Music » Critics' Picks

SalmonFest

Friday-Sunday, June 29-July 1; Black River Amphitheater (Lesterville, Mo.)

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Ever seen someone jam on a water phone or an electric banjo made from a tree stump? Expect such curiosities when Lesterville, Mo., welcomes SalmonFest, Leftover Salmon's annual jam-band festival. Leftover Salmon isn't just another Colorado bluegrass band. In 1989, Vince Herman of the Salmon Heads, a Cajun-calypso jug band, hooked up with progressive bluegrassers Drew Emmitt and Mark Vann of the Left-Hand String Band, and Leftover Salmon was born. A self-described "polyethnic Cajun slamgrass band" that combines acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo and Hammond organ to create something that's not quite bluegrass, jazz, rock or country, Leftover Salmon spreads the gospel with tireless touring and the cultivation of a loyal fanbase.

An estimated 3,500 Salmonheads will descend on Lesterville to camp, float and dance barefoot by moonlight. Revelers can admire lit-up parade floats, check out wares from all over the country and see a belligerent Bert of Sesame Street fame. Big-name acts include Keller Williams, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, the North Mississippi Allstars and Split Lip Rayfield. Local jam-band fans will recognize Celia, Vitamen A, the Smokehouse Allstars and Madahoochi. Tapers are welcome.

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