhiker, only confirmed this.

 

As the band enters its 25th year it continues to reach brand new heights and never seems to rest on past achievements.  Much like the addition of Thorn  a few years prior, a new band member added in 2014, legendary keyboardist Billy Payne from Little Feat, heralded new musical  peaks for a band that only seems to be getting better with age.  Following the addition of Payne, Leftover Salmon released their eighth album, High Country.

 

Following the release of their newest album Leftover Salmon founder, guitarist and singer Vince Herman, and newest addition Billy Payne checked in with Honest Tune to discuss the band’s twenty-five years, the addition of Payne, their newest album, and what the future holds for Leftover Salmon.

 

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Honest Tune: Thanks for checking in with us, what have you been up to lately?

Vince Herman: Playing music. [laughs} If they weren’t paying us for this I would be out doing it anyway. It has been almost twenty-five years, it will be twenty-five years this New Years. We are just ridiculously and incredibly lucky that we have been doing this for long and we have played with many of the good kind of people. Now we got Bill Payne in the band. He is one of the most recorded keyboardists in rock n roll.

 

HT: How did it come about to have Bill join the band full time?

 VH: He produced a record of ours (2004’s Leftover Salmon) right before we went on hiatus. We had a great relationship with him and we did a bunch of shows with Little Feat. I have been going to Jamaica to the last five or six years to be part of the Little Feat fan fest. We have just played music in a bunch of different situations with Bill and we have good friendship and camaraderie on a number of different levels. He is a great writer and he is a good guy to sit around with on the bus.

DSCN2593editedBill Payne: I worked on a record with them. I produced a record for them that followed the concerts in tribute to Mark Vann. Paul Barrere and I were both part of those gigs. It was a bunch of people. It is a small enough world. Dave Miller was the monitor engineer at those shows and he had worked with Little Feat so there are just a lot of connections that happens with bands.

The guys got in touch with me a few years about playing a gig in Laramie, Wyoming. Andy Hall was playing, Sam Bush, and a couple of other folks and they asked me to play and I said sure I will play. So we kind of hit it off there. From there it just sort of blossomed into a gig about a year ago at Thanksgiving. I played with them in Boulder for two nights and then they asked if I wanted to go to Mexico with them (for Strings & Sol 2013). I said sure. Then I started doing dates regularly around New Years with them.

I just think they are a great band and the way these things work is I know I bring my own stamp in, but it works both ways. Leftover Salmon is a wonderful group of musicians and I love their material. They have three really great singers in Vince, Drew, and Andy. I can sing too. So we are really opening up what we can do. I think Vince recognized the best way to see what we could do would be to just ask me to join the band.

 

 

DSCN2611editedHT: I was at those shows in Mexico and it really worked.  I think you are such a natural fit with Salmon.  There are so many similarities that can be drawn between Little Feat and Leftover Salmon. Was there any thought at that time on your part that you might like to join full time?

BP: The thought had crossed all of our minds I’m pretty sure. I kind of held off because I wanted to see how everything would fit. I think I said why don’t we just consider that we are dating and took it in that direction. There is no rush. Little Feat is not doing anything right now. We might be in Jamaica in March. I am hoping Paul Barrere is healthy enough to make it down with us.

 

HT: What does Bill bring to the band that’s different?

VH: It is really cool to see our rhythm section go off on these improvs with Bill and go somewhere that Drew and Andy and I could never lead and Bill can. His vocabulary is so ridiculously large and when he improvises he can go absolutely anywhere. Those improvs are something that I don’t think the band has hit so consistently.

 

HT: Bill, what has it been like for you to join these guys?

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BP: I liken playing with these guys to being in the middle of a lake., and you are on your water-skis and you are going to be pulled out of the water at a moment’s notice by the world’s fastest boat so you better just hang on. That is how it is playing with these cats. They can play just about anything. Alwyn Robinson on drums and Greg Garrison on bass, those two cats as far as their musicianship and being able to take it to a lot of different places whether on a jazz level or other areas makes it a great experience for all us. Drew is phenomenal with his mandolin, guitar, and violin playing. Each and every one of these cats on their own is very strong. It reminds me of Little Feat in that regard because that was the way we were as a band. We were all pretty strong in our respective areas as well. And I think that’s what really makes a great group and enables them to generate a lot of momentum.

 

HT: Vince, it must be great to bring in someone who has such a large musical vocabulary and can speak so many musical languages.

