By Maria Wyllie
Explore Big Sky Associate Editor
WEST YELLOWSTONE – Rusted Root is returning to the Wild West Pizzeria and Saloon in West Yellowstone on Tuesday, Oct. 28, for a high-energy musical experience.
Having explored a vast number of musical landscapes since its formation in 1990, the Pittsburg, Pa.-based band’s body-moving music knows no boundaries. Lead singer and guitarist Michael Glabicki says pinning down their sound isn’t simple.
“It’s a very vast sound,” Glabicki said in a recent phone interview. “It’s really hard to describe, so I let other people give it names.”
Known for their intense live performances, Rusted Root’s genre is often referred to as a drum-enthused fusion of roots music and world rock, with a lot of extended jamming in which they explore different sounds and styles.
Performing their music, Glabicki says, is a journey with their fans, as well as one of self-expression.
“Our shows are very ritualistic in the sense that these songs have a life of their own,” Glabicki said. “Everybody in the audience relates [to them] in their own way, so when we all come together around those songs and the music, dancing and sweating it out, a lot of healing happens.”
With eight albums under their belt, the group’s appeal spans generations.
“I think our music is a bit timeless,” Glabicki said, adding that Rusted Root’s broad fan base ranges from tweens to grandparents. “It’s pretty fun because you see people relating to each other and understanding each other through this one music, this one sound, and it’s great to watch.”
Three of the original members are still with the band – Glabicki, Liz Berlin on vocals and percussion, and Patrick Norman on vocals and bass. Drummer Preach Freedom and guitarist Dirk Miller are the two newest members.
Wild West Saloon owner Aaron Hecht booked the band for two sold-out shows in March and October of 2012. “It’s a really intimate, small setting to see a multi-platinum recording artist,” said Hecht, who’s selling 300 tickets to the show. “I like being able to bring a talent like this to the area. That unique sound and energy they deliver show after show is amazing.”
Rusted Root’s most recent album, “The Movement,” was released in 2012, and they’re currently working on material for a new album, expected next year.
“Our last record was kind of a celebration and relaxation into everything we had learned over the 25 years we had been together,” Glabicki said. “This next album is more of a start of the next 25 years and how we’re starting to explore things in different ways.”
Unlike some artists, Rusted Root tests their new music out on the road before taking it into the studio. Fans at the Oct. 28 show can expect to hear a handful of songs off the upcoming album.
Since the band first got together, Glabicki says they’re more intuitive, as well as more relaxed and comfortable with the music.
“We’ve really gathered up a lot of musical assets and have the ability to go between those [musical] worlds now,” he said. “I think in a way we’re able to be more responsive with the crowds. We are able to react to [their energy] and infuse that into our show a lot easier.”
Concerts at Wild West Saloon remind the band members of some of their early gigs when they were first starting out in Pittsburgh, according to Glabicki.
“The crowd seems to really dig what we do, so it seems like a no brainer to go back there.”
Doors open for the 21-and-older show at 7 p.m. The Maw Band out of Teton Valley will open for Rusted Root, slated to hit the stage at 10 p.m. The West Yellowstone Holiday Inn is offering a special rate for concertgoers the night of the show.
Visit wildwest.inticketing.com for tickets and more information.