The Giving Tree Band

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The Giving Tree Band
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Americana
Indie Folk
Alternative Country
Progressive Old-Time
Years active 2004 - present
Labels Crooked Creek Records
Associated acts Stone Samadhi
Website TheGivingTreeBand
Members E Fink
T Fink
Norm
Z
Charlie Karls
Past members Patrick Burke
Justin Forsythe
Andy Goss
Philip Roach
Woody Woods

The Giving Tree Band is a rock & roll band from Yorkville, Illinois. They all live together, travel together and perform with a wide array of instruments from acoustic & electric guitars, slide guitars & banjos to violin, mandolin & pedal steel. Though the group uses an instrumentation largely associated with bluegrass and Americana, their sound often drums up comparisons to such classic rock icons as The Band, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and The Beatles.[1]

History[edit]

The Giving Tree Band was started by brothers Todd and Eric Fink and released their first full-length album - a double disc, entitled Unified Folk Theory - in 2007. The album features 33 songs of original material.[2] In 2008, the band set out to record a carbon-neutral album, which was done at the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center in Baraboo, Wisconsin.[3] The album was released in 2009,[4] and was entitled Great Possessions, which was the working title of conservationist Aldo Leopold's book, A Sand County Almanac.[5]

On September 21, 2010, the band released their third full-length album, The Joke, The Threat & The Obvious.[6] The album spent multiple weeks on various Americana radio charts, peaking at number 15 on the Roots Music Report and number 40 on the Americana Airplay Chart.[7][8] The album also received critical acclaim, including a spot on Acoustic Guitar Magazine's "Best Acoustic Albums of 2010" list,[9] as well as garnering positive reviews from such publications as Relix Magazine,[10] The Huffington Post,[11] and American Songwriter.[12]

The group toured extensively in 2010, playing such notable festivals as South by Southwest,[13] Wakarusa,[14] the Philadelphia Folk Festival,[15] and Forecastle Festival,[16] along with such venues as The Kennedy Center[17] in Washington, D.C. and Millennium Park[18] and the House of Blues[19] in Chicago. When not touring, the band members all live together at a house in Yorkville, where they also record their albums.[20]

Instrumentation and Sound[edit]

The band uses a multitude of acoustic instruments, including guitar, banjo, upright bass, violin, mandolin, slide guitar, and drums. During their November 3, 2008 appearance on WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, host Michael Johnathon described them as having "the spirit of Pete Seeger with the musical abilities of The Band."[21] Reviewers have referred to their songwriting as having "Dylanesque imagery, John Prine-like aphorisms and Abbey Road-era Beatles overtones"[22] and being "reminiscent of Bob Dylan and Neil Young".[23] A review from the Nashville Metromix described The Giving Tree Band as being "a neo-retro take on The Band or the American answer to Mumford & Sons".[24]

Environmental Initiatives[edit]

The Giving Tree Band is also known for extraordinary environmental stewardship and eco-friendly music production.[25] They use a number of instruments that were handmade from naturally fallen trees and reclaimed woods. [26] They have recorded with renewable energy and package all their CDs with 100% recycled materials.[27] The band's second full-length album, Great Possessions, was released on August 18, 2009.[28] It was recorded with 100% solar energy at the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center in Baraboo, WI.[29] During the recording session, the band camped in a nearby state park and commuted over 500 miles by bicycle.[30] The Chicago Sun-Times has called Great Possessions the "greenest of albums."[31] National and international environmental media, such as The Sierra Club,[32] The Discovery Channel and Mother Earth News, have also highlighted the band's activism, with the latter referring to them as "the greenest band in the land".[33][34]

Following the release of Great Possessions, the band began receiving international recognition, as news sources in countries as diverse as Mexico,[35] France,[36] Kuwait,[37] Lebanon,[38] Egypt,[39] China,[40] and Ecuador[41] reported on the making of the album and the band's other environmental initiatives. These international sources put the group's environmental efforts as being on par with those of popular rock artists Radiohead and Kings of Leon.[42]

In an interview with Vegetarian Times magazine, Todd Fink mentioned that the band members follow a vegan diet.[43] In July 2010, the band was also named as one of the "Top Ten Great Vegan Activists" by Vegan Mainstream, a prominent blog site for vegan living. The list also includes Natalie Portman, Ellen DeGeneres, and Alicia Silverstone.[44]

