The Leaves

The Leaves


Aya Inoue has been described as a master at conveying strength and fragility, certainty and indecision. With Aya on guitar, Matt Harpster on lead guitar, Steve Sharon on drums and Courtright Beard on bass, The Leaves fall into a musical collaboration that truly speaks from the


The Leaves are a four piece band based out of Burlington, Vermont who defy stereotypes, make music from the soul, and are beginning to make themselves known in the Northeast. Led by Aya Inoue, the band consists of lead guitar player Matt Harpster, bass player Cory Beard, and drummer Steve Sharon.

Inoue started out as a singer-songwriter in Burlington in 2002, where she would show up at local coffee houses and play weekly open mike nights. Her early music was inspired by and reflected her admiration and respect for artists such as Ani Difranco, Indigo Girls, and Alison Krauss. Her solo music was often compared as such by a wide variety of listeners, who constantly commented on being able to relate to her lyrics and the emotions radiating from them. Through the years, Inoue became one of Burlington’s staple singer-songwriters, perfectly content setting herself and her acoustic guitar up at any venue and playing for any kind of crowd.

Inoue’s first shift in music began in 2005, when she joined a local Honky Tonk group led by Brett Hughes. She began showing up week and after week, earning the reputation of being a “honky-tonk gal” and settled herself into a role of singing duets honoring the likes of Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, and Kitty Wells. In early 2006, Mike Gordon (Phish) joined the ensemble and Ramble Dove was born. A brief summer tour with the band included stops such as Bonnaroo Music Festival, Irving Plaza, and Mountain Jam. This national exposure and positive feedback catapulted Inoue into a passionate desire to start her own band and to write new music that would wander from old styles and influences; her goal became to bring Burlington a new style of music that blended rock, folk, jam, and country all at once.

Matt Harpster was the first of the band to join Inoue on stage in 2006. His guitar accompaniment proved to be just what a crowd was looking for, and quickly Harpster and Inoue were being asked to play more local gigs, and were constantly surprised to see the diverse crowd they drew. Harpster’s guitar influences run deep and include Mark Knofler, Phish, Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Coltrane, Eric Clapton, and Ween. His guitar style was exactly what Inoue’s simple folk rhythms needed to bring the music to a stronger, more powerful level. Many late night music sessions in Harpster’s basement caused both of them to realize that their collaborations would be much stronger if they had a powerful rhythm behind them.

In the summer of 2007, Steve Sharon and Cory Beard joined the band, and The Leaves were born. Determined to get their music to the public, The Leaves recorded an EP before they had even played any live gigs. Produced by Bryan Dondero (Grace Potter and the Nocturnals), the four song EP titled Timid Line was released in December 2007, and generated great feedback from the general public. At the start of the New Year, the band was ready to hit the Burlington music scene full force, and began playing to larger, late night crowds. Feeding off of the energy of the crowd, The Leaves quickly rose to be considered an established “Local Band” in the area, and had fans driving from all around to catch their shows.

The Leaves continue to make good impressions on their fans, fellow musicians, and musical critics. Their rapidly rising acclaim suggests that this is only the beginning for the band. For more information on Inoue and The Leaves, please visit


Record Player

Written By: Aya Inoue

Seems like all my songs are love songs
People say I sound like tears they shed
But I lay here tonight and I think of you
Writing you a different song instead

You took the hurt I sang about in love songs
And made the words seem suddenly mundane
You took away my one true lover
Reminded me of that over again

Now the record player's on
And I'm writing you a song
And I'm taking the road higher than the rest
All your photographs are breaking
From the misery you're making
You put my love to its final test

I dedicate the words to you this time
I guess you finally broke me down
And I see you laugh when I'm falling
To make it worse you're always hanging around

And so I toast you along to the background song
Of Emmylou
I grieve for you your cold cold heart

I said I'll toast you along to the background song
Of Emmylou
I'll grieve for you your cold cold heart.


Timid Line (2007) EP (4 tracks)

Set List

Our sets range from 45 minutes to two hours. Typically we play almost all original tunes, with a few covers thrown in here and there.

Record Player
Timid Line
Ballerina Slippers
Givin' Up
Never Again
Santa Fe
True Stories
Yours Truly Charlie
Going Home
Me Again
Happier I Guess
Flowers Grow


Roll On (Josh Ritter)
Angel From Montgomery (John Prine)