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The best kept secret in music


SMOKETREE'S "Rain" pours down with roots rock from America's heartland that'll win you over with intoxicating melodies, sweet vocals and old-fashioned harmonies. "Rain" is an album of simple songs about life, that are timeless, generating a universal manner. It's retro sounding without sounding dated. The best songs are the ones on which sweet-voiced singer Billy Plucker takes a few chances with his delivery, copping an attitude on "California," grooving a British accent on "Stand Waiting" and sounding downright jaunty on "Hopes & Dreams." -- ********* 9 out of 10 Stars.

Michael Popke
2004 York, United Kingdom
UK's #1 Independent Mag.
(ISSN 1474)
- POWERPLAY, York- United Kingdom 2004 (ISSN1474)

Rock bands come and go, but few enjoy a second chance at success. Enter Smoketree. The Wisconsin quartet boasts members of Sgt. Friday, one of the region’s best groups in the Eighties, which played a dynamic blend of original roots-and-synths rock, along with strategically chosen covers by the likes of U2 and The Smithereens. But then, on the brink of breakout success, Sgt. Friday imploded in the early '90s.

Fast-forward nearly 15 years: Members of Sgt. Friday reunited in summer 2003, played a few gigs, wrote some new songs, rotated players from other splintered area bands of the era, changed their name to Smoketree and emerged with Rain — an album of nine simple and timeless songs about life and loss that border on retro without sounding dated. And the album has massive potential appeal.

Culling influences from The BoDeans (“Wall of Silence”), The Smithereens (“Hopes & Dreams”), U2 (the title track) and R.E.M. (“California”), Rain is drenched with memorable acoustic-driven, hook-filled rock that boasts a distinct Midwestern vibe. Intoxicating melodies and old-school harmonies abound, and the lyrics exude emotional honesty. Sweet-voiced singer and guitarist Billy Plucker changes up his delivery style on several of these songs, copping an attitude here and grooving with a British accent there, while the other members of Smoketree play with a relaxed but vital sense of purpose.

Unfortunately, Rain lasts for only 33 minutes. Nevertheless, this is music to get listeners through any kind of weather.

2004 W-P Records

SMOKETREE's sound is heartfelt rock, led by Plucker's vibrant vocals, jangly 12-string guitar and tight harmony vocals on the crisply written songs. Plucker and drummer Rob Ryf were formerly in the popular '80's band Sgt. Friday. Bass player Jeff Radke was in Bacchus Lotus, and guitarist Jack Rein recorded several solo projects with Plucker in the 1990's.

June 2004 Article-Review
Appleton, WI
Jim Lundstrom

- APPLETON POST CRESCENT, June 2004 Jim Lundstrom

From the moment I heard the music on SMOKETREE's new album Rain, I was immediately taken back to the sound of the great bands from the late 80's like The Smithereens, The BoDeans, and REM. Granted, their music doesn't sound exactly like any of these groups, but it does have the same feel. One track that is outstanding to me is the opening track, "Shine". It was a very good song to choose as the opener, because it grabbed my attention and held it through the entire song! The next three tracks were just as good. I really like this record, and hope that you will, too! It has a very cool vibe. SMOKETREE is a great sounding band, with an excellent album to their credit.

Mark Lush
June 2004
Owensville, IN.
(Rev. 2330)
- MIDWEST BANDS. COM, June 2004 Mark Lush

RAIN", from the Fox Valley band SMOKETREE is drenched with melodic acoustic-driven, hook-filled rock that boasts a distinct Midwestern vibe. Soak it up.

July 2004
Milwaukee, WI

With "Rain" I was entertained and uplifted by one good song after another. Many songs have a tranquil melody that will surely leave an impression on first-time listeners.

Ryan Hoffer
A&R Manager
August 2004
Atlanta, GA)
- SHUT-EYE RECORDS, Atlanta, GA. 2004


SMOKETREE, "Rain" 2004 CD Release -- Recorded at both SRS Studio in Des Moines, IA (Leo Kottke, Slipknot, Michael Bolton, etc.) and the Rock Garden Studio in Appleton, WI. (Numberone Fan, BoxKar, Cool Waters Band, etc.) The songs, "ONE' & "SHINE" have both received airplay on the Apple- "WAPL" and Midwest Radio. Com / Produced by: Marc Golde & Smoketree / Mixed & Mastered by: Marc Golde at RGS / 2004 W-P Records Release.

SMOKETREE, "Smoketree" 2005 CD Release. -- RELEASED MARCH 2005- A Smoketree "self-titled" Release containing 12-Songs that is now available for retail sale in CD Format only. The material was recorded at the 2005 WAMI nominated Rock Garden Studio and Produced by the WAMI nominated Marc Golde. / 2005 W-P Records / SMOKETREE releases, "LIFT ME UP" & "SEE RIGHT THROUGH YOU" are currently being played on 105.7 WAPL, one of Wisconsin's top radio stations, and the 12-Song CD is scheduled to be played in its entirety at 10:00 PM on Thursday, March 31st.


Feeling a bit camera shy


SMOKETREE's music pours down with the roots rock from America's heartland that'll win you over with intoxicating melodies, sweet vocals and old-fashioned harmonies. Smoketree's "Live" sound is heartfelt rock, lead by Plucker's vibrant vocals, jangly 12-string guitar and tight harmony vocals that gell firmly with the bands solid musicianship on on the crisply written songs. Smoketree offers live audiences a variety of music combining infectious melodic original songs percisely enfolded in some challenging and unusual classic rock faves.

This band sets itself apart by it's dynamic live performances. Smoketree played the main stage in 2004 at many large concerts including Celebrate DePere with The Smithereens & Seven Mary Three and the Oshkosh Watrefest Concert Series along-side Atlanta's Cigar Store Indians and the Little River Band. Their noted performances have resulted in repeat bookings at these prestigious venues and they will join the Gin Blossoms on the Main Stage at Celebrate DePere in 2005.