Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Grandfather" from "Human Voices" on Anthology's Top 50 songs for 2009

Our "Human Voices" reissue album continues to find its way into some "Best of 2009" lists. "Grandfather" from "Human Voices" is listed as the number 8 song in Anthology Recordings Top 50 Songs for 2009. When we originally recorded this album in 1984 and released just 300 limited edition cassettes in Eugene, Oregon, we knew we had some of our best work completed, but didn't know if very many people would ever hear it.
Now 25 years later, some people are hearing it, thanks to the Guerssen Records CD and vinyl reissues. We love those nice surprises that life can sometimes bring!

posted 12/22/2009 3:19:01 PM
Anthology's Top 50 Songs for 2009
by stormchild

As we near the completion of a great year here at Anthology, we'd like to share with you some of our favorite tracks from reissues we've released throughout the 2009 year. It was extremely difficult to only pick 50 gems from our 300+ releases from this year, but we sure had a blast making this list and we hope you enjoy! Be sure to check us out in the new year for more reissues and rarities...


50. Jon Hassell - Vernal Equinox
"Toucan Ocean"

49. Perry Leopold - Experiment In Metaphysics
"And Then The Snow Came"

48. Ray Camacho And The Teardrops - The Best Of Ray Camacho And The Teardops
"It's Time For Me To Love You"

47. Collage - s/t

46. Linval Thompson - Whip Them King Tubby!
"Everybody's Got To Be Free"

45. Big Boy Pete - The Margetson Demos
"My Love Is Like A Spaceship"

44. Marc Mundy - s/t
"How Can I Marry This Language"

43. Loop - Fade Out
"Black Sun"

42. Wasted Youth - Memorialize

41. Marine Girls - Lazy Ways / Beach Party
"In Love"

40 Horses - s/t
"Birdie In A Cage"

39. Ruthann Friedman - Hurried Life: Lost Recordings 1965-1971

38. Colin Newman - Commercial Suicide
"I'm Still Here"

37. Bob Lind - Since There Were Circles
"City Scenes"

36. Cooley Munson - In Debt
"Sightly Sue"

35. Traffic Sound - s/t
"Yesterday's Game"

34. The Factory - Path Through the Forest
"Try A Little Sunshine"

33. Dave Bixby - Ode To Quetzalcoatl
"Drug Song"

32. Van Duren - Are You Serious?
"Grow Yourself Up"

31. VA - Wheedle's Groove: Seattle's Finest In Funk And Soul 1965-1975
Robbie Hill's Family Affair - "I Just Want To Be (Like Myself)"

30. Stack - Above All
"Do It"

29. Space Art - Trip In The Center Head

28. Luie Luie - Touchy
"El Touchy"

27. Jack Blanchard And Misty Morgan - Life And Death (And Almost Everything Else)
"Yellow Bellied Sapsucker"

26. Charlie Tweddle - Fantastic Greatest Hits

25. Andy Goldner - Infinity
"All Those Lives"

24. VA - Tape #1
Mofungo - "Speed"

23. La Sonora de Lucho Macedo - Vol. 1 - King on Mambos, Guarachas, Descargas And Cumbias
"Fue En La Playa"

22. Rodriguez - Cold Fact
"Rich Folks Hoax"

21. Thomas Mapfumo And The Blacks Unlimited - Gwindingwi Rine Shumba

20. Sandy Bull - Still Valentines Day, 1969, Live At The Matrix, San Francisco
"No Deposit No Return Blues"

19. Warlus - Songs
"Girl Like You"

18. Bruce Haack - Haackula
"Party Machine"

17. Exmagma - Exmagma And Goldball

16. Fifty Foot Hose - Live In San Francisco: March 16, 2003
"If Not This Time"

15. Pau Riba - Pau Riba / Pau I Jordi

14. Fox - s/t
"The Juggler"

13. Malvina Reynolds - s/t
"The Albatross"

12. Indestructible Beat - The Broad Church Of The Indestructible Beat
"When The Oil Runs Out"

11. Simon Finn - Pass The Distance

10. Prefab Messiahs - Devolver
"The 16th Track"

9. The Newtown Neurotics - Live At Brunel University, England
"Airstrip One"

8. Tree People - Human Voices

7. Bill Quick - Maravillosa Gente
"Beautiful People"

6. Archaia - s/t
"Sur Les Trances Du Vieux Roy"

5. Househunters - Feeding Frenzy
"Don't Look Back"

4. Linda Perhacs - Parallelograms
"Chimacum Rain"

3. Connie Converse - How Sad, How Lovely
"Playboy Of The Western World"

2. Simply Saucer - Saucerland
"Clearly Invisible - 1975"

1. Telegraph Avenue - Volume 2
"Tookie Tookie"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tree People "Human Voices" reissue on top 50 list, Delire Musical, CFLX- FM Quebec

