Music » Interviews

Rust never dies

Jam band just keeps touring, and welcomes you to their party


Rusted Root: alive and touring.
  • Rusted Root: alive and touring.

A decade has passed since Rusted Root enjoyed mainstream attention with their hit single "Send Me on My Way." Yet the Pittsburgh-based jam band remains a touring draw, with a decidedly granola aesthetic and world-music vibe.

"At a certain point, we just had to do the songs that we do," says singer/percussionist Liz Berlin, calling from her home in the Steel City. "I think that probably had a lot to do with why we never got on the radio again. But I think, ultimately, we were OK with that."

With five studio albums to the band's credit, including its most recent, 2002's Welcome to My Party, Rusted Root has outlasted many of their peers. Alluring live shows separated by occasional hiatuses keep fans hungry and band members creatively inspired and friendly.

"I think we're all good with that," Berlin says. "It's kind of what has to happen when you're in one situation for so long. You have to have other avenues to express yourself."

For the members of Rusted Root, that means numerous solo projects, including Berlin's recently released AudioBioGraphical. The singer says the album is influenced by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead and PJ Harvey.

It's no accident that Berlin's debut solo effort shifts stylistically from the jam-band sounds of Rusted Root. Discussion of her influences leads to a startling revelation.

"Personally, I was never a fan of the Grateful Dead," she says. "It's not that I dislike them, but that's just not who I ever was."

Still, it's kind of ironic, considering Rusted Root is associated with the post-Jerry jam-band scene.

"Yeah, I guess so, but I can't complain," Berlin says. "It's been a really great time."


Rusted Root with Zox

Gothic Theatre, 3263 S. Broadway, Englewood

Saturday, July 8, 9 p.m.

Tickets: $26, 21-plus; available at

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast