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New Deal Renews Taproot

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Thursday, November 6, 2008

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Taproot tends to take a bit of time making its albums, so a three-year gap between 2005’s “Blue Sky Research” and the new “Our Long Road Home” wasn’t unusual.

It was, however, nerve-wracking for the Ann Arbor hard rock quartet.

The group split from Atlantic Records, Taproot’s home for its first three releases — including 2002’s gold-selling “Welcome.” The band started working on “Our Long Road Home” before it had a new deal, but frontman Stephen Richards says Taproot was still confident for its future.

“We knew we weren’t gonna stop,” says Richards, 31, who formed Taproot in the mid-’90s with guitarist Mike DeWolf, later adding bassist Phil Lipscomb and drummer Jarrod Montague. “We knew we could figure something out.

“There was a little bit of the unknown, kind of that funny feeling in the pit of your gut, not exactly sure how we’re gonna do it, what we’re gonna do. But there was never a ‘can’t be done’ mentality. We knew we’d find something that works.”

Taproot made another change as well, making “Our Long Road Home,” which came out in mid-September, closer to home with producer Tim Patalan (Sponge, Lovedrug) at The Loft, his barn studio in Saline, where the group knocked a list of more than 50 songs down to 12.

“It was amazing,” says DeWolf, 30. “It was just really good to drive down the road and out a little bit into the country and start playing out there. I think that contributed a lot to the music.”

Taproot performs Thursday (Nov. 6) at the Emerald Theatre, 31 N. Walnut St., Mount Clemens. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call (586) 913-1920 or visit www.emeraldtheatre.com.

Web Site: www.emeraldtheatre.com

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