It’s has to be one of the greatest things to happen to bluegrass since the mandolin: Drew Emmitt and Bill Nershi teamed up to form the Emmitt-Nershi Band. And here’s more good news: Their quartet plays the Llama on Sunday, February 12.

Nershi, a former longtime Telluride local and Emmit are household names among bluegrass fans and beyond.

Nershi is best known as the guitarist and singer/songwriter for The String Cheese Incident. Emmit played as a multi-instrumentalist – mandolinist, guitarist, fiddler, –  and singer/songwriter for Leftover Salmon. Completing the group are bass player Johnny Grubb (formerly of Railroad Earth) and Andy Thorn on banjo.

The Emmitt-Nershi Band has a interesting, out-of-the-box sound: a mix of the funky, old-world feel of Nashville (where Emmitt grew up), bluegrass, (natch), the triply improvisations of modern jambands, and a dash of the blues.

In 2009 the group recorded their first album, High Country Blues, in a whirlwind 3-day session at Nershi’s home in Estes Park, CO.

“It was a really smooth process,” Nershi said. “We bring out a lot of good things in each other musically, and we do well playing off each other.”

That may be the understatement of the year.

After a show in Missoula, MT, a reviewer from jamband.com raved:

“The highlights… often came when all three lead players would build off each other, interweaving their separate lines while the band’s new bassist Johnny Grubb held down a formidable lower end presence.”

Ok, so we’ve established the fact the ENB knows how to let loose, but the quartet is also willing to mellow out and let the music speak for itself, a quality that underlines the group’s confidence in their craft.

Slowing down also gives the audience a chance to take a deep breath and sip a beer.

More than one.

Showtime at the Llama is 9 p.m.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $17 at the door, and can be purchased at Wizard Entertainment (970 728 9424.)

For a preview, check out the following video:


Also playing this week at The Llama:

Thursday, February 9,  Brooklyn DJ Eliot Lipp and Mike Dillon’s Band sling their humorous, indefinable mix of rock and electronica starting at 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Friday, February 10, the Bill McKay Band (Bill McKay of Leftover Salmon) performs their eclectic bluegrass stylings starting at 10:30pm. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.


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