In 2011, the group announced that they will be appearing on a compilation album entitled Home on the Range alongside such artists as Moby, Matisyahu, Nellie McKay and others, with the album due to be released in September 2011.[dated info] The compilation album is the project of the Compassionate Farming Education Initiative, and proceeds from the album will benefit farm animal sanctuaries.[45]

Discography[edit]


Unified Folk Theory (2007)


Bring It Back Home For Christmas (2008)


Great Possessions (2009)


The Joke, The Threat & The Obvious (2010)


Vacilador (2012)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Acoustic Guitar - Player Spotlight: The Giving Tree Band". 
  2. ^ "Unified Folk Theory Two Disc set from The Giving Tree Band". 
  3. ^ "The Giving Tree Band These acoustic folk-rockers just recorded the world's greenest album.". 
  4. ^ "The Giving Tree Band Celebrate Earth Day and Summer Tour Dates, Free MP3s". 
  5. ^ "Carbon neutral music is a top priority for The Giving Tree Band". 
  6. ^ "The Giving Tree Band Announce New Album". 
  7. ^ "Yorkville band's album hits national charts". 
  8. ^ "9 Questions and One Embarrassing Story With The Giving Tree Band". 
  9. ^ "Acoustic Guitar:Essential Acoustic Albums of 2010". 
  10. ^ "Relix - On The Verge - The Giving Tree Band". 
  11. ^ "Bill Chameides: Folk Rocking Sustainably". Huffington Post. 2010-09-30. 
  12. ^ "On Tour With The Giving Tree Band: "It is just after midnight..."". 
  13. ^ "The Giving Tree Band, Chicago, IL". 
  14. ^ "The Giving Tree Band Announce New Album". 
  15. ^ "Schedule of Events". 
  16. ^ "The Giving Tree Band, Chicago, IL". 
  17. ^ "The Giving Tree Band Explore the Arts". 
  18. ^ "The Giving Tree Band Announce New Album". 
  19. ^ "The Giving Tree Band, Chicago, IL". 
  20. ^ "Allmusic.com - The Giving Tree Band". 
  21. ^ "WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour "Show 508"". 
  22. ^ "The Bluegrass Special "The Giving Tree Band Takes Possession Of Its Art and Ethos on Great Possessions"". 
  23. ^ "The Giving Tree Band - A Band with a Green Heart". 
  24. ^ "New music: in stores and online, Sept. 21". 
  25. ^ "Buzz News Online Magazine - The Giving Tree Band! - Greg Chruscielski (2009-02-26)". 
  26. ^ "Chicago Tribune - The Giving Tree Band: Sustainable Recording - Kent Green (2008-08-14)". [dead link]
  27. ^ "Chicago Tribune - The Giving Tree Band: Sustainable Recording - Kent Green (2008-08-14)". [dead link]
  28. ^ "RedEye Distribution: New Releases". 
  29. ^ "Chicago Tribune - The Giving Tree Band: Sustainable Recording - Kent Green (2008-08-14)". [dead link]
  30. ^ "Chicago Tribune - The Giving Tree Band: Sustainable Recording - Kent Green (2008-08-14)". [dead link]
  31. ^ "Chicago Sun-Times - Giving Tree Band Grows Greenest of Albums - Sharon Hoyer (2008-11-21)". 2008-11-21. [dead link]
  32. ^ "The Giving Tree Band". 
  33. ^ "Mother Earth News Magazine - Giving Back To The Trees-Stephanie Bloyd (2008-03-25)". 
  34. ^ "Mother Earth News - The Greenest Band in the Land-Alison Rogers". 
  35. ^ "La Jornada: Grupo de EU lanzará en agosto el primer disco ecológico". 
  36. ^ "Musique - Sauver la planète, un accord à la fois". 
  37. ^ "North American bands playing to greener tune". 
  38. ^ "فرقة موسيقية أميركية تنشر الوعي البيئي". 
  39. ^ "North American bands playing to greener tune". 
  40. ^ "Bands sing a green tune". 
  41. ^ "Bandas de música en EE.UU. le apuestan al medio ambiente". 
  42. ^ "Bands sing a green tune". 
  43. ^ "Q & A with Todd Fink of The Giving Tree Band". 
  44. ^ "Top Ten Great Vegan Activists". 
  45. ^ "Moby, Spiritualized for Animal Benefit CD". 

External links[edit]