Music, Print, Reviews December 8, 2019

Album Review: The Great Salmon Famine – Kelp!

by Daniel Thompson

The Great Salmon Famine’s newest release Kelp! along with their recent, packed Aggie Theater CD release party are helping to solidify their place among the Burroughs, Silver & Gold and other stellar Northern Colorado bands of note.

Featuring fantastic compositions in every style from funk to bluesy ballads and apparently circus music (??) The Great Salmon Famine more than convincingly deliver every original song and amusing cover with stellar musicianship on every instrument. 

The Great Salmon Famine’s release party for Kelp! at The Aggie Theater in November.
Photo by Christina Covell

In attempting to sum up the band’s ideas and goals for Kelp!, there may be no better way to put it than the chant in “Hanks Groove” where the showman announces: “We’re here to get down with y’all” before the band drops into a deep groove sure to have you moving in seconds.

The Fort Collins quintet have no other goal than to make you have a great time and every moment of Kelp! is successful in maintaining that mantra – both in your headphones and live in concert, where they shine the most. Kelp! keeps things moving along through its second and third songs “Adelaide Ms. Mermaid” and “Where’s the Waltz” with a more mellow vibe, eclectically mixing a lush underwater feeling with an old-timey jig and a sleepy slow jam featuring some stellar tenor saxophone from Adam Bell.

The Great Salmon Famine’s tenor sax, keyboard and vocalist Adam Bell.
Photo by Christina ovell

The remainder of Kelp! shows more of the fantastic diversity in musical tastes and abilities among the members in the band. Everything from the breakneck speed funk in “The Good Cheese” (shout out to Evan Waring on Guitar for an awesome solo) to a fun, extended reimagining of The Champs “Tequila” – a rhythmically playful highlight of the collection.

The Great Salmon Famine match diverse songwriting with stellar production (via Evergroove Studios) and their focus on pure fun. The result is a record no lover of good times can afford to miss.

From left: Camden James, Gabe Neymark, Jack Vulcani, Adam Bell and Evan Waring.
Photo by Christina Covell

The Great Salmon Famine are currently partnered with The Burroughs in the Bands Give Back Initiative, donating $1 from every copy of Kelp! sold to Greeley 12 Schools music education programs. Catch them live at Mile High Spirits in Denver on December 14 and Bluebird Theater January 3.