Reese’s had so much success with their chocolate and peanut butter experiment that Drew Emmitt and Bill Nershi decided to try the same thing with salmon and cheese. Emmitt’s Leftover Salmon and Nershi’s String Cheese Incident have been crossing paths on the Newgrass/Jamgrass circuit for a good number of years, and somewhere along the line the bandleaders’ friendship and mutual respect turned into the idea to work together. Thus was born the cleverly dubbed Emmitt-Nershi Band.
Emmitt and Nershi hit the road for some limited touring three years ago, a short jaunt that was successful enough to convince them to continue their musical partnership. The duo’s first studio collaboration, New Country Blues, released last fall, was solid proof that whoever came up with the idea of Emmitt and Nershi working together should get the Bluegrass equivalent of the Nobel Prize.
Nershi plays acoustic guitar with a surplus of fluidity, invention, skill and joy, all of which is precisely mirrored in Emmitt’s equally passionate delivery on the mandolin.
Joined by banjo master Andy Thorn and bassist Tyler Grant (both from Emmitt’s post-Leftover Salmon aggregation, the Drew Emmitt Band; where does he come up with these crazy names?), plus guests including Del McCoury, fiddler Jason Carter and SCI bassist Keith Mosely, Emmitt and Nershi packed New Country Blues with a little of everything they do well. Starting with a traditional Bluegrass foundation (the title track, “Road of Destruction”), Emmitt, Nershi and friends folded in Folk (“These Days,” “Wait Until Tomorrow”), Jazz and Jam (“Surfing the Red Sea,” “Mango Tango”) and Country (“Restless Wind”) to create an amazing Newgrass collection.
Given the longstanding road-doggery of all involved, it’s the safest bet on the planet that the Emmitt-Nershi Band will light up these songs onstage with the force of a gas-fueled bonfire.
(Check out performance times and get venue details here.)