Event Info
Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon tickets at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison
Jul
14
Fri
Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison, CO - 6:00 PM Ages: All Ages

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97.3 KBCO Presents

Red Rocks Amphitheatre
18300 West Alameda Parkway
Morrison, CO 80465
Fri, Jul 14, 2017 - 6:00PM
Ages: All Ages
Doors Open: 5:30 PM
Door Price: $50.00
Onsale: Fri, Jan 27, 2017 - 10:00AM MDT

Bio: Railroad Earth

There’s a great scene in The Last Waltz – the documentary about The Band’s final concert – where director Martin Scorsese is discussing music with drummer/singer/mandolin player Levon Helm. Helm says, “If it mixes with rhythm, and if it dances, then you’ve got a great combination of all those different kinds of music: country, bluegrass, blues music, show music…”

To which Scorsese, the inquisitive interviewer, asks, “What’s it called, then?"

“Rock & roll!”

Clearly looking for a more specific answer, but realizing that he isn’t going to get one, Marty laughs. “Rock & roll…”

Well, that’s the way it is sometimes: musicians play music, and don’t necessarily worry about where it gets filed. It’s the writers, record labels, managers, etc., who tend to fret about what “kind” of music it is.

And like The Band, the members of Railroad Earth aren’t losing sleep about what “kind” of music they play – they just play it. When they started out in 2001, they were a bunch of guys interested in playing acoustic instruments together. As Railroad Earth violin/vocalist Tim Carbone recalls, “All of us had been playing in various projects for years, and many of us had played together in different projects. But this time, we found ourselves all available at the same time.”

Songwriter/lead vocalist Todd Sheaffer continues, “When we started, we only loosely had the idea of getting together and playing some music. It started that informally; just getting together and doing some picking and playing. Over a couple of month period, we started working on some original songs, as well as playing some covers that we thought would be fun to play.”

Shortly thereafter, they took five songs from their budding repertoire into a studio and knocked out a demo in just two days. Their soon-to-be manager sent that demo to a few festivals, and – to the band’s surprise – they were booked at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival before they’d even played their first gig. This prompted them to quickly go in and record five more songs; the ten combined tracks of which made up their debut album, “The Black Bear Sessions.”

That was the beginning of Railroad Earth’s journey: since those early days, they’ve gone on to release five more critically acclaimed studio albums and one hugely popular live one called, “Elko.” They’ve also amassed a huge and loyal fanbase who turn up to support them in every corner of the country, and often take advantage of the band’s liberal taping and photo policy. But Railroad Earth bristle at the notion of being lumped into any one “scene.” Not out of animosity for any other artists: it’s just that they don’t find the labels very useful. As Carbone points out, “We use unique acoustic instrumentation, but we’re definitely not a bluegrass or country band, which sometimes leaves music writers confused as to how to categorize us. We’re essentially playing rock on acoustic instruments.”

Ultimately, Railroad Earth’s music is driven by the remarkable songs of front-man, Todd Sheaffer, and is delivered with seamless arrangements and superb musicianship courtesy of all six band members. As mandolin/bouzouki player John Skehan points out, “Our M.O. has always been that we can improvise all day long, but we only do it in service to the song. There are a lot of songs that, when we play them live, we adhere to the arrangement from the record. And other songs, in the nature and the spirit of the song, everyone knows we can kind of take flight on them.” Sheaffer continues: “The songs are our focus, our focal point; it all starts right there. Anything else just comments on the songs and gives them color. Some songs are more open than others. They ‘want’ to be approached that way – where we can explore and trade musical ideas and open them up to different territories. But sometimes it is what the song is about.”

So: they can jam with the best of them and they have some bluegrass influences, but they use drums and amplifiers (somewhat taboo in the bluegrass world). What kind of music is it then? Mandolin/vocalist John Skehan offers this semi-descriptive term: “I always describe it as a string band, but an amplified string band with drums.” Tim Carbone takes a swing: “We’re a Country & Eastern band! ” Todd Sheaffer offers “A souped-up string band? I don’t know. I’m not good at this.” Or, as a great drummer/singer/mandolin player with an appreciation for Americana once said: “Rock & roll!”

Bio: Leftover Salmon

The sound of Colorado's legendary Leftover Salmon is unmistakable: fluid, loose-limbed, and simultaneously rootsy and daring. Fusing an unrivaled improvisational fervor to a dizzying combination of bluegrass, Cajun, funk, Southern rock, boogie, Caribbean, Latin, and jazz influences, Leftover Salmon has earned a legion of diehard fans, critical accolades, and a reputation as one of the most exciting, engaging concert experiences to ever hit the road.

The origins of Leftover Salmon are as intriguing as their name. The group was born in Boulder, Colorado in 1989, as the result of a merger between Vince Herman (from Cajun/Calypso/jugband The Salmonheads) and Drew Emmitt and Mark Vann (of progressive bluegrass Left Hand String Band.) 2003 saw the band take part in a critically acclaimed tour with bluegrass giants the Del McCoury Band and released an album with the rock band Cracker titled O' Cracker Where Art Thou?, release on David Lowey's Pitch A Tent label. Similarly, the band can play both folk and rock festivals, and they've performed in elegant theaters and in grungy rock clubs.

Leftover Salmon is the rare band with a broad enough sound and a large enough repertoire to shape its set list to fit any crowd and any venue. 2007, 27 months after it's last performance, a press release from the band stated that it would return that summer for a handful of reunion shows. The line up was that same as it was when it ended in 2004 with the exception of Jeff Sipe. Jeff who was the bands long time drummer had left in 2000 to pursue other career options. Jeff rounded out the line up that would perform a few summer festivals and grace the stage of the bands famous home state venue Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The first unofficial performance took place at the Telluride Bluegrass festival on June 24 billed as Drew Emmitt, Vince Herman and Friends. With downloads available of all the 2007 summer performances and two Colorado holiday dates announced around New Years the bands future is still uncertain, but by no means over. Stay tuned as these musicians will surly be playing music in some format for years to come.

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