Below is the Tree People "Human Voices" reissue album in a top 50 list in Canada.
Maybe one day a Tree People tour in Canada is in order!

Le Top 50 des musiques éclectiques 2009 de DM / DM's 2009 Eclectic Top 50
Libellés : Délire Musical, Délire Musical - Top 50, Délire Musical - Top 50 - 2009

[English & list lower]

Sherbrooke, le 22 décembre 2009 — L’émission radiophonique éclectique Délire Musical (CFLX-FM, Sherbrooke, Québec) annonce aujourd’hui la liste des 50 disques retenus par son équipe pour son émission de fin d’année. Cette liste regroupe 50 titres aussi variés qu’étonnants, dans des genres disparates comme le folk, le post-rock, le rock progressif, la chanson, les musiques du monde, l’électronique et bien plus.

Délire Musical s’intéresse à toutes les musiques créatives mais accessibles, tout ce qui sort des sentiers battus ou qui fait preuve de qualité et de sensibilité. « Évidemment, nous ne prétendons pas avoir tout entendu ce qui s’est fait en 2009!, souligne François Couture, coréalisateur de l’émission. Ce ne sont pas LES 50 meilleurs disques de l’année, mais bien NOS 50 meilleurs! » « Et 2009 a été particulièrement relevée; plusieurs de nos artistes favoris ont publié cette année », renchérit Daniel Ouellette, l’autre coréalisateur.

Une édition spéciale de trois heures de Délire Musical sera diffusée ce soir (22 décembre), de 19 h à 22 h (heure de l’Est), sur les ondes de CFLX. Messieurs Couture et Ouellette y improviseront une sélection musicale à partir des 50 disques en question, dont la liste est publiée ce matin sur le blogue Monsieur Délire ( On peut syntoniser CFLX au 95,5 FM dans la région de Sherbrooke ou sur le web au

Sherbrooke, December 22, 2009 — The eclectic music radio show Délire Musical (CFLX-FM, Sherbrooke, Quebec) unveiled today the list of the 50 albums selected by its team for its special year-end show. This list culls 50 highly diverse albums in genres as widely spread as folk, post-rock, progressive rock, singer-songwriter, world music, electronica, and much more.

Délire Musical focuses on all forms of creative yet accessible music, everything off the commercial paths or valuing quality and sensitivity. “Of course, we’re not saying we’ve heard everything released in 2009! These are not THE best 50 albums this year, but OUR best 50!”, explains François Couture, co-producer of the show. “And 2009 proved to be a stand-out year, with several of our personal favorite artists releasing albums this year”, adds his colleague Daniel Ouellette.

A special three-hour edition of Délire Musical will be broadcast tonight (December 22), from 7 pm to 10 pm (EST), on CFLX. Couture and Oueillette will be improvising a playlist from the 50 albums selected, a list of which was posted this morning on the French/English blog Monsieur Délire ( You can tune in to CFLX at 95.5 FM in the Sherbrooke area, or anywhere over the web at

Les 50 meilleurs disques de l’année 2009 selon Délire Musical

Délire Musical's 2009 Eclectic Music Top 50

Format des notices : Artiste Titre Étiquette

Nouveautés et rééditions combinées. Présentation par ordre alphabétique.

Reference format: Artist Title Label

New releases and new reissues combined. Alphabetical order.

