By Katie Andress
Last week, Rusted Root brought its movement through Baton Rouge, giving a riveting performance at the Varsity Theatre. These guys are currently on a five-week tour celebrating 25-years of making music together.
“From the very first time we played music together, I knew we had something special,” said bassist and vocalist Patrick Norman. “The music and the enjoyment of creating and playing with one another I feel is the driving force behind this band.”
Rusted Root has been on tour with the likes of Dave Matthews Band, The Allman Brothers Band, Robert Plant and Santana, which was a personal favorite of front man, Michael Glabicki.
“For me, Santana was a real teacher. He took us on as students of being good musicians and good humans,” said Glabicki.
The band’s music has also been featured in movies, television commercials and shows throughout the years.
Their latest album, “The Movement” encompasses Rusted Root’s 25-year career on the road and is attributed to the fans.
“It’s an extremely joyous recording with deep undertones,” said Glabicki. “It is a culmination of everything we have learned, or have tried to learn, over our entire career.”
The album features songs such as, “Monkey Pants,” “Cover Me Up,” and the title track, “The Movement” and captures the band’s unique fusion of percussion instruments and world music.
Glabicki noted that making the new album was a “personal and spiritual experience” for him, and he hoped that fans would listen to it and find their own interpretations of the music. He comments that personal interpretation is something that’s helped the band sustain such a strong fan base throughout the past 25 years.
This new album was made possible by the “Fortunate Freaks Unite!” campaign, which allowed fans to contribute to the making of the album in exchange for rare opportunities to interact with the band. Fans could purchase different packages, which allowed them to be a part of the recording process, play percussion during sound check or even just hanging out with the band.
“This was sort of a new way for us to collaborate with the audience,” said Glabicki.
Glabicki also hoped that their live performance would be a “ritualistic experience” for fans, which is a fitting description of the show. Each song was a fusion of different sounds that came together in a surprisingly unique way. It took the audience on a musical movement, from the deep, dark sounds of “Cruel Sun” to the lighter sounds of “Laugh as the Sun.” Funky guitar riffs and soulful melodies could be heard on “Save Me” as well as tribal sounds in “Ecstacy” and even a little skiffle. The band ended their show with an acoustic version of their widely popular song, “Send Me On My Way,” which was a perfect sendoff for fans.