I remember the New Year’s Eve concert ’04/’05 at the A.J. Palumbo center with Rasta Rafiki opening and Rusted Root playing into the New year. I remember standing on my chair with the rest of the crowd and singing along to all of the songs. And as far as I remembered, they were supposed to hit it big…really big. And I remember them being touted as the next Grateful Dead. Well, unfortunately they never made it to the heights of The Dead, but at least they are still around, still playing and still putting out good tunes. And while I still consider myself a fan, I couldn’t tell you the latest news on new songs, albums or who’s still in the band. So thankfully, Adam Perry at Boulder Weekly posted a good write up and chat with Rusted Roots’ Michael Glabicki to get us back up to speed in his new article “Rusted Root: Tribal Rhythms & 6 Super Bowls”.
Rusted Root opened for the Dead on the late Jerry Garcia’s final tour, and When I Woke, with its impressive percussion, endearing flute solos and gibberish vocal rave-ups, made the top 40 in early 1995. Former Talking Head Jerry Harrison skillfully produced 1996’s Remember, which also cracked the top 40, but Rusted Root’s unique tribal rhythms and jam-rock grooves slowly turned into streamlined hippie pop. Sadly for Pittsburgh natives, Rusted Root failed to become the first-ever mega-successful rock band from the Steel City; and, other than math-rock deities Don Caballero, no Pittsburgh act hit the big time between Rusted Root and newcomer Girl Talk.
Not everyone would be proud to have been partly-responsible for inspiring the String Cheese Incident and dozens of other now-stereotypical “tribal” jam-pop bands. But Rusted Root co-founder and front-man Michael Glabicki recently told me that the band’s influence on the polarizing jamband phenomenon, which was just beginning as Rusted Root emerged in the early-90’s, doesn’t seem un-credited.
“I think it goes pretty noticed,” Glabicki said. “We are an original band [and] that connects to a lot of other original styles and bands. People enjoy hanging with us. I think because people can’t really attach us to any one particular genre the only thing we get credit for is being ourselves…and that’s fine with me.”