Profiles

Vince Herman from Great American Taxi/Leftover Salmon talks about this weekend's festivities, new albums, zombies and more

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Westword (Boyd Fletcher): Halloween in Denver has become part of the grand tradition of you guys raising hell in Denver. You guys seem to have a fondness for the Mile High City.

Vince Herman: It kind of started with the Mile High Millennium when we thought it was going to do that whole Y2K thing. After the show, they had the place surrounded and helicopters hovering and began to empty out the hotel. People were on the roof mooning the helicopters that were shining the lights down on the place. People were chanting "slow night in Denver," so, just all kinds of tomfoolery has gone out down there associated with that place. There's rumor that there's going to be a zombie parade this year.

Oh really?

Yeah man, a parade to be led out of the Fillmore after the show and down Colfax. There's rumor, but I wouldn't know where that came from, because you need a permit to do something like that [laughs].

What's your costume this year?

We don't have one.

Really? I always thought your Col. Sanders costume was the best.

[Laughs] No man, we have all kinds of things up our sleeves, of course.

So you're doing the Taxi thing as well as the Salmon thing this year for Halloween. We can all tell you have a great time on stage either way, but does your approach to playing differ from one to the other?

Well, you know Taxi is more of the country-rock kind of thing, I guess. And Salmon is more towards the bluegrass side of things. So, you know, there's a little bit of a stylistic difference. But you know, it is just me up there doing my shtick in both circumstances. But I think Taxi is just as diverse as Salmon -- we have a big crew of songwriters and singers. It's definitely a five-member band. Everyone contributes.

You guys have Todd Snider out with you this go-round. I know you guys have worked together countless times in the past. How are things going?

Good. We've been doing a bunch of stuff with Todd. We just made a record with Don Was producing with a bunch of Jerry Jeff Walker tunes, and we're real fired up about that. And we've got a live album coming out with Todd sometime here in the winter, likely in March. So, you know, when we worked it out to have Taxi and Salmon do this thing, we figured adding Todd would make a bunch of people happy.

I'm one of those people for sure. Todd is great. So what should people be prepared for this Halloween?

Well man, it's a disco zombie theme, and you know zombies are everywhere around the country now. They are taking over.

You guys started a trend, it seems.

[Laughs] Nah man, I don't think we started it. Though we have been playing that "Zombie Jamboree" tune a long time now. But yeah, we are looking to get some of that energy going and we'll be doing a lot of picking together. It should be fun.

Awesome, Vince, thanks again for your time. Anything else you want to add?

Oh yeah, Bob Dylan is going to be playing with us.

Click through for an additional interview by Dutch Seyfarth.

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