DARK GREEN TREE – Secret Lives (Haven Records HAVENCD 017)

Secret LivesDark Green Tree are Jay Brown and Ross Cockburn, although since the album sleeve was printed vocalist Cera Impala has expanded the duo to a trio. However, I’d label this record as a labour of love by producer Boo Hewerdine who also co-wrote five of the songs and released it on his own label.

The band plays Americana and they have been likened to Buffalo Springfield and although Jay does a pretty good impersonation of the young Neil Young on the opening track, ‘Yearn For Love’, that doesn’t make it so. Hewerdine has called in a few favours to secure the likes of Mattie Foulds, John McCusker and Colin MacFarlane as support. In truth, you can’t hear the raw sound of Dark Green Tree at all and Ross seems destined for the Walter Becker role on this evidence.

Two songs are covers. The first is ‘Lay Me Down’ from Irish band The Frames which has a bit of drive about it and the second is Ryan Adams’ ‘When The Stars Go Blue’. The record is pretty and restful but I’m afraid that most of it, with the exception of ‘Sarah’, drifted past me without leaving much of an impression.

Dai Jeffries

Artists’ website: http://www.darkgreentree.com/

‘Lay Me Down’ – official video: