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  Postcard From Rome
Artist: Tree By Leaf
Label:  Indie
Length: 14 Tracks
Postcard From Rome, Tree By Leaf’s latest studio album, is an incredible third offering from band members Garret Soucy, his wife, Sirri Soucy, and Cliff Young. Sirri and Garret’s vocals are nicely complimented by Cliff’s piano playing, Garret’s acoustic guitars and Matt Shipman (from Mill City Ramblers) lending some extra help on mandolin, dobro, banjo; along with Melissa Bragdon on violin and Mike Reeb (from 72 Others) hitting the drums. This is a very neat album. 
I recently had a chance to speak to Garret about the band, and about his songwriting. In the songs that Garret writes, he showcases his strength a songwriter; a songwriter who takes the back door through the graveyard approach when writing his songs.
With a list of musical influences such as Leonard Cohen, Neutral Milk Hotel, Bonnie Prince Billy (Will Oldem), Over The Rhine, Bob Dylan, Pedro The Lion, Talib Kwali, Richard Shindell, and Johnny Cash, the songs Garrett writes are very solid, and the instrumentation is generally sparse, but it compliments the lyrics very nicely.
There are more than just musical influences that find their way into Garrets songwriting, however. Garret is a big fan of movies, and he told me he tries to watch at least one a day. He prefers French, Polish, anamie, or American independent films, such as Breaking the Waves, Waking Life, Buffalo 66, Jesus-Son, and a trilogy of movies called Blue, White, Red. Garret also reads a fair amount in his spare time, and draws some of his inspiration from Flannery OConnor, T.S. Elliott, Julian Janes, Ken Wilber, David Sedaris, Ernest Hemingway, and Leo Tolstoy. He also reads books on philosophy. 
Although Garret is the primary songwriter, he knows that his lyrics need talented musicians to carry them to the ears of the listeners. His wife, Sirri, is an extremely talented vocalist, and the two of them sound wonderful together. Cliff Young is also a member of the band, and he plays keyboards. One key ingredient to this band is that all the members were friends first, then band mates. This is to their advantage; one can almost tell from listening to the CD that this band has it together. 
The sound of the album could be classified as being neo-roots with offshoots of Pedro the Lion, Haden, and Joan of Arc. Garret was never a fan of the emo scene, but he did listen to Hum when he was younger. 
The band had their first album pressed and ready to go, but had no name. During a brainstorming session one night, Cliffs wife, Kelly came up with the name Tree By Leaf. It is supposed to symbolize a slow approach at perspective. Tree by Leaf. They got it right.
Ramona Anne Dube 11/4/2003


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