Tag Archives: Rusted Root

2: When I Woke (Rusted Root)

Album: When I Woke
Artist: Rusted Root
Year: 1994

1. Drum Trip
2. Ecstasy
3. Send Me on My Way
4. Cruel Sun
5. Cat Turned Blue
6. Beautiful People
7. Martyr
8. Rain
9. Food & Creative Love
10. Lost in a Crowd
11. Laugh as the Sun
12. Infinite Tamboura
13. Back to the Earth

If you love jam bands, it doesn’t get much better than When I Woke. Drum Trip is just that, a long drum solo that really gets things off to a flying and energetic start, seamlessly introducing the rest of the album. Send Me on My Way is their one and only top 100 song. I used to be crazy about it, but one too many appearances in advertisements has ruined that. Thankfully, nothing else had a chance to be overplayed.

For the most part, the lyrics are not the appeal, though they are more moving on this album than on any other by the band. Cruel Sun is an epic, powerful, anti-war ballad. Beautiful People is another amazing ballad about self-doubt, addiction, and existentialist angst. The rest of the songs, for the most part, have lyrics that are about as deep as your typical country song and often make even less sense, but the wide array of instruments and vocal harmonies blend together for a wonderful listening experience.

37: Remember (Rusted Root)

Album: Remember
Artist: Rusted Root
Year: 1996

1. Faith I Do Believe
2. Heaven
3. Sister Contine
4. Virtual Reality
5. Infinite Space
6. Voodoo
7. Dangle
8. Silver-N-Gold
9. Baby Will Roam
10. Bullets In The Fire
11. Who Do You Tell It To
12. River In A Cage
13. Scattered
14. Circle of Remembrance

Rusted Root, an acoustic jamb band from Pittsburgh, became moderately known after their first studio album, When I Woke, peaked at #51 in the chart and their only hit, Send Me on My Way, got a bizarre amount of movie and commercial placements. That and a growing fan base helped their second album, this one, peak at #38. They haven’t had much success since, though they continue to do well in concerts. While it’s true their music isn’t all that commercial, I think they just haven’t done much interesting since this album.

It’s hard to describe why I like this album. Some of the lyrics are unintelligible, which is par for the course. The lyrics that are understandable are vague like poetry but I’m not sure they’re supposed to be analyzed; rather, the words seem more of an excuse for the band to belt out some music. The music draws from African (including voodoo), Latin American, and Native American influences, and relies heavily on percussion and the unique vocal stylings of Michael Glabicki. In fact, your tolerance for his voice will likely dictate your interest in their music.

There are no songs on Remember that I would point to and say “okay, this is awesome,” but the album is consistent from beginning to end, which just doesn’t happen that often.