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Ask the Fish - Live

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Album Review

Among the better second generation of jam bands, Leftover Salmon has made their odorous and fishy name playing energetic live sets that highlight their "polyethnic Cajun slamgrass" aesthetic. This first live album goes a long way toward explaining the band's popularity with a growing fan base. Skillfully hopping from genre to genre, often within a single song, the band plays with the muscle that a lot of noodling jam bands lack. There's also an ever-present sense of humor — part Holy Modal Rounders, part John Hartford, part MAD magazine — that's as fractured as the band's good-time hippie sound. Standout tracks include the extended title tune, the bluegrass standard "Reuben's Train," a reggae-fied "When the Levee Breaks," and the Caribbean-flavored "Jokester." A fun introduction to a bunch of Colorado boys who sound like they're having a great time doing things their own weird way.


Formed: 1989 in Boulder, CO

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

In their first quarter-century together, Colorado-based jamgrass pioneers Leftover Salmon have enjoyed substantial success as a touring act, becoming an influential anchor of the jam band scene with their string-led mix of bluegrass, rock, Cajun, and other American roots traditions. Formed in 1989 in the college town of Boulder, they were born out of a merger between two local acts, the Salmon Heads and the Left Hand String Band. The initial chemistry of that early lineup solidified the longtime...
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