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Rusted Root Enjoying New Beginnings

Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Rusted Root has gone through some upheaval in recent years. But singer and percussionist Liz Berlin says that change has been good for the Pittsburghbased rock band.

“I think the creative energy’s been a little stifled over the last few years, and we’re just kind of coming out of it right now,” says Berlin, 37, who remains from the group’s original 1990 lineup, along with frontman Michael Glabicki and bassist Patrick Norman.

“It’s been pretty challenging, but I think it’s natural in any, I guess I’ll say, family to have change that needs to happen, and it’s always really emotional. I think that, in the end, it’s good for everybody involved, and the music is certainly turning into a really exciting thing.”

Berlin — who released a solo album, “Audiobiographical,” in 2006 — says Rusted Root’s handful of holiday shows may feature “40 or 50 percent new stuff” from an album the group is preparing to start recording in January and have out sometime in 2008.

It will be the group’s first set of new material since 2002, and rather than pursue a label deal, Berlin says she expects the band to remain “happily independent” when it finally releases the new album.

“We don’t feel a need or an intention to go shop this (album) around,” she explains. “I think the industry has changed so much that it’s not really a necessary thing. Now you can pretty much do everything yourself. It doesn’t make sense to strive for a record deal as some kind of solution or a way to boost your career.

“If a specifically right situation or offer came along, we might consider it. But we’re happy doing it ourselves. It’s been a while since we’ve had new music, so I’m excited. I think that people are gonna be surprised by a few of these new things — hopefully all of them.”

Rusted Root and Phredley perform at 9 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 29) at St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $32.50. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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