Trembling Earth is Ann Arbor’s all original psychedelic blues and rock n roll band.
Founded in Athens, GA in 2000, Trembling Earth delivers its own unique and original songs and jams that draws influence from the classic funkiness of Talking Heads, the grunge of Neil Young and Crazy Horse, the delicate lyrics of Paul Simon, the indie rock sensibility of Built to Spill, and the psychedelic colours of Syd Barrett, mixed in with a hard driving Mississippi delta blues sound. Somehow with all these elements combined, Trembling Earth still has a little of that 1980’s Athens, GA vibe of Love Tractor, Guided by Voices, Widespread Panic, and REM. Trembling Earth is high energy and gets the room up and dancing.
Over the last couple decades, Trembling Earth has played shows across the U.S. including Chicago, Detroit, Louisville, Atlanta, and Tallahassee. The band has released two studio albums and recorded their latest album Live at the historic Blind Pig in Ann Arbor in March 2019.
Trembling Earth has shared the stage with Daniel Hutchens (Bloodkin, Widespread Panic), Muruga (Jerry Garcia Rainforest Band, P-Funk All-stars), Hope For a Golden Summer, Mr. Blotto, Rootstand, Covert Ops, UV Hippo, Deadicated, Nina Sofia and the Buffalo Riders, Anne Erlewine, Miko Fossum, and many more.
The name Trembling Earth comes from the Southeast Georgia wilderness preserve, the Okefenokee Swamp. Okefenokee translated to English means “Land of Trembling Earth”. Founding member, Waycross, Georgia native, guitarist, and songwriter, John Heath, chose the name in homage to his distant Native American ancestors from that region.
At age 20, John dropped out of engineering school to pursue his passion for music and songwriting in 1997. After many years in the vibrant music scene of Athens, GA John literally hopped on a Greyhound bus with his guitar and amplifier and moved to Ann Arbor in 2005. John Heath met the Ann Arbor drummer, Timmy Slats during this time period, and played shows as Trembling Earth around Michigan and Ohio.
In 2008 John moved to Chicago. He kept playing out under the name Trembling Earth backed by various Chicago session players. He recorded his first studio album, Trembling Earth “Creatures” in 2010 in a small private recording studio just outside of Chicago, in Griffith, IN. In support of this album, John took Trembling Earth out on the road as far as Atlanta and Louisville.
John moved back to Ann Arbor in 2012 to work with his old pal, Timmy Slats, and met his current bassist, Alexis King, and his current keyboardist Willy Kaye. After playing several shows and touring back down South, Trembling Earth recorded their second album, self-titled, “Trembling Earth” in 2014. After a short tour the band went on hiatus. John Heath enrolled at EMU and continued his studies in Electrical Engineering.
All four band members reunited this past Autumn, of 2018 and plans to record in the winter of 2019. All four band members are either engineers, or currently working in high-tech, engineering related fields.