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Guster at Meadow Brook, 3 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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It's been 26 years since Guster formed at Tufts University, and the then-trio, now a quartet, hasn't looked back since.

During that time the group has released seven studio albums and won an audience with fan favorites such as "Barrel Of A Gun," "Fa Fa," "Do You Love Me?," "Demons" and more. Heavy touring has also allowed the group to establish a dedicated fan base, which has put Guster's last three releases in the Top 10 of Billboard's Rock Albums chart.

Guster is currently between albums, but a summer tour with Dispatch is, according to percussionist Brian Rosenworcel, allowing his band to "get into these cool venues and play to three times as many people as we would otherwise play to" -- and start to build the groundswell for Guster's next outing...

Rosenworcel, 43, says Guster is hard at work on its eighth album, the follow-up to 2015's "Evermotion." "We're planning to record for the back half of this year," he reports by phone from Louisville. "We've got some serious, serious tunes but we're waiting to finish the lyrics. They come to us; We get together for two days a month and in those two days we're just full of ideas. Every time we go into writing we think maybe this'll be the time where the melodies don't come or this will be the time we lose our edge, 'cause it seems to happen to most bands. For whatever reason the more and more we're in it the more inspired we feel. I think we're sitting on our best batch yet."

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Guster's sophomore album, "Goldfly," a favorite with fans but one Rosenworcel says he and his bandmates have ambivalent feels towards. "While we celebrate the anniversaries of some of the other albums, that one bastard child of our discography probably will receive on recognition," the percussionist explains. "It was a terrible recording process, I would say by far the worst-sounding album we made. It's not one we're very proud of. I know there's a couple of good songs on there that we still play, but we swept that one under the rug a little bit. There's a whole faction out there that swears by that record, so there must be some hook to it. But if we listen to it we have to skip ahead to the next song before we even get to the first chorus of most of them."

Twenty-six years after the band formed at Tufts University, Rosenworcel says he and his bandmates are pleased, if a bit surprised, that Guster is still an active and going concern. "It's interesting to think about 'What is the story of Guster?' Is it a college band that had a good run or are we a band whose instrumentation (acoustic guitars and hand percussion) was the story before we abandoned it? I don't think it's those things. I think more than anything it's our evolution; I look at 'Parachute' and 'Goldfly' and can barely recognize the band. I know it's hard for people to stay with seven or eight albums of evolving material and like them all. I do think we're making music as potent as we ever have. We're inspired every time we get into the studio and feel like we have something to prove. So the evolution of our sound, I think, is the real story of the band."

Dispatch, Guster and Marco Benevento

7 p.m. Sunday, July 2.

Meadow Brook Amphitheatre on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills.

Tickets are $30.50-$61 pavilion, $26 lawn.

Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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