Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


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Rusted Root

Fame Hasn’t Ground Them Down

Kristi Kates - July 7th, 2014  


After the movie “Ice Age” outed them to millions with the hit, “Send Me on My Way,” Rusted Root’s commercial career took off, but the band has nonetheless stayed grounded in their original, world music jam sound.

Now, the Pittsburgh-based fan favorite is bringing their unique music to Blissfest, where they’ll play many of the songs from their 25- year career, as well as some new tunes.

ALBUM ON THE WAY

The band is celebrating its 25th anniversary by working on a new album, including some songs that fans will get a sneak peek of, said Patrick Norman, who plays bass.

“We have been playing some of the new material at the shows, sometimes spontaneously throwing one in a set,” he said.

Seeing how the songs translate live can be a critical part of the writing process because the band gets instant feedback, he said.

“Sometimes trying out a song for the first time live, you can clearly see what works and what doesn’t,” Norman said. “I personally find this enjoyable and helpful to the creative process.”

MUSICAL MOVEMENT

While Norman says he’s not a big fan of the term “world music” (“…because all music is world music,” he said), his band did help bring African and Latin American-inspired sounds to a broader audience.

“When ‘Send Me On My Way’ hit in the ‘90s, there wasn’t a lot of that kind of music on mainstream radio,” Norman said. “I think the Internet explosion helped enable people to discover more styles of music, and I’m glad we were one of the bands in the forefront of that movement.”

Norman remembers listening to bands from Africa like Baba Maal, King Sunny Ade, and Hugh Masekela during that time.

“Now you can hear that same style of music in bands like Vampire Weekend and Yeasayer,” he said.

TOURING TUNES

For their current round of songwriting, the band is finding that touring itself is providing plenty of material.

“I think that traveling 200-some days a year, playing with my band mates and performing for our fans is where we derive a lot of our inspiration,” Norman said.

The band is just kicking off their summer tour, during which they should traverse most of the U.S. by this fall.

“Summer is one of my favorite times to tour because there are always a bunch of great festivals happening and we get to see and play with so many fantastic musicians,” he said. “I try to remind myself to breathe and enjoy the moments during the tour, but it flies by so fast sometimes, it’s just a technicolor blur, and then the tour’s over.”

The band has already performed in Northern Michigan several times, and Norman says it’s one of the places they look forward to.

“It’s stunning there in the summer, and I can’t wait to come back. We always have a ball when we play in Michigan,” he said. “For the Blissfest show, we’ll be mixing classic with some brand new songs, and some spontaneous standup hijinx.”

Norman laughed. “Just kidding about the standup,” he said.

Rusted Root will be performing at this year’s Blissfest as the Saturday night headliner. For tix and more info, visit www.blissfest.org, and find the band at rustedroot.com

 
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