Artistes variés/Various artists An Outbreak of Twangin’ Psychic Circle

Artistes variés/Various artists Dante’s Inferno (The Divine Comedy - Part I) Musea

Artistes variés/Various artists Music for Mentalists: Unexpected Sounds for the Connoisseur Psychic Circle

Anthony & The Johnsons The Crying Light Secretely Canadian

Balmorhea All is Wild, All is Silent Western Vinyl

Beat Circus Boy from Black Mountain Cuneiform

Bird, Andrew Noble Beast Fat Possum Records

The Black Heart Procession Six Temporary Residence

Chance:Risiko Sleep Talking altrOck

Cordâme Migration Malasartes Musique

Do Make Say Think Other Truths Constellation

Dial M for Murder! Fiction of Her Dreams Tapete Records

Earth Explorer, The TEE Musea/Poseidon

Embassadors, The Coptic Dub Nonplace

Falaise, Bernard - Frank Martel À l’école du ara Monsieur Fauteux m’entendez-vous?

Finn. The Best Low-Priced Heartbreakers You Can Own Erased Tapes

Flippers, Los Pronto viviremos un mundo mucho mejor Guerssen

God is an Astronaut God is an Astronaut Revive Records

Gong 2032 G-Wave

Hammill, Peter Thin Air Fie!

The Hylozoists L’île de Sept Villes Outside Music

IQ Frequency InsideOut

Jono El Grande Neo Dada Rune Grammofon

KTU Quiver 7d Media

Late Call, The Leaving Notes Tapete Records

Magma Ëmëhntëtt-Rê Seventh Records

Matthews, Iain & Searing Quartet Joy Mining Fledg’ling

Minimum Vital Capitaines Musea

Mindflower Little enchanted void Musea

Miriodor Avanti! Cuneiform

Moraine Manifest Density Moonjune

Múm Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know Euphono Records

Neuburg, Amy X & The Cello ChiXtet The Secret Language of Subways Min Max Music

OSI Blood InsideOut

Ozric Tentacles The Yumyum Tree Snapper

Roshi feat. Pars Radio The Sky and the Caspian Sea Geo Records

Rotfront Emigrantski Raggamuffin Essay

Sebkha-Chott De la persistance de la mythologie chotienne en ??? vélos Musea Parallele

Sharcüt Sharcüt ind.

SimakDialog Demi Masa Moonjune

Sinier, Raoul Tremens Industry Ad Noiseam

Sloche Stadaconé ProgQuébec

Spevack, Ysanne - Philip Clemo Soundzero ind.

Susanna and the Magical Orchestra 3 Rune Grammofon

Tinariwen Imidiwan: Companion Outside Music

Tree People, The Human Voices Guerssen

Trembling Bells Carbeth Honest Jons Records

Vialka Succès planétaire international Vialka

Watson, Patrick Wooden Arms Secret City

Wilson, Steven Insurgentes kscope

Publié par Monsieur Délire à 7:59 AM

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Tree People's "Human Voices" on New Yorker writer Sasha Frere-Jones' Best of 2009 list!

Here is our reissue album, Human Voices, at number #34 on the New Yorker magazine music writer Sasha Frere-Jones' Best of 2009 album list. We love the New Yorker, it is one of our favorite magazines, and we are honored to be on their music writer's list. (Note: we have been on and off this list, which changes daily, for the last few weeks, but we were definitely on the list for awhile (see list below)and that is a good thing. We hope Sasha from the New Yorker will be listening to our new album when it is released in 2010.)

