Three on the Tree
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Three on the Tree

Band Americana Rock

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Jenny Alder from Americana UK had this to say:

Those not convinced by the Jay Farrar vocal style will probably find little to love here, but fans of Son Volt and early REM should enjoy this well worked collection of songs. The band’s influences dominate the sound and feel of the record and make it feel a little like a homage to their favourites – from the George Jones classic country of “Brand New Guy”, the Sun influenced rockabilly number “Jail House”, Neil Young and Dylan on “Paid To Play”, to the ever present Jayhawks and Uncle Tupelo. Ultimately Three On The Tree make all the right moves, but are a little too reliant on their heroes to make this record truly distinctive.
- Americana UK


David C. Eldredge has chimed in again with his 2nd review of a TOTT record. Thanks for the nice comments, Dave. We'll be glad to give Glenn & Don a call if we need an opening act:

Three On The Tree’s Dust in the Water aptly opens with the sound of a guitar plugging into an amp and a quick drum roll flourish before the first of 12 tasty rock/pop-infused C&W-flavored tunes. While perhaps not as immediately arresting as 2003’s Main Street In A Foreign Land, the solid playing and well-crafted songs continually pull the listener in until getting firmly hooked by mid-CD cuts “Flatbed Mary” and “Paid To Play.” Truly a band of musicians’ musicians, the CD’s penultimate and standout cut, “Two Glass Eyes,” could make even Glenn Frey and Don Henley’s ears ring with envy. – David C. Eldredge
- Illinois Entertainer


David Eldredge writes for the Illinois Entertainer, the largest music journal in Chicago. He wrote a review of Main Street for the August 2004 issue. We think it is, in fact, good. See for yourself:

With Main Street In A Foreign Land, Three On The Tree serve up their first full-length CD of alt/C&W/rock-infused music that guitarist/vocalist/lyrcist John Osing calls "Y'allternative." He enlisted impressive talents, as each band member does more than their fair share to make this recording a minor masterpiece, especially the "noise" contributions from guitarist/producer Drew Weir. As the disc swings from ballad, to psychobilly honky tonk to rock raves and beyond, recollections of the vastly underappreciated Blue Mountain come to mind. But TOTT are so much more Chicago than Delta. One nettlesome quibble: despite the great material, the disc lacks a knock-your-socks off killer-hook tune or two. Perhaps an outside producer's ears might be a good next investment? Otherwise, this is a recording that shouldn't be ignored.

- Illinois Entertainer


Richard Milne featured TOTT on his Sunday, January 29 Local Anesthetic show. He then followed it up on Monday, Jan 30, and featured us in his Local Anesthetic capsule. He had some kind words about our new album, calling it "confident and accomplished". He also said, and this is a PARAPHRASE, "I could think of 12 bands trying to do this, and this is what they all want to sound like". We'll get his exact words in a while and post them.

- WXRT Radio


David Cowling has written a review of Main Street for the highly respected web publication Americana-UK , published in London. This is what he had to say:

Three On The Tree “Main Street in a Foreign Land” (Independent 2003) Available: Now. A record that seems preoccupied with dreams, the main ones being the desire to have the gruff country rock sprawl of the Replacements, the gritty authenticity of Uncle Tupelo, the wide open guitar work of Neil Young, the mystery of early REM and the heritage of Hank Williams. It gave me the same feeling as listening to Guadalcanal Diary after immersing myself in the Paisley Underground. To be fair they inhabit these styles with some verve without ever aspiring to individuality - if you are enamoured with any of the bands mentioned you’ll enjoy this.

- Americana UK


Chris Wissman of the Carbondale Nightlife gave this review of Main Street earlier this year:

Jon Osing, formerly of Cruces-- he of the bare feet and blue Rickenbacker guitar-- is leading his own band in the Chicago area, Three on the Tree. The group also consists of guitarist Drew Weir, bassist John Hanko, and drummer Kevin Weith. Three on the Tree describe themselves as "Chicago's own blues/country/rock/gospel/bluegrass-inspired mess," and their four-song self-titled EP received positive reviews from Jim DeRogatis of the Chicago Sun-Times and Jason Scales of the Illinois Entertainer. They released their first full-length CD, Main Street in a Foreign Land, in late 2003. Main Street finds Osing in far better voice than when he was with Cruces. In addition to singing lead, he plays guitar, banjo, and lap steel on the disc; he also wrote the lyrics to every song. First impression of Main Street: Pretty good. There's a pre- and post-Uncle Tupelo alt.country feel to the disc-- the group uses more acoustic instrumentation than sloppy distortion as a base ("Prisoners and Whores" and, to a lesser extent, "Horizon Slim" are the main exceptions). "Off I Go" can't help but draw immediate comparisons to those classic Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris collaborations. In style and lyrics, the acoustic but angry cryin'-in-yer-beer number "Mountain Blues," which uses a tapped mine as a metaphor for a failed relationship, heads back in time even further. On the other hand, "At Night" and "Burnt Candle Day" come closer to contemporary alt.country, alternately showing poppy or rocking shades of Wilco and Sonvolt. "Hell" kind of bridges it all, with a rather humorous take on the consequences of sin-- the track uses Sun Records production tricks and instrumentation, and classic country background vocals, but a thrashy psychobilly arrangement.

- Carbondale Nightlife


Jim DeRogatis had some kind words for our first EP (self-titled) that was released in April 2002. It's currently out of print, but if you're interested, let's just say everything has it's price. This is what Jim said:

Also paying homage to Mr. Young, albeit in a much more straightforward fashion, this four-song E.P. is the work of a self-professed trio of "pre-midlife crisis musicians from the western suburbs." The ol' boys do a fine job of conjuring up that vintage "Cortez the Killer" maelstrom--all midlife crises should sound this spirited.

- Chicago Sun-Times


Our thanks to Jason MacNeil for the 7 out of 10 rating (damn good):


Looking like they're mining for gold on the inner sleeves, Three on the Tree offers a steady alt-country/roots sound. Listening to songs like "Blue Pacific", the group takes a slow, Southern drive through the likes of the Jayhawks and other similarly minded bands but in their own deliberate way. Meanwhile "Subway Tremors" features Jon Osing on lead vocals with some help by pedal steel guitarist Ken Champion, ambling along a bit like a laidback but toe-tapping Blue Rodeo or Son Volt. The shifty, swinging-meets-rockabilly "Jail House" is a rather bouncy ditty that sounds like it came from Sun Records. However, they seem to hit paydirt and their groove with the tender, light and world-weary "Ghost" that would fit perfectly on a Tarbox Ramblers or Cash Brothers album. Ditto for the mid-tempo "Fixture" that could be misconstrued as a cover of a Counting Crows track. Unfortunately they try to put a rock slant on "Flatbed Mary" with mixed results at best. However, Three on the Tree keep things simple and thus grand with "Paid to Play", a strong alt.country-by-numbers tune while the dirge-like "Black Eye in the Morning" is nailed perfectly as is the swampy "Two Glass Eyes". - popmatters.com


Our thanks to François ( Swa ) Braeken for this (translated) review:

A band who searches his inspiration in the traditional country and bluegrass, furthermore looks up to groups like the Replacements, Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo....every lover of Americana music is on alert. Their debut album"Main Street in a Foreign Land" which appeared in 2003 and had a guest appearance of nobody less than Anna Fermin (Trigger Gospel), became very excellent reviews from David Cowling (Americana UK) and David Eldredge (The Illinois Entertainer). Recently the successor appeared "Dust in the Water" and for this occasion the four members Jon Osing (vocals, guitar, banjo) and John Hanko (bass, vocals, mandolin) could also count on the support of Chicago's pedal steel legend Ken Champion and keyboardist Mike Hanko. As a result they came out with some twelve songs of their own of classic country like "Jailhouse" and "Brand New Guy", the bluegrass number "Mor", fine rockers like "Two Glass Eyes" and "Flatbed Mary", the alt. country pearls "Subway Tremors" and "Blue Pacific" and the very beautiful "Ghost".
From George Jones country till classic songwriting incl. mouthorgan on "Monument" which recalls the atmosphere of the young brothers Dylan/Young and with "Paid to Play" refers to their figureheads Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo and so on.
A very good album, wrapped in a beautiful digipack, of a band we have to keep focus on.
François ( Swa ) Braeken - Rootstime, Belgium (Mar 29, 2006) - Rootstime,Belgium


Discography

2002 Self-titled EP "Three on the Tree"
2003 "Main Street in a Foreign Land"
2006 "Dust in the Water"

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Bio

Three on the Tree was formed in 2001 by singer Jon Osing, drummer Kevin Weith and guitarist and producer Drew Weir. Their style covers a wide range of style from country to power pop, from southern twang to bluegrass and gospel.

In 2002, the group released a four song self-titled EP, which was reviewed by Jim DeRogatis of the Chicago Sun Times. Later that year, they went into the studio to record their first full length album, 2003's "Main Street in a Foreign Land".

"Main Street..." was reviewed by the Illinois Entertainer and Americana UK, as well as a few local papers. The band spent 2005 in the studio, and released their second full length album "Dust in the Water" in early 2006.

"Dust in the Water" was well received by fans and critics, and garnered airplay on Chicago's WXRT, as well as college stations in Chicago and Milwaukee, broadcast radio in Belgium, and internet radio in Belgium and Australia.

In 2006, longtime bassist John Hanko left the group, and was replaced by current bassist Chris Green. The band is currently writing and performing, with an eye towards delivering their 3rd album in late 2007.

Three on the Tree has gained airplay on:
MOJO DREAMS (Radio ZRO Belgium)
MVYradio.com "Local Musicafe"
WFAQ (Milwaukee)
Chicago's legendary radio station WXRT
WLUW (Chicago)
Fearless Radio (Chicago)