Former Leftover Salmon mandolin player brings summer series to a close
Drew Emmitt has come a long way since the “polyethnic Cajun slamgrass” days of Leftover Salmon, but one thing has remained constant in his unique style of music.Call it newgrass. Call it hippiegrass. Call it jammgrass. Call it what you want, but what it comes down to is good, old bluegrass pickin’ at its best.And talk about going out with a bang, as the last installment of the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities Summer of Music concert series features the Drew Emmitt Band at 6:30 p.m. Saturday on the Fourth Street plaza.As a singer, songwriter and instrument-bending mandolin player, Emmitt, along with Leftover Salmon, symbolized bluegrass innovation when they took the music scene by storm in the early ’90s. Emmitt is now looking back to his roots.After beginning his musical career in Nashville, Emmitt moved to Boulder and founded the progressive bluegrass ensemble The Left Hand String Band in 1984. Six years later, Vince Herman’s serendipitous scramble for musicians to fill in a gig with his SalmonHeads yielded Leftover Salmon. During those years, Emmitt’s mandolin prowess and songwriting gifts were two particular sources of the group’s success. His technical innovations, however, have never overshadowed his pure voice and heartfelt lyrics.In July, Emmitt’s second solo recording effort, “Across the Bridge,” was released. The three core musicians of the group come together as a band with a strong foundation and reach out to every type of bluegrass fan.Opening for the Drew Emmitt Band at 5:30 p.m. will be Acoustic Mayhem, a group of valley musicians who play an eclectic blend of folk, acoustic and bluegrass.Following the concert at dusk will be the slideshow of this summer’s Carbondale Mountain Fair, which was rained out on Sunday night of the Fair. Also, some lucky Mountain Fair volunteer will win the Fat Tire Cruiser in CCAH’s special volunteer prize drawing. If you volunteered and haven’t entered the drawing, call CCAH at 963-1680.Also on tap musically in Carbondale this weekend is a two-nighter at Steve’s Guitars, featuring husband-and-wife duo Jan Garrett and J.D. Martin on Friday, followed by the danceable tunes of Room 8 on Saturday. Both shows start at 8:30 p.m. Friday admission is $12, and Saturday is $10 at the door.The Black Nugget Saloon and the Hurricane Grille also feature their usual weekend fare of afternoon and late-night music through the weekend.
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