Meet The Three Tree Experience

April 16, 2010

The Three Tree Experience, also known as 3TE, sticks close to their roots. All four musicians that make up 3TE have an extensive background in music and their tight connection shows both on and off the stage. The three founding members of 3TE, Dave Tart, harmonica/vocals, Matt Lowe, bass/vocals, and George Barnes, drums, have been playing together since 2006 when they met at Towson University. After a few guitarists sat in with the band, they finally found their guy in 2008 with Ben Palacpac. Since then, the rock/hip-hop band has been playing many shows and benefits in the Baltimore metro area to spread the word on their music and their message.

The Three Tree Experience (From left: Ben Palacpac, George Barnes, Dave Tart, Matt Lowe)

The Three Tree Experience is fresh off of recording their new LP “Seedy” and being featured on the cover of Maryland Music Magazine. Big things are on the way for this solid Baltimore band as they continue to take their music to new heights.

Check out my conversation with Dave Tart on how The Three Tree Experience got started and where he hopes to see the band in a few years.

Q: When and how did 3TE form?

A: The Fall of 2006 is our official “birthday”, but we were far from the lineup that we now have. The four guys that you now know as 3TE were a band around March/April of 2008 and it has been that way ever since.

Q: What are some of the band’s biggest influences?

A: I know for me, personally, I use Blues Traveler/Sugar Blue for my harmonica playing and Method Man/Andre 3000/Damian Marley as muses for the lyrics. As a whole, though, we use our roots from childhood as the basis for us. Ben grew up with a lot of Rock n Roll music, Matt with the funk rock tunes and George had jazz, whereas Hip hop has always been my musical influence primarily.

Q: How would you describe 3TE’s sound?

A: All of that stuff that I said before has a piece of each tune we play. One person may say that we are a hip-hop band because my lyrics are said like rapping. The next guy may say we’re a rock band because we have exposed guitar solos and rhythmically challenging music. Another might feel more funk to us because of the bass lines. Basically, the way someone thinks we sound is exactly how we sound, but we aren’t picking a genre.

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Open mic nights important for young local bands

February 25, 2010

Are you in a local band and trying to take your music from the basement to a venue stage?

An important step for developing young local bands is the open mic night.  Open mic nights give local bands the chance to get the experience of playing on an actual stage and to get some of their music out there to people that have never seen or heard about your band before.

When my band, Vespertine Movement, first started practicing to learn cover songs and write some original material, we were trying to get the exposure of playing on a stage but not in front of a lot of people, so we could get comfortable on stage musically.

VM played a open mic night at the 8×10, and the owner asked us to come back for a bigger show, and from there we started playing a bunch of shows in the local area building up our repertoire and fan base in the process.

Depending on the venue, open mic nights usually last about 15-20 minutes, just enough time for you to play the two or three songs that you feel the most comfortable with.  Some local venues, such as the 8×10, have open mic competitions, and if your band is the best of the night, you can advance on to the next round to possibly win some helpful prizes like recording time.

Many local bands have taken the open mic step to get some exposure.  Matt Lowe, bass player and vocalist for Towson’s The Three Tree Experience, thinks highly of open mics for bands that are just starting out.

“Open mic nights are awesome.  They’re the easiest way to get on stage and perform.  That can be pretty tough to do when you first start out.  There’s no worrying about selling enough tickets to keep the club happy, and if you don’t have a lot of material to perform it’s no big deal since the only time constraint is that you can’t play for too long,” Lowe said. “I know a bunch of successful bands that got their start playing open mic nights.  It gave them the opportunity to build their fanbase to what it is today.”

Baltimore offers a variety of venues/clubs/bars that host open mic nights every night of the week.  For bands that are just starting out, all you have to do is a little research on the different venues in the area, and head down to the place and just play your music with no worries.  There’s not as much pressure for bands on an open mic night, which can be a huge sigh of relief.

So what are you waiting for young local bands? Get out there and let your music be heard.