Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Live music

Pick a little cheese, salmon and bluegrass

Express Staff Writer

From left, Tyler Grant, Bill Nershi, Drew Emmitt and Andy Thorn are members of the Emmitt-Nershi band, which will play Whiskey Jacques’ in Ketchum on Thursday, Feb. 3. Photo by

Drew Emmitt and Bill Nershi are musicians who found a niche in bluegrass music, exposing their talents as some of the best picking and string-playing artists touring today. Emmit, a member of Left Over Salmon and Nershi, a member of The String Cheese Incident, have formed the Emmitt-Nershi Band, which has been touring for three years as a side project.

"We are more of a bluegrass band," Nershi said. "We do play material we have written for other bands."

Nershi said the music the band plays runs the gamut between traditional bluegrass and new modern bluegrass. Nershi and Emmitt have been touring smaller venues around the country with their new bluegrass sound, and spent three days hunkered down in Colorado recording "New Country Blues."

"It was the first time Drew and I wrote together," Nershi said. "We are both really thankful we have our other bands and that those bands have become so successful."

"New Country Blues" has blues, an assortment of well-executed instrumentals and inspired songs from Nershi and Emmitt's playing with Left Over Salmon and The String Cheese Incident.

Nershi said that although it's a rush playing for a big band, it's a different kind of rush playing with the Emmitt-Nershi Band.

"This band is fun because it's up close and personal," he said. "Playing in clubs and smaller venues is less pressure."

The hard-driving up-tempo of the Emmitt-Nershi Band is original music. However, Nershi said people shouldn't be surprised if the band breaks into "Jellyfish," a song from The String Cheese Incident.

The Emmitt-Nershi Band also includes Johnny Grub, bass player from Railroad Earth, and Andy Thorn on banjo. Nershi called Thorn "the most ripping banjo player on the bluegrass scene at the moment."

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