San Francisco-based jam band Tea Leaf Green got their start in the relationship between guitarist Josh Clark and drummer Scott Rager, who played in a high-school band together in Arcadia, CA. After graduation, Rager enrolled at San Francisco State College, where he met bassist Ben Chambers. When Clark moved to San Francisco, the three began playing together as a trio. Their first paying gig was attended by Trevor Garrod, a singer/songwriter and keyboard player who had moved to San Francisco looking for other musicians to play with. Garrod met the three others, and soon they were playing together as a quartet. They built a following in Northern California and self-released the albums Tea Leaf Green, Midnight on the Reservoir (2001), Friday June 6, 2003: Live at Slim's, San Francisco CA (September 17, 2003), Living in Between (February 7, 2004), and Live at the Independent (2004). Eventually, they extended their touring nationwide, including a performance at the Bonnaroo Festival in 2005.
Signing to Reincarnate Music, they issued their first national release, Taught to Be Proud, on November 15, 2005, as they played shows opening for Gov't Mule and Trey Anastasio. On May 19, 2006, they appeared at the Fox Theater in Boulder, CO, and the show was filmed for a home video. It was issued by SCI Fidelity Records on October 31, 2006, as Rock 'n' Roll Band, both as a separately released CD and DVD. Further touring found Tea Leaf Green opening for Dave Matthews Band and Bruce Hornsby, as well as headlining on their own. Chambers left the band in November 2007 and was replaced by Reed Mathis, formerly of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. In 2008, a move to Surfdog Records led to the re-release of the first three studio albums, Tea Leaf Green, Midnight on the Reservoir, and Living in Between, as the triple-CD compilation Seeds on April 22, 2008. Surfdog reissued Taught to Be Proud with bonus tracks on June 3, 2008, and released a new Tea Leaf Green studio album, Raise Up the Tent, on July 22, 2008. ~ William Ruhlmann