The Pittsburgh-based band Rusted Root will kick off a 12-date tour on Feb. 16 at The State Theatre in downtown State College.
The five-piece band was formed in Pittsburgh in 1992 by lead singer and guitarist Michael Glabicki. The percussion-backed rhythmic groove of Rusted Root provides ample space for the improvisational exploration the band is known for. Glabicki said the sound was developed in the living room of his apartment in the early 1990s.
“At the time, I had a big PA system set up in my apartment and we would just crank the acoustic guitar,” Glabicki said. “You could hear the rhythms happening in the acoustic that had the same feeling of the drumming and I started to try to create that feeling and get that emotion happening in the music.”
During the sonic experimentation, the band discovered the unique sound that led to the platinum-selling album “When I Woke” in 1994. The album’s success helped the band carve a niche within the jam band scene, which led to touring with acts such as The Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, Carlos Santana and The Allman Brothers.
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For the past 25 years Rusted Root has found success with little radio play. Glabicki said live shows and connecting with audiences is what the band has always tried to focus on.
“I think it’s what music is all about really and it’s what we’ve always been about,” Glabicki said. “You see people dance a certain way, let go in a certain way and express laughter where you didn’t know laughter existed and then you pick up on where people are letting go the most.”
The unique thumbprint on the music scene and the ability to find new ways to express what Rusted Root does will keep the band going, Glabicki said. But success will always be measured by the vitality and strength of the live performance, he added.
“I just think it’s something beyond entertainment,” Glabicki said. “It’s something real, something healing and it’s something that the audience will be a part of. They’ll be in the mix.”
Eric Ian Farmer and Friends will join Rusted Root during the show at The State Theatre.
IF YOU GO
- What: Rusted Root
- When: 8 p.m. Feb. 16
- Where: The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College
- Info: www.thestatetheatre .org