Whiskey Tree

Whiskey TreeWhiskey Tree started like most other bands in the summer of 2012… a couple of guys getting together to jam in the garage, and wanting to make something more of it. What started out an acoustic recording session turned into this monster of a cover band by the drive of it’s members. Pete with fellow guitarist Adrian rekindled an old musical friendship by getting together to write music and record. As time went by Pete was realizing that while recording is fun, his true passion with music is on the stage, so as side projects Pete started joining local cover bands playing bass, and was having a great time doing it, but it felt like he was in someone’s band not a part of the band. He convinced Adrian to give it a try along with the recording process or as a side project to recording. With Adrian on guitar and Pete on bass they set out to find their drummer… Quickly they were met with Gil and his sticks. Gil brought a new life to the band (which at this point did not have a name), he brought what Pete was looking for a heart beat, some life to the music. Gil brought what Pete was missing… Performance and energy. The band’s original focus for music was going to be obscure 80s tunes, something they believed the local cover scene in El Paso was lacking. After going through several name options the trio settled on Whiskey Tree and preformed a few successful shows sharing vocal duty between Adrian and Pete. As time went on recording became the afterthought and performing the main focus. For this reason, and others Adrian departed the band to spend more time with his family and it left the band, not only a void with guitar, but Adrian was the dominate vocalist in the band. The Tree (Pete and Gil) decided to keep moving forward, only this time the focus was going to be on the tunes they grew up with. 90s alternative, grunge and, that music from an angst era, it’s also music that was not being played much in El Paso. As Gil and Pete went out there they realized there was no one filling that void, no one playing music they grew up on. They tried out a few guitarist but nothing panned out. Everyone wanted to play blues, or classic rock, or heavy metal. It was hard pushing the band’s agenda when you’re looking for a guitarist, everyone knows most guitarist lead the band and the drums and bass are the rhythm section. But Pete and Gil persisted and they found the diamond in the rough. When Joe came in it was a quick mesh for Pete. Joe reminded Pete of his own style of playing guitar adding his own flare to the music and taking it to places it’s never gone before. It was settled Joe was gonna be Whiskey Tree’s new guitarist. Joe was excited, he was also playing music he grew up on and as the only guitarist; which at first,was a little intimidating for him. Considering he’s the only guitarist there’s no room for error; Joe quickly became a pro at his position as Whiskey Tree’s lead guitarist and driving force behind it’s tone. Joe’s solos and clean note style bring a life to Whiskey Tree that is clear and precise. At the same time Pete was getting accustom to his new role as lead vocalist of the Tree. They ditched to two vocalist approach and went with the traditional lead singer. The first couple of shows were rough with Pete losing his voice about 2/3 of the way through, but he eventually built up stamina and quickly found his unique voice, and began singing the songs the way he wanted to, plus Joe picked-up some of the slack singing a couple of tune. The trio went on for a couple of year having a grand ol’ time, but they felt something was missing…. they felt they needed a second guitarist to expand on their song selection and give the music more depth. Pete, being a guitarist by nature and a vocalist second saw his chance to make his job easier. He had been “jonesin'” to jump back on guitar for a while, and while bass was fun he realized two things. One he plays the bass like a guitar, so it was LOUD, and two it’s hard to sing some songs and play bass lines at the same time(unless you’re Geddy Lee or Sting). So the band decided to put Pete on rhythm guitar and searched for a bassist. Well as I’m sure with every other town, bassists are not easy to come by, so the search was a pretty long process. The band kept trucking as a trio until one was found. The band ran into a gentleman named Matt. Matt brought a whole new level of playing and style to the band that they had not had before. He was younger, had vocal talent, and an aggression on the bass that was matched by Flea. The four were content and started playing the local circuit and having a blast, all the while knowing in the back of their mind that it was a limited time only. Matt is originally from North Carolina and he would eventually be moving back with his family, so the Tree decided to keep going until the end. By now the guys in the band had become brothers, family and did more than just play in a band together. They hung out, went to each other’s family birthday parties, played golf together, it is a bond that continues to this day. When that fateful day came of Matt’s eminent departure the Tree decided to keep going and they searched for a replacement. They decided if they didn’t find anyone they would once again keep trucking as a trio until the right fit was found. By this time the guys knew it was more than just finding a bassist it was about finding a brother a family member. A few tried out and just like guitarist didn’t work out… until Sean stepped in. Sean immediately took control and clicked with Gil in the pocket like they had been playing together for years. Not only did Sean click with Gil but with Pete and Joe as well, but more importantly the guys had found that brother they were looking for. It was like Sean was always there from the beginning, like that spot was made especially for him. Sean brought a new style of playing to the Tree and a new look and twist on songs. Sean’s style is more traditional but it packs the low end punch you’re looking for. Sean’s sound is more refined, and controlled allowing for an overhaul of the set list. The four quickly became a family, like they had known one another for years… That’s probably the most important part about Whiskey Tree, the family aspect. They all get along on and off stage, there’s no egos, you want to sing a song, step up and sing it, you want to play a song lets try it, you want to book a show, book it… Whiskey Tree just loves to hang out, and play of course, but the hanging out the “crack” is what it’s all about, there’s no pressure in this band. They aren’t concerned with accuracy and perfection it’s about the fun. All these guys are looking for is a smile and to spread a little cheer through music, and you can see it on the stage when they perform, they are always having a good time, no matter where they are or how many people are there! So come on out to a Whiskey Tree show and hear some tunes from an era of greatness that you haven’t heard in a while, we promise you’ll have a great time.
