The Spin Doctors, the wholly unique, blues-influenced rock group that became a staple of the early-’90s music scene, will be playing the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, N.J., on Friday, Jan. 24 (8 p.m.). They’ll be joined by The Uprooted Band featuring Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root, along with James Maddock.
The Spin Doctors (long known for hits such as “Two Princes,” and “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong”) have released six studio albums. Each, critics have noted, channel a special, vibrant sound and chemistry. The group reached new heights with 1991’s smash-hit, Triple Platinum album, “Pocket Full of Kryptonite,” which sold 10 million copies and reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
Led by continued touring on the “Kryptonite” album, the band ultimately helped define sounds of the ’90s. Yet ultimately, it was the Spin Doctors’ capacity to reinvent themselves throughout the unfolding decade that confirmed their status as a great American band. This included albums like “Turn It Upside Down,” “You’ve Got to Believe in Something” and more.
The group found subsequent success with tracks like, “You Let Your Heart Go Too Fast,” “Cleopatra’s Cat” and “She Used To Be Mine.” They’ve continued to produce well-received music into the 2010s and beyond – including 2013’s “If The River Was Whiskey.”
The record, which peaked at No. 5 on Billboard’s U.S. Top Blues Albums, has been called “a collection of blues numbers that feels like an unapologetic throwback to classic Chess records from the ’50s and ’60s.” The same review noted, “The Spin Doctors have never sounded so alive on record, nor have they demonstrated such muscular chops.”
The gritty blues originals tipped a hat to the band’s first steps on the New York circuit, managing to revisit their roots while reinvigorating their sound.
“We cut that record in two days,” recalls guitarist Eric Schenkman. “It was very similar to how we initially made records, when we’d go out and play in the bars of New York, then we’d record music because we were playing so good.”
The band also has plans to reenter the studio for their seventh album.
On Jan. 24, the Spin Doctors will be joined by The Uprooted Band Featuring Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root, along with James Maddock. The Uprooted Band will play the hit R.R. album “When I Woke” in its entirety, a record that dates to 1994, featuring smash hit “Send Me on My Way.” The latter peaked at No. 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was subsequently featured in numerous films and television shows. (This includes “Matilda,” “Ice Age,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” and more.) Rusted Root went on to sell more than 3 million albums.
As for the Spin Doctors, long-term strategy has never really been their style. While cultural commentators have given up plotting the trajectory of this most unpredictable band, it’s a revelation to learn that the lineup themselves have no road map.
“For the next album,” considers singer Chris Barron, “I kind of want to stay spontaneous. I’d personally like to make a quarter-turn and do a rock record. But I have a feeling it’s going to get funky. You know, there’s that great quote from Keith Richards when he went to meet Mick Jagger at AIR Studios to make Steel Wheels. And he told his wife – ‘I’ll either be back tomorrow or in a month’. I think that’s how it’s going to go for us, too.”
Having made music for major record labels, recorded at the notorious Sound City studio (which played home to Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac and others) and celebrated immense critical success on their most recent album, the band continues to help carry rock’s proverbial torch.
They’ll have their 30-year songbook on display this January in Montclair.
For more information about the Spin Doctors’ upcoming performance at the Wellmont Theater, head to: https://wellmonttheater.com/shows/spin-doctors-the-uprooted-band-feat-michael-glabicki-of-rusted-root/.
The Wellmont Theater is located at 5 Seymour St., Montclair, N.J., 07042.