Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Glabicki takes ‘Root’ in Madison

Forceful yodels poor from his mouth as swirling, drawn-out wails spin the audience around in circles. As the lead singer of Rusted Root for longer than a decade, Michael Glabicki has proven his ability to put any audience member into a mesmerizing stare and throw him or her into a tribal-like dance. Glabicki definitely planted a new species of sound foundation that the Philadelphia band grew from.

With the ability to lead a group of talented musicians like those in Rusted Root, it remains a wonder why Glabicki took so long to tour on his own. With a tour of about 19 dates, Glabicki will travel across the United States this fall.

Over the years, as the cultivator of Rusted Root, Glabicki makes it a point to put his spiritual beliefs into his music. In an interview with Hamilton Stevens of the Empyre Lounge last March, Glabicki stated that as much as his spiritual beliefs come into his life, they appear in his music. He also added that it is almost a form of yoga and that it helps his beliefs grow and stretch when he puts them into his music.

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Glabicki’s growth also thrives off his interest in all musical art forms. Known for a slight African grain mixed with rock and fast-paced jamming, Rusted Root creates an unmatchable sound. African inspiration not only comes from drummer Jim Donovan, but also from Glabicki’s longstanding interest in African drums. It will be interesting to see if he can incorporate this unique trait that the band’s fans came to identify with into his solo show.

Influenced by Radiohead, U2, PJ Harvey and Peter Gabriel, among others, Glabicki uses these performers to add to his continuously blooming sound. Glabicki, in the same March interview, stated that the most interesting part of Peter Gabriel’s work was how he juxtaposed African sounds next to a poppy and light tune — similar to what Rusted Root does, only with a completely different texture.

As hearsay of a broken-up Rusted Root spills through the rumor mill, no clear-cut answer surfaces. But if one thing is for sure, it is that with the turning season, the group has gone on a vacation of sorts. The leaves from the deeply rooted tree have begun to change color. As the leaves morph into various solo tours they begin to fall on top of new career paths leading them around the United States.

Drummer Jim Donovan plans to teach drumming workshops and will begin touring this season, while Liz Berlin and Jen Wertz start touring together around the East Coast and land in the Midwest after this month.

As most of the band begins to blanket the ground above the root they have grown from over the course of 14 years, with an array of color and individual style, who knows if this will be the last growth spurt or just a hibernation? Whatever the case may be, each member is bound to blossom from the group’s beginnings.

Known for intense emotion and weighty lyrics, Glabicki possesses the ability to take the audience on a trip. Flowing vocals and complimentary guitar riffs allow Glabicki to lead the crowd wherever he wants them to go. He reveals a true ability to set the mood. His powerful range and artistic flare enable each listener to become lost in the spirituality of every layer of his and the band’s music.

Glabicki describes playing with Carlos Santana as one of the biggest musical development experiences. Being on stage with Santana helped Glabicki become more comfortable in situations where he does not know exactly what he is playing. He said that Santana would actually leave him out on stage to play songs that he never heard before in front of 15,000 people. Santana ripened the buds of Glabicki’s ability to innovate and improvise on stage.

Most likely, Glabicki’s solo stint will flourish with the season. Whether he plays his own music or Rusted Root favorites, the show will no doubt invite the audience on a spiritual roller-coaster as it watches Glabicki branch away from his roots.

Bradley Fish will accompany Glabicki on his Madison stop. Fish is a Madison native who studied music at Northern Illinois University. He is known for giving free guitar lessons on Madison’s eastside and has shared the stage with many influential musicians such as Fareed Haque and the Big Wu. His style of music spans the genre board, but one can count on hearing a professional collaboration of rock, jazz, blues, reggae, folk and funk.

Michael Glabicki with opener Bradley Fish will perform at the Annex, 1206 Regent St., this Friday, Sept. 12 at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 at the door for this 21-and-up show.

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