Rivers Rising: Colorado Flood Relief
Imagine if a natural disaster hit while you were away from your home, working. For the Colorado based bluegrass band Leftover Salmon and its road crew, that's exactly what happened in mid-September, when raging flood waters deluged the lives and homes of the people in nearly 17 counties in Colorado while the band was on tour.
"We were barely a day or two into a two-week tour in New England when the rain began to fall in Colorado," writes tour industry veteran and Salmon road manager Tony Hume in a press release. "No one thought much about it when reports came in from our loved ones that the rain was heavy and consistent. Of course all that changed for the band, and the rest of the country, not to mention the folks of our beloved Colorado Front Range."
“That all changed…” in a matter of just days, as the band keeping up with news reports and with loved one via phone and text messages. The band members emerged mostly unscathed, but crew members were not so lucky. Nederland resident Mario Casilio, the bands’ Front of House sound engineer, experienced a leaking roof, and now has a much more difficult commute to his home as Canyon Drive is completely washed away. “They still have their home, but the landscape of their community, and the harsh reality of simply driving to town and back are for ever changed,” Hume relayed via email. Canyon Drive may be impassable for nearly a year.
Hume himself is a Boulder resident. “My brave wife, along with some friends, dug trenches in the yard on several sides of the house trying to create a drain path for the water to hit the street and to hit other parts of the yard,” he further explained. He did however take on some water damage in his basement, as water seeped in and over through window wells, but the damage is relatively minor considering the catastrophic losses many other residents suffered.
Not content to sit ideally and do nothing while so many friends and neighbors suffered back home, the band made its way to Telefunken Elektroakustik microphone company in South Windsor, Connecticut, and recorded an acoustic version of their show stopper, “Rivers Risin’.” The idea was to release the recording via the bands website, with all proceeds going directly to flood relief.
“I immediately knew that one song would only be a drop in the bucket, but an entire album’s worth of material could possibly reach more people and have much more effect on those in need of help … Thus, the birth of Rivers Risin’: Colorado Flood Relief, Hume states in the press release.
“Rivers Risin’” is a song written by Salmon vocalist/mandolin player Drew Emmitt, and originally released on the Salmon recording Euphoria, as well as on his solo studio album, Long Road. “I wrote Rivers Risin’ years ago when it rained several days in a row in the Boulder area. I remember driving up James canyon on my way home and seeing several waterfalls flowing down the side of the hill,” he writes in an email. “Although there was a lot of moisture, we didn't get flooded that time. Now that theses floods have occurred, this song has new significance.”
Besides Leftover Salmon, the downloadable album includes live recordings from Furthur, “Here Comes Sunshine,” recorded live at Red Rocks Amphitheater on September 19th – the first time the band has played the song at Red Rocks; Widespread Panic, “Surprise Valley;” Big Head Todd & The Monsters, “Sister Sweetly;” Railroad Earth, “Colorado;” Umphrey’s McGee, “Puppet String;” all also recordedat Red Rocks; as well as live tracks from moe., String Cheese Incident, The Motet, Elephant Revival and many more.