BEST OF 2009, Sasha Frere-Jones, December 7, 2009


1. Sleigh Bells
2. Dirty Projectors “Bitte Orca” (Domino)
3. The-Dream “Love vs. Money” (Def Jam)
4. Neko CaseMiddle Cyclone” (Anti-)
5. Mastodon “Crack The Skye” (Reprise)
6. Annie “Don’t Stop” (Totally/Smalltown Supersound)
7. Micachu & The Shapes “Jewellery” (Rough Trade)
8. Lily AllenIt’s Not Me, It’s You” (EMI/Capitol)
9. Sunn O)))Monoliths & Dimensions” (Southern Lord)
10. Grizzly Bear “Veckatimest” (Warp)
11. Little Dragon “Machine Dreams” (Peacefrog)
12. EdanEcho Party” (Five Day Weekend)
13. DJ SegaLive at The Bowery Ballroom
14. Mr. ChopFor Pete’s Sake” (5DW/Now Again)
15. Fever Ray (Rabid/Mute)
16. Raekwon “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. 2” (Ice H20)
17. Sonic Youth “The Eternal” (Matador)
18. Lil WayneNo Ceilings” (Young Money)
19. Harmonia & Eno ’76 “Tracks & Traces” (Grönland)
20. Freddie Gibbsmidwestgangstaboxframecadillacmuzik
21. Prefuse 73 “Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian” (Warp)
22. Lady Gaga “The Fame” (Interscope)
23. JokerPurple Wow Sound
24. Yeah Yeah YeahsIt’s Blitz!” (Interscope)
25. Black To CommAlphabet 1968” (Type)
26. Eugene McGuinness (Domino)
27. Mokira “Persona” (Type)
28. “Freedom, Rhythm and Sound: Revolutionary Jazz and the Civil Rights Movement 1963-82” (Soul Jazz)
29. Brad Paisley “American Saturday Night” (Arista)
30. Vowels “The Pattern Prism” (LOAF)
31. Here We Go Magic (Western Vinyl)
32. The Phenomenal Handclap Band (Friendly Fire)
33. N-Type “Rinse: 09” (Rinse FM)
34. The Tree PeopleHuman Voices” (Guerssen)
35. Air “Love 2” (Aircheology/Astralwerks)
36. Erin McCarley “Love, Save The Empty” (Universal Republic)
37. Vladislav Delay “Tummaa” (Leaf)
38. The Arch Cupcake “Box of Bees” (Patriarch)
39. Dude ’N Nem “Tinted Incubators” (TVT)
40. Thee Oh Sees “Help” (In The Red)
41. “Sensacional Soul Vol. 2: 32 Groovy Spanish Soul & Funk Stompers 1965/1972” (Vampisoul)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

some press for Friday night's concert at Mississippi Studios

Tree People, Foothills

Mississippi Studios Friday, November 27th, 9 PM $12 21+

(Fathers of Freak Folk) Having seen two of their early albums reissued in recent years, Oregon's own Tree People are currently transitioning from rehashing their heyday material to working on some new stuff. The spirit of the project has not changed. Early tracks "Legends of the Tree People" and "More Than Yoko" mix dry
acoustic guitar flourishes with other acoustic dreamy elements to create ethereal folk that feels whimsical and wierd. "She said I love you even more than Yoko could ever love John," front man Stephen Cohen sings on the latter. There's a reason the band reissues have found a cult audience, and it looks like the Legend of the Tree People will live to see a few more chapters.

Casey Jarmin, Willamette Week

The Tree People – Back, New Album Out Next Year

by Barbara Mitchell on November 18, 2009 Oregon Music News

the Tree People in front of Dead Aunt Thelma's- color

Portland’s acoustic-folk pioneers the Tree People are indeed back in action, and preparing to release their first album in 26 years in 2010. The band’s gently meandering tunes have been rediscovered thanks to reissues of their first two albums (originally released in ’79 and ’84) and a renewed interest in off-kilter folk music in general. Whether you were an original fan or a newbie who’s just getting hip to the band’s earthy, wide-eyed positivity, this is good news.

9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave. 503-288-3895, $12

Monday, August 31, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

4 recent reviews of "Human Voices"

Reviews are always interesting because each reviewer has unique preferences, unique frames of reference, and unique backgrounds to bring to the listening.
Some gravitate towards the songs and lyrics, some the instrumentals, some the core atmosphere and feeling of the album.

