T his may be the most biased music story you have ever read, but at least I am telling you in advance. I’m a huge fan of Rusted Root since the early nineties when I saw them in a small bar called JB’s Down in Kent, Ohio. They are from Pittsburgh. I won’t hold that against them.
So, as any fan would, after the opening band, Secret Sound, who was excellent, I weaseled my way up front and dead center to see one of my favorite folk/rock/ funk/world music bands. To the left, the beautiful sounds of a Patrick Norman 5-string funky bass. To the right, Liz Berlin with her washboard, pennywhistle and her beautiful vocals. Up front and center and leading the musical montage with his one of a kind tone and laser focused guitar playing, is Rusted Root founder, singer/songwriter, Mike Glabicki.
They wove their hits in and out of the set list like a musical tapestry. “Ecstasy”, “Send me on my Way”, “Martyr” and many more...(see set list photo). Yes. When you stand all the way up front, the roadies give you set lists. Bonus!
So fast forward 27 years, Rusted Root proves that if you love your craft, you can sell 3 million records, tour relentlessly and seem just as cool and fresh as you were back in the day. They seem to keep that quality intact. And the Rusted Root music keeps rolling on down the road to the next venue. Check them out when you can.
What was most surprising was the opening band, Secret Sound, led by local bearded muse and great guit box player, Kevin Hildebrand. From the rst note to the very last, he and his very talented band, including a very pointed utist, absolutely tore the roof o The Stone Pony. Some people call them “jam bands”. I like to say that bands like Secret Sound just know how to write music that is interesting for more than 3 minutes. A true beginning, middle and end...kind of like your favorite novel, done to music. With obvious classic rock and folk genre in uences, Secret Sound is a musical force to be enjoyed by music fans from all over the spectrum.