VH: Yeah, you know we think it’s a pretty good fit. {laughs} He has really unique things to add. I just feel lucky as hell that I play with these cats, Drew and Andy, and all the guys that have been in the band over the years. I have a personal philosophy to always be the worst player in your band. It has worked for me.

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BP: [laughs} Vince is a wonderful player. He is just such a diamond in the rough. He is in a very good place to discover who he is. He knows who is, but he is still in that place of not quite believing he can play the guitar. He never comes off like he is shy, but when you play in this band you better be ready to step up. The rhythm section he has is a very good cushion, maybe better than what he had before.   I think that’s what we are doing now. It’s the dichotomy of feeling comfort and going to comfort zones, but still challenging each other. And that’s what keeps bands together for a good length of time. And it’s what keeps bands and their audience on a level where they keep progresses together, and are able to see it grow which makes it exciting for everyone.

 

HT: Is Bill on the new record (High Country, released November 2014)?

 VH: Yeah Bill is on the new record.

 

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HT: Did he contribute any songs?

VH: Just one called “Bluegrass Pines.” He wrote it with Robert Hunter. He has been writing with Robert Hunter lately.

BP: It’s like a lot of stuff I would do with Little Feat. Robert does the lyrics and I do the music and the melody. He is such a wonderful cat to write with.

 

HT: How was the approach to High Country? Any different than what you have done in the past?

VH: On this one we wrote some tunes together, mostly though we each kind of each showed up with tunes. The next album is going to be real New Orleans-centric. I think it will be more of a concept. Whereas High Country there is a thread running through it still has a whole lot of variety of ideas and topics running through it. It is definitely a Salmon record.

 

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HT: And Salmon records are always a party. You guys seem to really be enjoying what you are doing right now and the addition of Bill seems to have invigorated you even more.

 VH: Yeah we are really psyched about the new record, High Country. We might also have a live release coming out soon. And then we are going to go to New Orleans to work on a new record and we are starting to write for that now. Writing with Bill is a really fun process.

 

HT: Will that new album be out this year?

 VH: No, we will try and record it in the fall so it will probably be 2016. I guess I bring it up because we are fired up as we look down the road and we are making these cool plans. We got a trip to Hawaii going on. We are going to Alaska, Strings and Sol in Mexico. Ski tour in the winter. Then we start festival stuff up. It’s pretty exciting to be going into year twenty-five and have so much to do. It is a good place to be.

 

los6475HT: Besides the lineup of the band what do you think has changed for you over the last twenty-five years, Vince?

VH: There have been so many different phases of this band that I have liked. I started playing with Drew when I was just out of college. It was pretty footloose and hippie van when we first started. There was my first marriage and then there was another marriage. You go through all these periods of your life and somehow the band kept going constantly right through them all. It has changed a lot over that time. We used to do a five or six week tour. I can’t imagine doing that now. At one point we were playing like 230-240 shows a year.

 

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HT: As a band you seem to be in a really good place, you can go where you want, when you want, and be the life of the party at every festival you go to. At this point twenty-five years in is there anyone you still look to as an idol or whose career you look to emulate?

 VH: Probably Lorde. {laughs} It’s like wow she’s 17. I guess Tim Obrien comes to mind. He was my inspiration to move from West Virginia to Colorado in the early eighties to see Hot Rize and be part of that bluegrass scene. Tim has always been an inspiration to me. You find your musical niche that you love playing and bluegrass was that niche for me. You don’t make Lady Gaga money in bluegrass but you can have a long career in this music. It’s not like you are burnt out with the audience because of over exposure.

 

 

HT: And bluegrass fans are very faithful.

 VH: They are. And I love what John Hartford said, “If bluegrass music was any more popular I would have to play it to people I don’t even know.”

 

 

Watch Leftover Salmon celebrate 25 years at the Vic Theatre in Chicago 12/13/14

 

 

 

 

Leftover Salmon expand winter tour

DSCN2584editedLeftover Salmon have added dates in February and March of next year to their already announced Fall and Winter tour dates.  Previous dates included a visit to the Hangtown Halloween Ball October 25, a two-night run in Boulder Colorado, a return visit to Strings & Sol in Mexico, and a New Year’s Eve run at the Vic Theatre in Chicago.  New dates will see the band make stops in Montana and Idaho before returning to their home-state of Colorado for a lengthy run of shows.  All shows will feature new band member Billy Payne from Little Feat.

