April 10, 2008
Interview by Scott Preston
Photo Credits: Robert Massie, Susan J Weiand, Scott Preston
Drew Emmitt, the dynamic lead singer and mandolin player with the popular jamband Leftover Salmon, is a true renaissance man on musical instruments. Playing mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar, he's a string man to be reckoned with. He excels in unique energy driven mandolin licks and his influences include a pantheon of musical heroes including Lowell George, Steve Morse, Duane Allman, John Cowan, Bill Monroe, Sam Bush, Hot Rize and New Grass Revival.
Emmitt's dedication and love for music have helped him become one of our nation's top mandolin players. Beyond his own success, Emmitt has remained a fan as well. On joining his biggest influences on stage he said, "It's amazing. It's like walking in a dream. For years I had this dream of standing on stage next to them and having a good time. And it's happened. Standing on stage next to Sam Bush is pretty indescribable. And David Grisman as well. When Neil Young walked on stage, that was outrageous. I turned around, and there he was standing 6 inches away from me. I looked right at his eyes. Then having him actually sing on a song that I wrote? Pretty amazing."
The Boulder based quintet of Leftover Salmon has been a force in the Colorado music scene for over a decade. With Freedom Ride, Drew Emmitt is becoming a force to be reckoned with himself.
Cincy Groove: So how did you and Bill Nershi end up playing together?
Drew Emmitt: I have known Billy for 20 years. He had a duo in Telluride, with this woman Eliza Oxnard. Billy used to come see us when we played there with Leftover Salmon. He would sit in with us and this was all before String Cheese Incident existed. Leftover Salmon has toured with String Cheese and we have played festivals together over the years. Billy and I always had more of the bluegrass roots out of both bands. String Cheese had me come on board to do a couple shows with them a few years ago. Billy and I ended up playing together a lot and talking about maybe putting together a bluegrass band, just for fun. At that point String Cheese Incident was still going.
Read the full Interview here