Rusted Root is a jam band noted for their fusion of Grateful Dead-style bluegrass with African, Middle Eastern, and Latin America percussion. Charming fans with polyrhythmic world roots music and jam rock they are a major touring act with a riveting live show, headlining venues all across America and Canada. They've toured with legendary rock music icons The Grateful Dead, Page and Plant, Santana, The Allman Brothers Band, Sting, Sheryl Crow, and The Dave Matthews Band. The Root has also provided developing artists such as Joan Osborne, Nil Lara, and Geggy Tah the opportunity to be exposed to its audiences. Their music is heard in the soundtracks of the movies Twister, Home for the Holidays, Race the Sun, and Ice Age. Their hit song "Send Me on My Way" appears in the soundtracks of both Matilda and Ice Age. They’ve also performed on the CBS "Saturday Early Show", Conan O'Brien, and David Letterman. Their songs have also been featured on television programs such as Alley McBeal, Party of Five, and Homicide, as well as on MTV and ESPN. Rusted Root is comprised of Michael Glabicki (lead vocals, guitar), Liz Berlin (vocals, guitars, percussion), Jenn Wertz (vocals, guitars, percussion), Jim Donovan (drums, percussion, vocals), Patrick Norman (bass, guitar, baritone vocals, percussion) and John Buynak (electric guitar, percussion, flute). Making fans around the planet, they have sold over 3 million records world wide.
After a trip to South America, Mike Glabicki left college in 1988 to become a song writer. He collaborated with high school friend, Liz Berlin and they developed the harmonies and song arrangements that became the foundation of the Rusted Root sound. In January of 1990 drummer-percussionist Jim Donovan (a student of African percussion) and guitarist-bassist Patrick Norman, began jamming with Mike and Liz, adding a uniquely driving rhythm section. The band was officially formed and began performing around the Pittsburgh area, playing small clubs and many benefits. Later that year multi-instrumentalist-visual artist John Buynak began playing with the group, adding signature flute penny-whistle melodies which were featured on Rusted Root's first hit single, "Send Me On My Way". Vocalist Jenn Wertz also joined the band. In 1993, the percussionist ethnomusicologist Jim DiSpirito joined, bringing a new level of musicianship and instrumental texture to the band.
In response to growing public enthusiasm for their music, Rusted Root released its first independent full length CD, Cruel Sun in 1990 on it’s own on its Touchy Pegg label. Produced by Rusted Root and Dave Brown (of The Gathering Field) it sold over 110,000 copies. The album caught the attention of Mercury Records, who signed the group to a recording contract. In 1994, Mercury Records released the 1994 platinum selling breakthrough CD “When I Woke,” which featured the light and lovable “Send Me On My Way” Their next studio album was “Remember” (1996), followed by “Rusted Root” (1998) and “Welcome to My Party” (2002). “Remember”, produced by Jerry Harrison, (keyboardist and founding member of the Talking Heads) featured the song "Virtual Reality" which was included in the blockbuster film, Twister. The Twister soundtrack was certified gold in 1998. “Remember” reached the Top 40 in the US, 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. Along the way, Rusted Root has also issued three EPs (Evil Ways, Live, and Airplane), and a home video (Rusted Root Live).
When Mercury Records was acquired by Island Def Jam becoming a Hip Hop label, Rusted Root choose not to renew their contract and went independent in 2003. With their own label and studio they have joined the independent artist movement. Their latest CD “Rusted Root Live” was released in November 2004 on the band’s Touchy Pegg-DKE Records and features 22 songs that span the group’s 12-year-old career, ranging from such early faves-turned live staples as “Cruel Sun,” “Ecstasy”, “Martyr”, Cat Turned Blue” and the hit single “Send Me On My Way” (all from 1992’s Cruel Sun) to the pretty “Blue Diamonds” and the rousing title track from the band’s last studio effort, 2002’s “Welcome To My Party.”