 

Leftover Salmon’s new album, High Country, will be released November 28.

 

The band played the title track from the upcoming album during their recent show at the Ryman Auditorium.


PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED:

10/25   Hangtown Halloween Ball                   Placerville, CA

11/28   Boulder Theater                                   Boulder, CO

11/29   Boulder Theater                                   Boulder, CO

12/11   Strings & Sol (12/11-15)                    Puerto Morelos, MEX

12/30   Vic Theatre                                          Chicago, IL

12/31   Vic Theatre                                          Chicago, IL

1/2       Alyeska Resort/The Sitzmark              Girdwood, AK

1/3       Alyeska Resort/The Sitzmark              Girdwood, AK

1/8       Charley’s Saloon                                Pala, HI

1/9       Charley’s Saloon                                Pala, HI

1/10     The Mill House at Maui Tropical Plantation   Wailuku, HI

1/11     The Mill House at Maui Tropical Plantation   Wailuku, HI

 

NEWLY ADDED DATES:

 

2/5       Big Sky Big Grass                              Big Sky, MT

2/6       Knotty Pine                                         Victor, ID

2/7       Knotty Pine                                         Victor, ID

2/8       Big Sky Big Grass                              Big Sky, MT

2/11     The Top Hat                                        Missoula, MT

2/13     Knitting Factory                                  Boise, ID

2/14     Park City Live                                     Park City, UT

2/17     Animas City Theatre                            Durango, CO

2/18     Animas City Theatre                            Durango, CO

2/19     Sheridan Opera House                        Telluride, CO

2/20     Sheridan Opera House                        Telluride, CO

2/21     WinterWonderGrass                           Avon, CO ***

2/22     WinterWonderGrass                           Avon, CO ***

3/13     The Stanley Hotel                                Estes Park, CO

3/14     The Stanley Hotel                                Estes Park, CO

3/15     The Stanley Hotel                                Estes Park, CO

 

 

A Bigger Tent: Jams & Mississippians Make A Mark at Americana Fest

Americana Music Festival & Conference Award Show - Show, Audience & Backstage
Valerie June appeared at the Americana Music Association Awards show. Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty images

For the most well attended event in it’s 13-year history last week in Nashville, the Americana Music Association’s Conference and Festival succeeded in large part due to the broadening of its tent, and a sense of inclusivity that has eluded the organization and its events in the past.

When it began, the Americana Music Association sought to codify a style of roots and country music that was thriving outside of the Nashville mainstream of manufactured pop acts. It was an attempt by the music industry to redefine alt-country (whatever that is) and roots music under one umbrella. Under their auspices, they created a new radio chart, and a new but necessarily vague genre that would help artists reach their audiences via radio play, publicity and record sales. An industry event from the get-go.

But over the past 13 years, the effort has at times seemed insular—the same artists, most of them coming from the same sincere songwriting school of the folk music world, or from what was then called alt-country, populating the showcases and awards ceremony year after year. A little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n roll, with a dash of bluegrass and a healthy dose of folk. That approach eschewed otherwise valid musical forms that fit their mission statement. Blues, for example, was relegated to one or two artists, save for the blues elements that seeped into everyone’s music. Gospel was unheard of. And in the land of the tightly constructed and serious as hell three-minute songs, the word “jam” was virtually verboten.

But this year, the event kicked off with Leftover Salmon performing at the Ryman Auditorium with a slew of guests on hand to celebrate the anniversary of their Nashville Sessions recording, which came out in 1999. That record featured a who’s who of Nashville talent who joined in to celebrate that band’s country and bluegrass roots— the same roots that they synthesized into their self-styled “Poly-Ethnic Cajun Slamgrass” style. Poly-ethnic Cajun Slamgrass? As perpetual awards show host Jim Lauderdale would say, “Now that’s Americana!”

So it was fitting that this band, a mainstay of the jamband circuit since it was a thing, would help to establish the inclusivity of the weekend. On stage with them, there was Taj Mahal bringing the house down.  There was mandolin wizard Sam Bush, blazing and leading a trio of mandolin players. There was former Little Feat keyboardist and new band member Bill Payne. There was Widespread Panic’s lead singer John Bell belting out “Nobody’s Fault But Mine.” Other guests ranged from bluegrass legends like Del McCoury to jamband godfather Col. Bruce Hampton.

