“Why can’t we let go of things that don’t want us? When we hear the sounds of ghosts that will haunt us, why don’t we run?” from “Run” by Trees Leave
Letting go, or running from the past is the prominent theme of the songs that decorate “Run,” the debut album of Trees Leave. The ghosts that haunt this Nashville, Tennessee alternative-folk-rock duo have been coming back to life in their songs for years. Trees Leave have been playing music together for close to a decade. The last couple of years, though, have been the most productive and satisfying for them. They have crafted a sound that marries their Bluegrass roots with their love of Rock, Blues and Traditional Country music. Trees Leave’s preferred brand of Americana mixes raw, emotional lyrics with equally jarring melodies and instrumentation. Whether they are plugged in or sitting on the back porch, the urgency in their music and performance is hard to ignore.
Usually performing as a duo, they share rhythm guitar duties when the other is impressing on their signature instruments. Cobi Ferguson’s polarizing guitar riffs and Wyatt Espalin’s fiery fiddle solos add spice to their live performances and keeps audiences guessing what will come next. When the venue suits it, Trees Leave performs with a backing band and their songs do not hesitate to meet them at the next level. The listener is caught off guard with the twists of irony, winks of wit and sighs of sorrow of the characters in their songs.
Trees Leave have studied the architects of Americana music and are not ashamed of borrowing from their influences such as Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown, Gillian Welch, the Counting Crows and new Folk-Pop act, the Weepies. You can even hear hints of their Christian music past in the spiritual longing of their own original crowd-pleasers, “Groaning” and “Water Falls”. They would never call themselves Bluegrass players, but they love taking turns on fiddle and mandolin-laced folk tunes and often try to recreate the sounds of old world music with their tight harmonies and interesting interpretations of standards like “Bury Me Beneath the Willow.”
Trees Leave plan to tour extensively this year to promote “Run.” They have recently signed with Precedent Entertainment to take care of their booking. They are already looking ahead to their next recording project and are anxious to perfect some new songs by trying them out on the road. Their humble attitude and gratitude for their many blessings over the years have not waned. They have not forgotten where they came from and celebrate that in their songs.
Trees leave; something as stoic as a tree will eventually leave. Trees leave; trees will bear leaves. These somber and hopeful views on the circles of life shape the music of Trees Leave. They bring their faith, desires and needs into their art. In this life, we are all running from something . . . Or running to something. . .or usually, both. Trees Leave are running toward their goals, their dreams and their calling to nurture this art. By holding on to the past is how they plan to get there.