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Seeing TreeHouse live for the first time recently was a life-changing experience. My story about that is below, as well as the incredible story about how the collaboration with Dan Kelly from Fortunate Youth came about. It’s an amazing story that showcases the determination and perseverance of a band that did just about everything to make their vision happen. But before reading any further you should watch TreeHouse’s brand new music video, featuring the amazingly talented Dan Kelly.
Pretty awesome, right? As I spoke with Jeremy Anderson recently (TreeHouse’s singer and guitar player), he told me how it all came to be. The story says a lot about Jeremy and the band – their ambition, drive, and pure, beautiful dedication to music. (To all the awesome bands still getting started out there, you’ll want to read this next part closely).
How TreeHouse got Dan Kelly on their song…
TreeHouse knew they wanted to do a song with Dan, but also knew how incredibly hard it would be to coordinate. Fortunate Youth is primarily based just south of LA, and Jeremy’s band is out of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – that’s almost 3,000 miles away. Not to mention, both of their bands are often on the road touring, and if you’ve ever been on tour, you know there’s not a lot of time to relax or do anything other than drive and play shows.
Not to be discouraged, Jeremy tirelessly studied Fortunate Youth’s tour route. He knew he needed to line up a date that Fortunate Youth would have some extra time while on tour in the southeast, while also making sure he had a studio on standby for a recording to happen in. Miraculously they managed to find some rare downtime for Dan on that tour, and a studio that was willing to be on standby near him. The studio happened to be in Charleston, South Carolina, with TreeHouse’s friend Jeff Leonard engineering (he also recorded Sun Dried Vibes’ recent album).
However, to complicate things even more, TreeHouse wasn’t home when Dan was swinging through – they were on their own tour in south Florida at the time. It seemed certain that it wouldn’t work out, but they were still determined to make it happen. After discussing the situation, they told Dan they’d drive 10 hours from West Palm Beach up to Charleston, pick Dan up, record the verse, and then drive back to Florida to finish their own tour.
Jeremy smiled and said that when he told Dan the plan, Dan replied, “Man, that’s 10 hours away! You’re crazy!” Dan was impressed with their dedication to making it happen though, and agreed to getting it done.
In the end they barely made the recording happen, but with an outstanding amount of hard work, determination, and sheer will, they were able to pull it all together. I just want to take a second and say that this sort of dedication blows me away, and I have so much damn respect for every band out there getting theirs.
When you see a band doing big things, it’s rarely ever the result of a “big break” – it’s a hell of a lot of hard work that finally pays off. Now that I’m done with my little love letter to how awesome I think it is when bands put in the work to make stuff happen, here’s how I personally became a TreeHouse fan.
My first time seeing TreeHouse…
I was in the middle of a bittersweet road trip from San Diego to Minnesota. Bittersweet in that I love Minnesota and was excited about moving there, but San Diego was my home for ten years, and where I truly found my love for music and writing. Anyways, I woke up in my hotel room in Austin and looked with blurry eyes at the new messages on my phone.
One message was from my friend Will telling me that the band TreeHouse was playing in town that night. I’ve always enjoyed TreeHouse, and met their singer Jeremy once or twice at music festivals along the way, but I’d never actually really watched them play live before.
I was excited that a band I knew and liked was in town, and that I would be getting to see them live for the first time. As light Austin rain hit puddles around our feet, we walked down Austin’s famous 6th street past the endless array of neon lights, listening while awesome music poured out from every direction.
There was country, blues, rock, hip-hop, covers, indie, dance, and just about every other type of music you could imagine filling the air around us. Toward one end of 6th street was a little bar called the Flamingo Cantina, and this special spot greeted us with the sweet sound of reggae music.
This was one of the coolest music venues I’ve ever been to. As with so many of the other great venues in Austin, they took an older building, gutted it out, and turned it into a uniquely fun space where people can hang out, enjoy fresh air on the rooftop deck, or vibe next to the tiki-themed bar and watch as the musicians rock the stage.
Joey Harkum, Bubba Love, and Aimann Raad-Lionhead opened up the night and got the crowd in a super irie mood. I had the amazing opportunity to chat with Jeremy and Bubba for a bit, and both told me how fun the tour had been. Jeremy is one of those people you speak with who comes across as humble, passionate about his work, excited to be on tour, and just a nice person in general. His eyes tell the story of someone who loves what they do, and who loves sharing that with other people.
From the second TreeHouse took the stage my wife and I were absolutely floored. We both see a lot of bands, and TreeHouse is one of those bands whose music smacks your ears with pure musical pleasure, and elevates your soul to a new dimension. We watched amazed as every member poured their hearts out onstage, and completely captivated the crowd.
It was one of those musical moments in my life where the stars aligned, and during a time of change and reflection, the universe assured me that everything was going to be just fine. At the end of the day, that’s music – it’s our deepest feelings and emotions painted on the canvas of song.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw TreeHouse, or the amazing feelings their music brought me. Thank you so much Jeremy and crew for creating part of the soundtrack of our lives! Keep up the amazing work!
Brendan and the Hill Kid Fam