Billy Strings Joins Leftover Salmon For Killer Rendition Of “Blue Railroad Train”

Billy Strings country music
Tobin Voggesser

Need a dose of Bluegrass on this fine New Music Friday? Leftover Salmon and Billy Strings got ya covered.

The two teamed up for an incredible rendition of the bluegrass classic “Blue Railroad Train,” and released it on Thursday as the second single off of Leftover Salmon’s forthcoming record GRASS ROOTS.

Originally recorded by The Delmore Brothers in the 1930s, I believe, “Blue Railroad Train” is one of those bluegrass standards that has been immortalized by the genre’s greats. From Doc Watson, to Tony Rice, and now to Leftover Salmon and Billy Strings, and just about every bluegrass artist in between, this is undoubtedly a special track within the genre’s ethos.

Leftover Salmon has been a mainstay on the jamgrass scene for over three decades at this point, forming in Colorado in 1989. They released their debut record Euphoria in 1997, and have since dropped over ten studio and live records in their catalog over the years while performing their unique and highly improvised take on bluegrass all over the world.

Slated to be released on May 19th, Leftover Salmon’s upcoming and aptly titled project GRASS ROOTS is going to be an awesome tribute to their roots in bluegrass and several of the songs that inspired them along the way. In an Instagram post a few weeks ago, the band elaborated a bit on what fans have to look forward to with the project.

“We are thrilled to announce that our latest album, GRASS ROOTS, will be released on May 19 via Compass Records! The 10-track album is our tribute to the pioneers of jamgrass, and we are honored to put our spin on songs by some of our earliest influences, artists like The Seldom Scene, David Bromberg, The Grateful Dead, and more.

During the recording in Nashville last year, we recruited friends Billy Strings, Oliver Wood, and Darol Anger to help us bring life to this collection of tracks that means so much to us.”

“Blue Train Railroad”

Prior to releasing “Blue Railroad Train,” Leftover Salmon’s lead single from GRASS ROOTS was an ode to Bob Dylan, with their take on his classic “Simple Twist of Fate.”

So mark your calendars for May 19th, and in the meantime, don’t hesitate to scratch that bluegrass itch with some Leftover Salmon.

Here are a few of my favorites to get you started.

“Gulf of Mexico” – Aquatic Hitchhiker (2012)

“Funky Mountain Fog Down” – Euphoria (1997)

“Brand New Good Old Days” – Brand New Good Old Days (2021)

And While we’re on this topic, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include this awesome video of Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle covering “Blue Railroad Train” at Doc Watson’s 100th birthday party in Winston-Salem, NC this past month.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock