On a cold Friday night in the Bowery Ballroom, Tea Leaf Green came for their first of two performances in New York City, and brought the Bowery Ballroom off their feet and dancing. The band, formed more than a dozen years ago from the Bay Area in California, utilizes one of the most impressive two-drummer attacks, reminiscent of Bill Kreutzman and Mickey Hart or Jaimoe and Butch Trucks to drive the insatiable polyrhythms and create a hard driving backbone to all of their songs. The band has skyrocketed in popularity ever since the addition in 2007 of bass player Reed Mathis, formerly of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey.

Tea Leaf Green began their hour-long first set with a remarkable instrumental “Soldiers of Kentucky” before launching into “Don’t Curse the Night,” with great vocals by guitar player Josh Clark and keys player Trevor Garrod. One highlight of the night was a Reed Mathis bass solo, which then lead into one of the best songs of the night, a nearly ten-minute instrumental jam entitled “Warm Up.” The best guitar solo of the night came during a set closing “You’re My Star” which featured remarkable guitar fireworks by Clark.

After a 15-minute break, the band came out for a lengthy second set, which included personal highlights of “Fallen Angel” and “Jezebel.” “Fallen Angel,” off their latest album Radio Tragedy!, had an almost “plinko” jam in it, where staccato notes rung out over a funky backbeat and turned the crowd into a big dance party. The band then closed the night with the solid two-song encore of “Carter Hotel” and “Let Us Go,” sending the scores of people out dancing and smiling into the cold winter air. Big things are on the horizon for this band and I strongly recommend checking them out when they come to your hometown or a festival you attend as the window to see them in smaller environments is quickly diminishing.

Written by Brian Weidy


Set 1

1. Soldiers of Kentucky

2. Don’t Curse the Night

3. One Reason

4. Warm Up

5. Monsters

6. Cottonwood Tree


8. Out in the Woods

9. Sleep Paralysis

10. You’re My Star

Set 2

1. Germ

2. Jubilee

3. Hanging From a Tree

4. Fallen Angel

5. Innocence

6. Jezebel

7. Can’t Get High

8. TTBP>Franz Tease>TTBP

9. 2 Chairs

10. Drums>Turd Song (All Washed Up)


1. Carter Hotel

2. Let Us Go