While hitting the absolute height of mainstream popularity in the mid-1990s, thanks to their ubiquitous hit “Send Me On My Way,” Pittsburgh’s Rusted Root has held a dominant presence on the road and jam-band circuit for close to 25 years. In the wake of 1994’s platinum-certified game-changer “When I Woke,” the band has released five studio records.
They will bring their raw charisma and unique talent in promotion of their new release, “Cover Me Up,” to the State Theatre on Feb. 21.
“I think our music tends to engage an audience in a deeper, more profound and spiritual way,” lead vocalist and guitarist Michael Glabicki said. “There’s a subtle energy to it, and there’s an art to engaging an audience and using their energy to interpret where you’re going to go with the songs.”
Like all bands, when Rusted Root is performing live, they are in their most pure and honest form, which they successfully seized and emulated on their 2012 album, “The Movement.”
“We were really trying to capture as much of a live sound and a live performance as we could,” Glabicki said. “We had fan funding going on and we actually did bring in some fans for the recording, which really opened up the creative format for the way that we record. It was kind of spontaneous with a lot of laughter and a lot of energy in the room, which I think we did a good job of capturing. I also think that it’s one of our best records yet.”
These years of experience spent learning, writing and performing with each other have been beyond beneficial and only further strengthens what makes Rusted Root such an excellent group of musicians who are open to changing and have embraced their natural sonic evolution.
“Every night, we get up there, and sometimes we’ll lean one way and other nights we’ll go in another direction,” Glabicki said. “It’s just a matter of following the signs and feeling the crowds.”
The importance of the crowd will be critical not just for Rusted Root, but also for The Perkolators. The local band will open the show and plan to record and film their set.
“The band has wanted to do a proper live recording for some time now, and, since we are in the process of recording our studio album, we want to release both around the same time,” said Perkolators drummer Matt Price, whose band has opened for Rusted Root in the past.
“We have always been interested in doing something original. ... We have never been interested in fitting the bar-band mold of this town. We plan on having high energy, great sound, great lights and an overall integrated performance from everyone on and off stage.”