|Current Members:||Michael Glabicki|
|Past Members:||Jim DiSpirito|
Rusted Root is a band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania known for their fusion of Grateful Dead style bluegrass rock with a strong percussion section that draws from African, Latin American, Native American, and Middle Eastern influences. Rusted Root is often lumped together with other bands under the jam band label, though they have somewhat rejected this categorization.
Rusted Root formed in 1988 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and made its indie record debut in 1992 with Cruel Sun, which was rereleased in 2002. The group's major-label debut album was 1994's When I Woke, a hit on college radio and a platinum record. The album hit the top 40 in early 1995, peaking at #33. Along with their increasingly well-known live shows, Rusted Root began working on contributions to the movies Twister and Home for the Holidays. Their next studio album was Remember (1996), followed by Rusted Root (1998) and Welcome to My Party (2002). Welcome to My Party was criticized by fans, who are affectionately known as Rootheads. Many felt the band's departure from tribal grooves to a poppier feel was an attempt to sell out. Remember reached the Top 40 in the US, while Rusted Root found its sales buoyed by the use of the band's cover of the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" on an episode of Ally McBeal. A live double album followed in 2004. Its greatest-hits album was released in April 2005 as part of Universal Music's 20th Century Masters series. The band has released three EPs, Evil Ways, Airplane, and Live, which came packaged with a documentary video cassette.
Rusted Root's "Send Me On My Way," which hit #72 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1995 http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/retrieve_chart_history.do?model.vnuArtistId=37071&model.vnuAlbumId=658401 is its most commercially popular song. It was used on the soundtracks of Matilda; Ice Age; the 1996 film Pie in the Sky; the film Race the Sun; YTV Canada's Are We There Yet? World Adventure; and the Boy Scouts of America, Order of the Arrow Philmont Trail Crew promotional video that was released in the late 1990s. Its music has also appeared on the television shows Party of Five and Homicide.
Although the band continues to tour, its hard-touring days appear to be over as the group is devoting more time apart to pursue solo projects. Michael Glabicki released a solo album (Uprooted) as have Liz Berlin (AudioBioGraphical), Patrick Norman (Digital World), and Jenn Wertz with her band Isabella (also of Lovechild) and current release Shotgun Sessions. Former percussionist Jim DiSpirito released Big Silence http://www.jimdispirito.com/big.html in 2003.
On his own, drummer Jim Donovan has released five highly acclaimed solo CDs as well as four instructional drumming CDs. His newest releases include Drum the Ecstatic International, The Yoga of Drum and Chant, and a hand-drumming instructional series called Rhythmic Foundation Volumes 1 and 2. Fulfilling his desire to share the power of rhythm, Donovan has built a series of educational drumming workshop programs that he teaches across the US and Europe at universities, festivals, schools, corporations, and specialty venues. Donovan has recently became a full-time instructor of music at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania, and is the current director of the Saint Francis University World Drumming Ensemble. Donovan is also a featured monthly columnist in Drum! Magazine.
Rusted Root performed at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, on June 16–18, 2006. It also played the Molson Canal Concert Series in North Tonawanda, New York, on September 1, 2006, and toured throughout September. For the 2006 tour, Jason Miller, a drummer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, filled Jim Donovan's position. He is most notably a drum-set player—a position he fills when performing with this band. He is currently a percussion instructor and the drum-line instructor of the Mt. Lebanon High School's Mount Lebanon Percussion and teaches percussion lessons at the school as well.