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Rock 'n' Roll Band

Tea Leaf Green

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Album Review

The acid test for a jam band is, of course, the live album, and San Francisco-based quartet Tea Leaf Green bill this one as their first "official" concert recording, disavowing an earlier self-released effort. The disc is also billed as the soundtrack to an identically titled and simultaneously released documentary film on DVD directed by Justin Kreutzmann (son of Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann). The movie captures the band's performance on May 19, 2006, at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, CO, interspersed with interview footage shot back home in San Francisco. Many jam bands try to discount their roots in '60s psychedelic rock, but the members of Tea Leaf Green are unabashed about extolling their taste for it and for the '70s classic rock that grew out of it. Their music is reminiscent of the Dead, with certain caveats. They are one guitarist and one drummer short of the earlier band's instrumentation, which leads to greater prominence for keyboardist Trevor Garrod, and their rhythm section is more inclined toward R&B and funk than the Dead's. Also, there is little of the Dead's country music background in Tea Leaf Green. But Garrod, who is also the lead singer, has a light tenor often reminiscent of Jerry Garcia's, and the jamming, despite revealing a knowledge of both the Allman Brothers Band and Weather Report, suggests the Dead, too. Garrod's lyrics are full of nature imagery and vague philosophizing, with a hint of religion (two songs here mention the Devil in the titles), his primary influence naturally being the Dead's Robert Hunter. But the words are less important than the group's interplay on this date, and that interplay is infectious enough to please any jam band fan.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

San Francisco-based jam band Tea Leaf Green got their start in the relationship between guitarist Josh Clark and drummer Scott Rager, who played in a high-school band together in Arcadia, CA. After graduation, Rager enrolled at San Francisco State College, where he met bassist Ben Chambers. When Clark moved to San Francisco, the three began playing together as a trio. Their first paying gig was attended by Trevor Garrod, a singer/songwriter and keyboard player who had moved to San Francisco looking...
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Rock 'n' Roll Band, Tea Leaf Green
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