Rusted Root finds joy in musical ‘sandbox’ – Weekly Webb

For their Billings debut, Rusted Root will play the Pub Station on Monday, July 18, a place where Glabicki predicts the band’s positive vibe and visionary lyrics will be well suited. After two decades in the music business, Rusted Root frontman, songwriter and founder Michael Glabicki, still feels the thrill and the fear of performing in small spaces.

The show, which starts at 8 p.m., is for those 21 and over. Tickets are $25.

Rusted Root has played huge stadiums, opening for the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band and Santana, but Glabicki said the small venues are where the flow of energy between musicians and the fans is best.

Their breakout hit in 1994, “Send Me On My Way,” threw the Pittsburgh band into the international music scene in a genre dubbed spiritual world music. In a telephone interview, Glabicki said it’s fun when he is surprised by the powerful sense of freedom when he lets the emotion flow.

Glabicki’s tenor voice pairs smoothly with the richer vocals of percussionist Replica Cartier Watches
Liz Berlin, yet it is eerily otherworldly. Glabicki is at his best when he breaks into a percussive yelp, driven by three rhythm players, on upbeat songs like “Sun and Magic.”

After playing shows twice in Missoula, Glabicki said it will be nice to return to Montana where the audiences are not jaded like they can be in bigger markets.

“Playing in Missoula felt like I was young again and we were doing our first shows. It’s more real, more innocent and unveiled in places like Montana. I like that.”

Glabicki and most of his bandmates grew up in Pittsburgh and still consider it home. Glabicki said he was political in high school and after traveling to war-torn Nicaragua in the late 1980s, he resolved to promote peace and spirituality in his lyrics, and find the rhythm in the music, styled after street musicians in Nicaragua.

“I’m still learning more and more about what we can do, emotionally and spiritually, with the music. As a songwriter, I feel like I have a lot to learn, crafting songs in different ways affects the spirituality, especially at the live performances.”

Rusted Root’s most-recent studio album, 2012’s “The Movement,” was crowd-funded and dedicated to their community of fans. Glabicki still looks for truth and ways to express his feelings in new songs.

“My natural state as a writer and performer is to connect to a place that is elsewhere. At times, it can be difficult to write something new, but I tend to think of the live performance when I write.”

Performing music is a freeing experience where anything can happen.

“It’s like we’re all kids playing in the sandbox together,” Glabicki said.