A Deeper Shade of Tea Leaf Green
The past three years have not been easy for San Francisco’s Tea Leaf Green. Original bassist Ben Chambers quit in 2007. The band switched management and split from their record label. And, as a result, toured less which led to the hard-earned buzz surrounding them noticeably dissipating. It was something of a perfect storm.
“It was a major struggle,” says guitarist/vocalist Josh Clark of the many transitions that Tea Leaf Green has endured lately. “Definitely a difficult time for sure, but I’ve never questioned that this is the band I want to be in and this is the music I want to make.”
Tea Leaf Green hasn’t been the only band wrestling with change. For the past decade, the entire music world has been in a rapid state of evolution. The decline of the record industry brought on by digital music greatly affected the band’s decision to leave their record label. Styles are constantly going in and out of favor with fans and, like the rest of the jamband scene, Tea Leaf Green suffered from a downswing in appreciation for the genre as a whole.
“I definitely feel there was a retraction,” says keyboardist/lead vocalist Trevor Garrod about Tea Leaf Green’s popularity in the past few years, “and I kind of feel there was a retraction all the way across the board for that whole scene that we came up in. In fact, we’re one of the few bands that are still around from those days.”
The quartet, which formed in 1997, rode the post-Phish jam swell right up to the crest where they played for 10,000 people at Bonnaroo, opened for Trey Anastasio and Dave Matthews Band and headlined multiple nights at San Francisco’s Fillmore. The wave crashed somewhere around the end of fall of 2008.
With the exception of established heavy hitters like Widespread Panic and moe., as well as a few younger acts like the Disco Biscuits, Yonder Mountain String Band, Umphrey’s McGee and STS9, jam music became marginalized over the past few years while indie rock blew up. The music landscape was changing, but so was Tea Leaf Green—it’s no coincidence they’ve been able to survive both the music business shake-up and the jamband decline to become 13 year veterans of the scene. The secret to their success: songwriting.
The Howlin’ Brothers take to the Relix rooftop and share a song they wrote with Warren Haynes.
Beth Hart shares the opening track from her latest album, Bang Bang Boom Boom, live at Relix.
Jamie Lidell sets up in the Relix boiler room and delivers a tune from his 2005 album Multiply
Duane Trucks is happy to announce his new project, King Lincoln. Watch them perform “Coffee” live and acoustic at Relix’s Online-Video Coordinator’s loft in Williamsburg.
Here’s another song from Crystal Bowersox’s new record All That For This, live at Relix.
WYATT share a song in the famed Relix boiler room.
Goodnight, Texas share a song from their latest studio album, A Long Life of Living, live at Relix.
Warren Haynes performs a solo, acoustic version of “Railroad Boy” and explains how he adapted the traditional Celtic song for Gov’t Mule, backstage at the Hangout Music Festival.
Australia’s Alpine recently made their NYC debut at the Relix office with this song from their new album A is for Alpine.
In honor of Umphrey’s McGee’s return to Summer Camp this weekend, we present the group’s Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger performing this version of “The Pequod” from UM’s Anchor Drops.
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