Tea Leaf Green kicked off their two night run at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl on Friday night, with a bang. The evening was opened by American Babies, a side project speared by Brothers Past member, Tom Hamilton. American Babies rocked the early crowd of jam music lovers until about 9:30 pm. Tea Leaf Green took the stage shortly before 10 pm, as the last few fans filled the almost full dance floor. The band is comprised of five members: Josh Clark on the guitar, Reed Mathis on the bass, Trevor Garrod on the keyboards and harmonica, Scott Rager on the drums, and Cochrane McMillan on percussion. Forming in 1996 and starting their rise to fame in 2001, Tea Leaf Green has been a staple in the jam band scene and shouldn’t be missed when they come around or are at a festival.
The first thing I noticed about Tea Leaf Green was their equilibrium as a band. Clark, Mathis and Garrod all took leads on the vocals and their harmonies were on point for a jam band. Rager and McMillan work as a flawless duo of percussion, holding down a tight beat the entire time. Also, the band didn’t seem to revolve around one member as many bands do. From quick and heavy guitar solos by Clark, to whirling organ solos by Garrod, and heavy bass jams by Mathis, Tea Leaf Green is one of the most balanced jam bands I have seen.
With just one long set, Tea Leaf Green brought the hard hitting jams from the beginning and took no time getting the crowd moving. About halfway through the set, they opened up the stage and invited multiple members of American Babies to join them for a few songs, including a new song from March that had never been performed live before. They are currently releasing a new song online with a free download every month, which is super cool and unique for a band to do. They also announced at the show that they recorded an album at a spot in Manhattan called “The Boiler Room” earlier in the week.
Friday night was nothing but fun, for us and for them. Clark, Mathis, and Garrod played flawlessly off each other and did so with big smiles on their faces. It was clear to me that Tea Leaf Green is a well-oiled machine that truly enjoys their work. It is no surprise that they’ve been rocking for nearly two decades and will continue to do so for many years to come.
For more on the band, check our their Facebook here and their website here!