Trees Biography

London, England-based folk rock band formed in 1969 by Celia Humphris (vocals), Bias Boshell (bass/guitar/vocals), Barry Clarke (guitar), David Costa (guitar) and Unwin Brown (drums) were signed to CBS Records the following year. The quintet’s albums drew favourable comparisons with Fairport Convention, particularly for their imaginative arrangements of traditional material. Trees displayed an even greater penchant for improvisation, evident on the extended versions of ‘Lady Margaret’ and ‘She Moves Through The Fair’ (The Garden Of Jane Delawney) and ‘Streets Of Derry’ and ‘Sally Free And Easy’ (On The Shore). Essentially a framework for Clarke’s exhilarating guitar work, the textured accompaniments bestowed on such excursions revealed a group of care and taste.

Brown and main songwriter Boshell left the band following the release of its second album. They were replaced by Barry Lyons and Alun Eden from Mr. Fox. Although a violinist, Chuck Fleming, was also added, the band was unable to bridge the genres it pursued and broke up before a third release could be completed. In 2006, the Trees’ reading of the traditional number ‘Geordie’ (from On The Shore) was sampled by Gnarls Barkley on the title track of their hit album, St. Elsewhere. An expanded version of On The Shore was released in 2007 with reviewers now citing the album as a folk rock classic, albeit recognition coming 37 years late.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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On the Shore
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