Rusted Root – Tickets – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC – March 9th, 2013

Rusted Root

Early Show

Rusted Root

Joel Plaskett

Sat 3/9/13

6:00 pm

Rusted Root - (Set time: 7:20 PM)
Rusted Root

Formed in the early 90’s by singer/guitarist Michael Glabicki, Rusted Root’s worldly style quickly charmed fans of roots music and world rock. To date they have released 7 albums and sold over 3 million records worldwide. After debuting in 1992 with the self released Cruel Sun, Rusted Root signed with Mercury Records and released the 1994 platinum selling breakthrough When I Woke, which featured the massive hits Send Me On My Way, Ecstasy and Martyr. Their huge success allowed the band to tours with Santana, The Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, The Allman Brothers Band, HORDE Festival and, perhaps most notably, the highly coveted support role on the landmark Jimmy Page/Robert Plant reunion tour. In 1996, the hard-touring Rusted Root returned with Remember, which was followed by 1998’s Rusted Root. In 2002 the band reemerged with Welcome To My Party. In 2004, the band released a double live album aptly entitled Rusted Root Live; This double set was the second release Rusted Root’s Touchy Pegg label, following the re-release of the newly remastered Cruel Sun in 2003.

Along the way, Rusted Root has also issued three EPs (Evil Ways, Live, and Airplane), a home video (Rusted Root Live) and had songs placed in film and TV soundtrack tracks such as Twister, Mathilda, Home For the Holidays, Party of Five, Charmed, Homicide & ice age. What was indubitably a first
for Rusted Root was that NASA engineers chose Send Me On My Way as "wake-up" music for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, for Sol 21. Send Me On My Way was most recently used in a set of Enterprise Rental Car commercials in 2011 & 2012.

In May 2009, Rusted Root released Stereo Rodeo, their first studio album in 7 years. Of Stereo Rodeo, band founder & leader Michael Glabicki says ;"We named our record Stereo Rodeo after a song that I started writing back when we were recording our last studio record. It’s really just a great name,” “We were all just so into the music,” says vocalist/percussionist Liz Berlin about the recording process, “the synergy and excitement on this album is so fresh and energizing.” “It is one of the most powerful albums we have ever recorded,” agrees bassist/vocalist Patrick Norman.

The band is currently in the studio recording their new album, tentatively titled Fortunate Freaks, after a song on the upcoming release. Due out for a fall 2012 release, the disc will mark the groups 20th anniversary year. “Our last record was to let people know that we were back and were making music again,” Glabicki said. “With this new one, we’re not only back, we’re back to our old selves. [the new album] is very danceable and energetic,” he said. “It’s happier than the last record but, more than anything, we returned to our rock roots. I think it’s something fans will be happy with. We have a few more songs to go, and we’re really hoping this will be out in the summer.”

To help support the making of this new album, Rusted Root created the “Fortunate Freaks Unite! We are Rusted Root Campaign.” This fan-funding campaign provided the fans the opportunity to contribute to the making of the album, while receiving some once in a lifetime opportunities. “Rusted Root is a state of mind shared and explored by many people- we are a community that supports one another. The fans are as much a part of this as anyone. It is an interesting time in history and fan funding is a great way to point out the obvious; we are a band that relies on the energy of our fans.”

As to what you’ll hear at an upcoming Rusted Root show, “We’ve been working on a new album, so our set is a really cool mix of old classic Rusted Root and the new songs,” Liz Berlin says. “It’s been fun to play them. A lot of the development of (the new album) has happened on stage; what fans have been into has helped with the direction of the songs.”
Joel Plaskett - (Set time: 6:30 PM)
Joel Plaskett
It’s been a manic few months for Joel Plaskett, and anybody who’s been following along already knows the reason why. Out of the doldrums of another long Canadian winter, Joel and The Emergency (Dave Marsh and Chris Pennell) have been working round the clock, sending weekly volleys to fight off the seasonal blues: a brand new song – recorded, mixed, mastered, and released – every single week for the past ten weeks, accompanied by snippets of video documenting the process in-studio. It has been an epic undertaking, which now comes together in the physical release of Scrappy Happiness on cd and vinyl.

Not that Plaskett is any stranger to monumental endeavors: his last trip into the studio yielded the triple triumph, Three, for which he received a Juno Award and a Polaris Prize nomination. But the musical distance between these two records shows that Joel is still a long way from resting on his laurels. Whereas Three was luxuriously meditative, and holistic in its conception, Scrappy Happiness laid its rails one quick mile at a time, and the entire record reverberates with the restless energy that fuelled its production. Scrappy? At times, yes, but more than that it is spontaneous – a rich tribute to the days when a new song on the radio was, well, new.

There are a handful of gorgeous tunes that call to mind the folk inflections of Three, while hewing to the lean, stripped-down production that mark this distinctive record as a whole (the breezy lilt of “Harbour Boys” and the standout “I’m Yours”). But Plaskett’s winking references to his beloved Cactus and Husker Du albums suggest that his riffing chops are as strong as ever. The Emergency provide the muscle for gritty guitar numbers like “Lightning Bolt” and “Time Flies" and they evidently haven’t lost an ounce of love for the kind of melodic rock that inspires tunes like “Somewhere Else” and “Tough Love,” tracks that echo back to their earlier records, Down at the Khyber and Truthfully, Truthfully.

Scrappy Happiness is an eclectic display of Plaskett’s continued songwriting prowess and playful lyricism. While many of the songs tap bittersweet emotions hidden in the fuzzy details of the past, it is the present where this record resides. Time's flying, so let's fly with it. Music – the sheer jubilant redemptive promise of music: on the radio, in the car, in the kitchen or from the stage – occupies a prominent place in these songs and one can hear the joy the group took in their creation.

All of this is to say that Scrappy Happiness is a risk taken for its own sake. It is a fascinating experiment, which pays homage to an older mode of record production while forging ahead to new ways of engaging listeners.

But none of this would matter if it weren’t also, in the end, another compelling record from one of Canada’s leading musical voices.
Venue Information:
9:30 Club
815 V St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001