Pete has be playing guitar since the ripe ol’ age of 13… that means a long ass time. He started with Whiskey Tree as the bassist/vocalist, and even though in high school he was a member of the choir, he never really considered himself a singer, let alone the lead singer. When Whiskey Tree (in it’s infancy) found themselves without a lead vocalist Pete hesitated at first but eventually stepped up to keep the band going… and going it did. Pete quickly found his footing as the lead vocalist as well as transition over to rhythm guitar or as he likes to call it co-guitarist with Joe. Pete has played in a few bands growing up, but he considers Whiskey Tree his home, his family. Every time he straps up to play with these guys there’s a smile on his face and happiness in his heart that explodes on stage every time they go on. Pete plays Fender, Gibson, Hardluck Kings, pretty much any guitar he can get his hands on. Through Fender, Marshall, and Peavey amps.
Joe started playing guitar at the ripe age of 12. He says he is a rhythm guitar player by heart, but has proven quickly that he can be the power lead of Whiskey Tree. Joe will jump at the chance to play and loves to put his spin on some great classics. Joe has a clean clear tone that cuts through Pete’s blaring noise, that makes the song more melodic. Joe approaches the guitar with heart and soul that is unmatched on stage. Joe had been a few bands in his day to include: Beyond Death, Spud Love, Voz, and La Zona, but has never had as much fun as he does in Whiskey Tree. Joe’s favorite bands are: Alice in Chains, Toad the Wet Sprocket, 3rd eye blind and many others.. Joe plays the following: Fender, Schecter, Gibson & ephiphone guitars coming out of Vox, Orange & Peavey amps.
The animal! Gil brings a feel to the drums that makes everyone stomp to the beat. No one really knows how long Gil’s been playing for, the dude never ages… for all we know he played with Moses on the ark as it departed the flood lands (that’s right Moses Noah’s step son from his previous marriage!). That’s not true, Gil was actually hatched from an egg that was a government experiment attempting to make a super musician! As with the Weapon X project, it was a success, but Gil wasn’t gonna have anyone control his life. so he left the Government training center for hatched musicians and ran all the way to the border, but stopped short of going over. Gil’s talent, and occasional propensity to peck for seeds on the ground, has come out through the years and like a padawan that left the Jedi Academy early Gil has developed his own style and groove that’s different among the drummers of the land. Gil knows how to keep the groove in the pocket and is solid when it comes to the heart beat of the band. He is a music wikipedia and always knows what song you are talking or humming about. He’ll listen to all types of music and brings that openness to the Tree. Gil plays: Gretch drums and Zildjian cymbals, and sticks made of wood.
Sean has been playing with Whiskey Tree since July 2016, and even though he’s the newest member, he has quickly become part of the Whiskey Tree family, and has embraced his roll as the low end with great enthusiasm and eagerness to have fun. He started playing upright bass in 5th grade and began fumbling around with a bass guitar in 8th grade. The first two bands that influenced Sean were Van Halen and Iron Maiden, so he still tries to sound like a combination of Michael Anthony and Steve Harris. Some of the other bands that Sean likes are Foo Fighters, Chickenfoot, Soundgarden, The Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Def Leppard, Sheryl Crow, and Sublime. Sean Studied music for a little while at UTEP and performed in several entities there, like the Lab Band, Wind Ensemble, Bones on the Border, and the Symphony Orchestra. He has also played in the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Unlimited Orchestra, and Disciples of Jazz. Sean has also played in a few rock bands before the Tree, including Banister, Twelve Feet Down, and Y-Knot. Sean plays Carvin/Kiesel 5-string Basses through Ampeg and Carvin amps.

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