This collaborative affair set the tone for the awards show the following night, and for the next five nights of artist showcases in different music clubs around town. The tent was all of a sudden bigger.

Despite the sometimes narrow atmosphere, the Americana tent has been an ever expanding one that ebbs and flows to bring in, and sometimes shun, certain artists. It’s a fluid term, not a strict genre.

The Leftover Salmon example exuded into the rest of the weekend, with the event showcasing artists who represent the jammier side of the equation and also expanded the “membership” by parading more musicians coming from outside of the realms of folk and country music to include more blues, gospel, and latino music.

It helped that Ry Cooder, who has long been a champion of varied forms of Americana music and what could come to be known as world music, was a part of the stellar house band that also included Buddy Miller and Don Was.

Americana Music Festival & Conference Award Show - Show, Audience & Backstage
Taj Mahal. Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

What also helped was the inclusion of two lifetime achievement award winners. With renowned accordionist Flaco Jimenez the association rightly brought Latin styles like tejano and conjunto into the fold. Taj Mahal provided the most rousing song of the night, showing that his lifetime of blending blues with forms from around the world belongs in the Americana tent. Given this broader palette, tunes like “Coal Miner’s Daughter” performed by the Loretta Lynn were afforded even more gravity, a stronger pillar due to the additional support whereas it might have been just “old Nashville” in another setting.

Other guests that night included Jackson Browne, Robert Plant singing along with Patty Griffin, soul sounds from St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Sturgill Simpson bringing his psychedelic infused update of outlaw country music to the fore, Valerie June and her bluesy twang, and of course Jason Isbell, who swept the awards by winning best song, best album and best artist of the year.

Part of the insular nature of the event in the past has been its tendency to focus on the Nashville and Austin contingent. That’s natural, because those two locales, each of which loves to claim the “music city” title, are home to the most of the industry players who make up the organization—the record companies, publicists, managers, and yes, a lot of the artists.

This year, though, it didn’t seem so polarizing. Musicians from Mississippi, in particular, made a major impact.

Meridian, Miss. native Jimmie Rodgers was honored at the awards ceremony with the President’s award, presented by Philadelphia, Miss. native Marty Stuart. Stuart proudly showed off a lantern that had once belonged to Rodgers.  Tupelo, Miss. native Paul Thorn gave an impassioned speech lauding Mississippi artists that same night.

The next night featured a showcase entirely dedicated to Mississippi artists. Sharde Thomas and the Rising Star Fife & Drum Band showed that ancient grooves were still alive and well, and safe in her stead. Then 83-year old Leo “Bud” Welch brought downhome gospel blues that seared with authenticity. Luther Dickinson performed solo, but brought out Thomas to play drums for much of the set. Later T-Model Ford’s grandson Stud did the same. Dickinson has made his mark as lead guitarist for the North Mississippi Allstars and one-time member of the Black Crowes. But lately he’s been delving deeply into producing other artists and has released a pair of solo records, one of them consisting entirely of instrumental tunes. The most recent, Rock n Roll Blues, provided the material for much of the set.

In between songs, Dickinson regaled the audience with stories of growing up with his father, the legendary Jim Dickinson. His set was like a master class in Mississippi music history, as he explained how he learned about music hands-on growing up in a musical family.

Marty Stuart and Webb Wilder (a Hattiesburg, Miss. native, who also served as emcee) turned in their sets before the show closed out with Paul Thorn, who jumped into the crowd to close the showcase with a rousing hug fest among the fans that reached the fevered pitch of a tent revival. It was a showcase that showed almost all of the branches of Americana, that just so happened to come from one state. Blues, rock, country, gospel and folk all bubbled up in the musical stew that night.

 Just as Leftover Salmon infused the week with some improvisational workouts early on, other bands took the stages and sounded like they owed as much to the Grateful Dead as Flatt & Scruggs as well. And that’s only natural; the Dead were “big-tent” Americana long before industry executives cooked up the term.

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Hard Working Americans’ Dave Schools and Todd Snider. Photo by James Martin

Todd Snider’s new band The Hard Working Americans were nominated for Duo or Group of the Year and performed at the awards show. But the real show came later that night at the sprawling Cannery Ballroom. Billed as “Todd Snider and Friends” the group was essentially the Hard Working Americans, sans guitarist Neal Casal. Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools was the guardian of the groove all night, and undoubtedly the instigator for the chooglin jams the collective swept through over the course of an extraordinary long-for-a-showcase set of about an hour. The band’s best tunes were old classics that even in their selection exuded the definition of Americana—Merle Haggard’s “Working Man Blues,” JJ Cale’s “Crazy Mama” and, fitting for the circumstances, Waylon Jennings’ “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?”

