Jacob Needham & The Blue Trees
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Jacob Needham & The Blue Trees™
|Origin||Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.|
|Genres||Southern Rock Americana|
|Years active||2015 –|
|Labels||Spectra Music Group|
Jacob Needham & The Blue Trees is an American musical quartet originating from Birmingham, Alabama. The band was formed in 2015 by lead vocalist Jacob Needham along with guitarist and music producer James Tyler Cody. After recording a full length unreleased demo album, James and Jacob recruited bassist Ben Trexel and drummer RaShaun Whetstone to round out the quartet. During 2016 into 2017, The Blue Trees™ honed their sound performing in multiple states, and began recording a debut album in Nashville, TN at Sound Kitchen Studios. One of the early tracks for the album, “Alabama Baby”, found its way on a compilation album which in turn caught the ear of the Spectra Music Group. By this point, the band had completed the album and the label was impressed enough to be willing to release it as it was. The album, Procrastinated Memoirs, was officially released on April 6, 2018.
The band’s sound is self-described as Southern Americana Groove Rock, and blends many diverse influences from The Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd to 311, Led Zeppelin and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Prior to the release of Procrastinated Memoirs, the band released three singles, “Chasing You” and “All But Over Now,” and “Take Me Away”. Of the three, “Chasing You” charted at #8 on the Adult Contemporary radio charts in late 2015.
Jacob Needham met James Tyler Cody in March 2015 after Cody responded to an online musician classified. At the time, Needham had just released his first solo single “Forever Girl,” and was looking to find some collaborators closer to home. The two composed the song “Draw Me In,” within their first fifteen minutes of meeting. Soon after, Needham and Cody discovered they had the same birthday, albeit two years apart. Things moved quickly on the creative front and the two had a complete demo album written and produced within 5 months. It was at this point that Cody reached out to colleague Ben Trexel, also a Birmingham area music producer and guitarist to help mix the project. Coincidentally, Trexel grew up with and was best friends with Jacob’s Aunt. Shortly into the mixing process it became obvious that the three shared a musical bond and Trexel joined as a full member in September 2015. The urge for the band was to get an album out and it would have been easy to release the first set of songs the band wrote. However, creativity seemed to get in the way and when drummer Rashaun Whetstone joined in 2016, the band entered into a burst of creative productivity that ultimately yielded the songs that appear on Procrastinated Memoirs.
The process helped define what the band’s strengths are and the overall vibe and sound the band aspired to have. The band feels that the extreme diversity of all the band members’ influences play a huge role in the uniqueness of the band’s sound. While lead vocalist/lyricist Jacob Needham’s main influences as a child were country music and rap, genres where the lyrics are of ultimate importance, bassist Ben Trexel was weaned on Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, guitarist James Cody on Guns N' Roses and Metallica, and drummer Rashaun Whetstone on groove oriented world music, including that of artists such as Richard Bona and Amadou Mariam. The sound created by the four is “greater than the sum of the parts,” states bassist Trexel.
- Chasing You (single) (2015)
- All But Over Now (single) (2016)
- Take Me Away (single) (compilation, 2018)
- Procrastinated Memoirs (album) (2018)