Digipack . Incredible Japanese-based label Tiliqua records presents the lysergic beauty of the Tree People's sole recorded artifact, a privately released acid folk gem from 1979, to a whole new generation.
The Tree People were an Oregon based acoustic group centered around guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Stephen Cohen (who had recently been transplanted, hobo style coffee house to coffee house, from Rhode Island).
This is a meditative, deeply introspective work, with stunningly clear production, that really does make one feel they are amongst natural surroundings. The best tracks feature recorder and flute, such as ‘Opus,’ ‘Pot of Gold’, ‘Morning Song’ and ‘The Pineapple Song’. Cohen has a slight rural twang in his voice, one that seems confident yet vulnerable. For progressive folk fans, the comparisons go northwards towards some similarly minded Canadians—most obviously, Vancouver based band Ptarmigan (see our Lion Productions reissue of their only album)—the acoustic guitar, fragile vocals and ample use of recorder are a touchstone for both groups.
The CD reissue on Tiliqua Records is stunning. It comes in a beautiful Japanese mini-LP (extra thick cardboard), with a full history, photos, etc. It’s obvious that this reissue was a labor of love, and that the label owner is a huge fan of the album.
Limited pressing. For good measure, here is the label description: “In times when people are getting excited about media-created scenes like “new weird america” and “freak folk”, they seem to overlook the fact that such music was being created decades ago. The Tree People album is evidence of such creativity, but was sadly doomed to obscurity... until now. Upon listening today this hushed and intimate feeling still resonates through the music – the record possesses an extraordinarily potent atmosphere that still intoxicates the senses after so many years. over a combustible backing dominated by shimmering strings, bone-shaking hand percussion rhythms, and quivering sensuous threads of eastern-toned flute playing, the group succeeded in concocting up a syncretic combination of meditative Indian raga, western folk stylings and idiosyncratic melodic ideas. the music breathes out intimacy and communicates with a rare directness—hooking you instantly with sheer aural bliss derived from the melody, from the flowing beat, from the sound of the words and syllables and of all those separate elements interacting with each other, rendered into a concentrated, gracious flow of lunar notes. the album's compositions have so many hidden qualities, all breathing out deep and affectionate sentiments that reveal, just like a lotus flower centered on the axis with its petals unfolding towards the circumference, a streamlined adhesion towards the group's' own singular creed. listen to it and you may feel like awakening from a deep slumber, your unconsciousness leaking away as aspects of reality slowly mix in with the rest of your already blurred mindset.”
1 Stranger 3:39
2 Sliding 3:45
3 Pot Of Gold 5:10
4 Opus 5:24
5 Morning Song 3:30
6 Space Heater 4:18
7 The Pineapple Song 4:15
8 No More School 3:10
9 Bring In The Water 2:48