Pittsburgh's Rusted Root has come full circle on its new album
Before Pittsburgh hip-hop was even a thing, before Christina Aguilera put Wexford in the rear-view mirror, Pittsburgh's Rusted Root was making platinum-selling records.
It was as surprising then as it is now. Still, if any band can be considered an institution by now, it's Rusted Root. They didn't crest a wave of similar bands, or inspire rafts of local imitators. The combination of their friendly, inclusive vibe, planet-spanning world-music rhythms and deft musicianship, still makes them an anomaly.
They do, however, title their brand-new album “The Movement,” signaling an aversion to stagnation and standing still. The release party is Thursday night at Mr. Small's Theatre in Millvale.
“I think it has kind of come full circle now,” says the band's singer-guitarist Michael Glabicki. “We've gone out and experimented and found some things that work, and that didn't work. This record, we kind of said this is what we do best. This is what we know we can do right now. We were trying to stay within our powers in this record.”
Although Rusted Root has been around long enough to remember when selling a lot of records was possible, that's never really been the goal.
“It all revolves around our live show and what our live show needs,” Glabicki says. “We tried on ‘The Movement' ... 90 percent of the songs we tried out on the road first. We tried to recapture that live feel. I think there's some different things we could be doing live. There's some different landscapes that we can find in the future.”
Upbeat singles like “Monkey Pants” and “The Movement” have already gotten some airplay around the country.
“(‘The Movement'), for us, was kind of the farthest stretch that we took,” Glabicki says. “It's a newer type of groove. The drum line was nothing like I'd ever heard before — African, but like a Slovakian marching beat.”
For most bands nowadays, paying the bills requires some creativity. Luckily, Rusted Root's upbeat, organic energy has lots of useful applications. They've had their music placed on movies like “Ice Age” and TV shows like Fox's “New Girl.”
“The Movement” is also at the forefront of a movement of bands turning to their fans to fund new albums. In exchange for donations, Rusted Root gave away a slew of special opportunities to fans. This also helped give the album that “live” feel they covet, even after spending hours in the studio meticulously going over every note.
“I wouldn't say it's a necessity yet, but I think the fans really helped out,” Glabicki says. “We'd invite fans to the studio to sit in and just watch what's going on — it was kind of like having an audience in the studio. It was fun to package it like that.”
Michael Machosky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7901.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McLachlan brings audience into her new emotional space
- Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird Suite’ soars high for Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
- Busy performer Ariana Grande brings show to Petersen Events Center
- Singer Aimee doesn’t put her music on a pedestal
- Celtic Woman evolves each time it takes to the stage
- Pittsburgh producer revives, re-airs an expanded ‘Motown 25 ’
- Saxophonist Carter proves he’s up to any musical challenge
- PSO’s Honeck coaxes orchestral brilliance in ballet themes
- Shania’s first tour in 11 years includes Pittsburgh stop
- Pittsburgh Opera to offer 6 wide-ranging works in 2015-16
- Ed Sheeran coming to Pittsburgh in May