Artist Feature: Big Tree

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Changing homes is never easy, but newly-based Berkeley band, Big Tree, has made the best of their relocation from New York to the Bay Area music scene. Big Tree will be back at SLG Art Boutiki & Gallery this Friday, joined by Belle Noire, Via Coma, and Paige Gibbons. The band now comprises of Kaila McIntyre-Bader (vocalist), Luke Bace (bassist), Dan Pirello (guitarist), Anna Ghezzi (vocalist) and Matt Schory (drummer).

Big Tree first started out with five college kids from Sarah Lawrence working on blues ensembles, jazz improv sessions, and original songs by McIntyre-Bader on numerous late nights. After a few practice sessions Big Tree played a small show on campus, at Teahaus, a quiet student hub. The show was a success which solidified Big Tree’s decision to pursue their music.

Big Tree went through a few name changes before finally settling on the name. “We started calling ourselves ‘Kaila McB and the Family Band’, but didn’t think it was very original,” states McIntyre-Bader. “But we did feel like a family so we tried to turn it into the ‘Family Tree.’ That wasn’t quite right for our name, so we thought, let’s just be ‘BIG TREE’! Nice and simple, easy to remember.”

Since their formation in 2008 Big Tree has been featured on a Daytrotter session and MTV Act Blog. Their newest release, Little EP (Nov 2012), has three songs recorded on two-inch reel tape and three songs recorded live at The Rickshaw Stop. “We really like the warmth that tape adds to the sound,” states McIntyre-Bader. “It also limited how many tracks and takes we could do, which forced us to keep things pretty simple. Ultimately, it was a great choice because we got something really raw that can be hard to capture.”

The members are enthusiastic about settling down in the Bay Area music scene. “We do feel more of a community out here in the Bay Area,” states McIntyre-Bader. “The market is less saturated, and instead of competing, local artists really support each other. There’s something magical happening in the Bay right now, and we’re really excited to be a part of it.”

Big Tree plays this Friday, Jan. 11, at SLG Art Boutiki & Gallery with Via Coma, Belle Noire, and Paige Gibbons. Tickets are $10 each. The show starts at 7:30pm. For more info, click here.

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