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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Concert Sun Mar 03 2013

Review: Tea Leaf Green Jams at Lincoln Hall

After seeing Tea Leaf Green at the 10,000 Lakes Festival in 2009, I was happy to have the chance to catch them again, this time at Lincoln Hall on February 23. After an opening set by Tumbleweed Wanderers, Tea Leaf Green came out jamming. They included some beautiful build-ups to lead into transitioning songs. The guitarist, Josh Clark, can absolutely shred. Keyboardist Trevor Garrod is borderline impish. He has a glimmer in his eyes like he's up to something wonderfully mischievous and long, flowing blonde locks. With those two things combined he could easily be mistaken for an elf from Middle-earth. His voice is raw and smoothly at the same time. He sings like he plays the keys, in a manner that demands attention, but still maintains much grace.

Tea Leaf Green's Trevor Garrod (Photos by Brianna Kelly)

One of the best things about Tea Leaf Green is that it has two drummers on the roster. Drums are completely underrated. Having an extra kit in the mix really adds a whole different layer to a band's sound. There's even a fun and playful dynamic between the bassist and guitarist. They have all the necessary ingredients of a successful jam band. But their sound is still more polished than improvisational.

Tea Leaf Green

When more than half of the band left the stage it seemed like the show was winding down. Trevor grabbed a banjo for a duet with bassist Reed Mathis. The pair covered "America" by Simon and Garfunkel and it was apparent that it was the first time they had ever performed the song. But then two members from the Tumbleweed Wanderers came out to converge an acoustic quartet for a cover of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice It's Alright." That was much more dynamic.


Tea Leaf Green reconvened on stage for the presumed encore, but they just kept playing and playing. It's always nice when it seems the show is going to end soon, but then it completely catches you off guard by continuing for another hour. "You're My Star," a soulful tune, struck a major chord with me. The gritty vocals and guitar made it sound similar to a White Stripes song.

When the encore actually came, it began with a birthday celebration for Josh. A cake was brought onto the stage and after he blew out the candles, Tea Leaf Green continued the show. They debuted a new song called "Three Dollars." A balloon floated down to the crowd from above. It was one of those picturesque moments when you have no idea how it happened, but you're glad that it did. The birthday fun was a perfect way to end the night.

Opening the show that night were The Tumbleweed Wanderers, a self-described "hair folk and soulful rock and roll" band. They strummed string and vocal-heavy melodies that inspire a fantastic sense of hope through socially conscious lyrics. The mentality and approach of the Tumbleweed Wanderers is similar to that of the famous 60's folk bands. Most importantly, they fit seamlessly as the opening act for Tea Leaf Green's winter tour. Both bands are a gaggle of vagabond boys from the Bay Area.

Tea Leaf Green and The Tumbleweed Wanderers were recently announced as additions to the Summer Camp Music Festival line-up. You can catch both bands play at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, IL, over Memorial Day weekend.

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Candy Smith / March 25, 2013 1:20 AM

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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