Given Snider’s songwriting pedigree, it’s odd that their debut album consists almost entirely of cover tunes. But at times Snider, masked behind large sunglasses and a floppy hat, would gleefully float to the side of the stage and sway and watch his compatriots as they spaced out, seemed as if he’s trying on a new suit himself.

They were joined by special guests too. Vince Herman of, yep, Leftover Salmon joined in for “Georgia On A Fast Train” and former Yonder Mountain String Band mandolinist Jeff Austin furiously added to “Is This Thing Working?” Elizabeth Cook, and her hairdo, sat in all night on background vocals and various percussion instruments.

It was an Americana showcase, but there was…well, dancing! For an audience that is usually satisfied with some vigorous but thoughtful head nodding, to loosen them up  spoke to the fact that Snider and company were doing something right, and that the Americana family is maybe more diverse than once believed.

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Trigger Hippy’s Joan Osborne and Jackie Brown. Photo by James Martin

In the same space a few nights later, the unfortunately named but fantastic anyway Trigger Hippy brought similar rootsy blues jams to the stage. Fronted by Joan Osborne and guitarist/keyboardist Jackie Greene, Trigger Hippy hit some of the same notes—loose limbed roots rock with notes of blues and country. In other words, Americana. That Osborne has toured with The Dead and Greene has played with Phil Lesh and The Black Crowes was evident as the band was as comfortable creating space as recreating songs, and they even belted out a Grateful Dead cover with a rousing “Sugaree.”

There were of course lots of singer-songwriters on hand, a few really good bluegrass bands, some earnest roots rockers. Those folks were already in the family. But to allow some of the freakier cousins a seat at the table was a welcome accomplishment for this year’s fest.

 

 

 

Leftover Salmon announce tour dates

DSCN2584editedFollowing their return to the Ryman Auditorium, which included the inauguration of new full-time member Billy Payne on keys, Leftover Salmon have announced tour dates for the fall as well as their first dates of 2015.

The band will also be making a return stop at this year’s Strings & Sol December 11-15, again being held in Puerto Morales, Mexico.

 

 

 

 

Leftover Salmon Tour Dates:

9/26 Fri – The National – Richmond, VA ~

9/27 Sat – Watermelon Park Fest (9/25-27) – Berryville, VA

9/28 Sun – Mauch Chunk Opera House – Jim Thorpe, PA

10/02 Thu – Arcata Theatre – Arcata, CA !

10/03 Fri – Arcata Theatre – Arcata, CA !

10/04 Sat – The Independent – San Francisco, CA %

10/05 Sun – The Independent – San Francisco, CA %

10/07 Tue – Applegate Lodge – Applegate, OR

10/08 Wed – Applegate Lodge – Applegate, OR

10/09 Thu – WOW Hall – Eugene, OR +

10/10 Fri – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR +

10/11 Sat – Neptune Theatre – Seattle, WA +

10/12 Sun – Wild Buffalo House of Music – Bellingham, WA

10/25 Sat – Hangtown Halloween Ball – Placerville, CA

11/28 Fri – Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO

11/29 Sat – Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO

12/11-15 Thu-Mon – Strings & Sol – Puerto Morelos, Mexico

12/30 Tue – The Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL #

12/31 Wed – The Vic Theatre – Chicago, IL `

1/8 Thu – Charley’s Saloon – Paia, HI

1/9 Fri – Charley’s Saloon – Paia, HI

1/10 Sat – The Mill House at Maui Tropical Plantation – Wailuku, Hawaii

1/11 Sun – The Mill House at Maui Tropical Plantation – Wailuku, Hawaii

3/13 Fri – The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, CO *

3/14 Sat – The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, CO *

3/15 Sun – The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, CO

~ w/  Sunliner (Featuring Travis Book of the Infamous Stringdusters and Sarah Siskind)

+ w/ Kyle Hollingsworth Band

! w/ Absynth Quintet

% Leftover Salmon and Friends

# w/ Keller Williams and More Than a Little

` w/ Keller Williams Solo

* with Sam Bush

For more information, please visit:

http://leftoversalmon.com/site/tour/