Here are 4 recent reviews of Human Voices

Listen Now
Human Voices
The Tree People

by François Couture, Allmusic

The discreet Oregon band the Tree People released their second album, Human Voices, as a cassette, in 1984. A minor folk gem, it remained unavailable on CD until 2009. This album contains peculiar underground folk songs and acoustic guitar-and-flute instrumentals. The writing is delicate, careful, almost fragile at times, and features occasional dissonances and complex chords that keep the emotional charge in the murky waters of melancholia, indecision, and disappointment. There is a strong influence from Pearls Before Swine and the kind of American freak folk that happened outside of the major urban centers and didn't get much exposure (or get recorded) back in the day. With hindsight, one could easily put the Tree People near the roots of the tree whose branches would give birth to a flurry of groups usually lumped together (rightfully or not) under the label "New Weird Underground." That said, this trio is closer to Simon & Garfunkel than bands like In Gowan Ring or Jackie-O Motherfucker would ever get. However, in the vocal delivery and use of recorder, one could hear a precursor of In Gowan Ring ("Opus II" falls somewhere between that band and one of Steve Hackett's instrumental tunes). Guitarist and main composer Stephen Cohen has a pleasant understated voice, with something of a childlike tone in the phrasing, as if he was pouting. The songs "Grandfather" and "Thomas" sport exquisite melodies supporting strong lyrical content, and "If That's Entertainment" is a surprising song/tirade about what the people want and what the artist is willing to give them. On the instrumentals front, the highlights are "Things Fall Apart" and "Opus II," two tracks that could appeal to a wide range of people, if they were given exposure. Human Voices is not a life-changing record, but it is definitely above average, has a timeless quality (already obvious upon its release in 1984 -- rarely has an album from that year sounded so un-mid-'80s), and it sweats honesty through every pore. Recommended.

The Tree People : Human Voices (US,1984,re.2009, Guerssen Records).

Gerald Van Het,

Hearing the second release of The Tree People I can hardly believe how this never had an LP version or CD/LP reissue before. Reminding me slightly of Ptarmigan with its flute improvisations and endless shoreline waves of skimming fingerpickings in between some very strong songs I understand how Tree People became one of Johan’s (Tiliqua records) favourite bands. By some reasons the reissue now was released in Spain instead of in Japan, reaching hopefully a wider public. The two songs I meant that pop out very well in between the improvisations or drowned in its atmosphere songs are “Thomas” and “If That’s entertainment”, two very conscious songs which I think beg to be covered some day, for they will remain actual and recognisable, as strong statements. The opener, “Human voices” is the only track which has a triple voice arrangement, of an almost religious introduction. The song “Grandfather” is moving too, about someone who passed away and leaves their traces of being there amongst his family members. This song is drawn into the atmosphere, with some dreamy sadness. A very strong album, that should be regarded as a classic for the genre.

Homepage Stephen Cohen : &

Foxy Digitalis website:

The Tree People "Human Voices"

This is a welcome 25th anniversary reissue of this Oregon trio’s rare, cassette-only sophomore effort. Dreamy, mellow folk tunes paved the way for the current new folk movement and unique touches like the echoed vocals on “Grandfather” and the tinkling bells on “Rain, Rain” make this something special. Jeff Stier’s flute and recorder establishes a warm, floating vibe throughout the mostly instrumental album, and the liner notes from main composer Stephen Cohen are both historical and informative. The Spanish air to Cohen’s guitar on the lengthy “Things Fall Apart” is both hesitant and inviting, and draws the listener in to Stier’s recorder/flute flourishes, transporting the listener to an otherworldly plane, part gypsy dance, part ominous bullfight. (Note: The bonus track, “Sketches,” also benefits from this earthy, European vibe and is generously dedicated to the band’s part-time drummer, Denis Mochary, who played on it and several other tracks and who passed away in Japan several years ago.)

“Thomas” is a live favorite that’s part Simon & Garfunkle, part Peter, Paul & Mary and 100% fun – the harmonies are particularly well-arranged, weaving wonderfully around Stier’s recorders. This is one for those rainy day dreamaways where you find your mind wandering off to lonely strolls through the park, or navel gazing under the old apple tree out back. And if you can’t get up and do the jolly jig to “Dance,” then your get up and go has got up and gone and it’s time to return to your armchair traveling…back to the kinder, gentler times of 1984 to climb up and build a tree house to hang out with The Tree People and mellow out to “Human Voices.”
Jeff Penczak (11 August, 2009)

The review below is definitely entertaining and positive despite Casey's allergic reaction to flutes. One correction- the words to the song Human Voices are:

in the morning when you're still sleeping

when you have those crazy nightmares

I swear I hear, within the bird song

human voices joining along in a laughing song

(so that's why people print out the words on albums! I guess we will print the words on the new album when it is ready!)

The Tree People Human Voices


BY CASEY JARMAN, Willamette Week
[July 8th, 2009]

[FLUTE FOXES] Within the first 30 seconds of the Tree People’s reissued sophomore album, Human Voices, the psych-folk trio tests an aughties listener’s threshold for both the weird and the tender: “In the morning when you’re still sleeping/ When you have those crazy nightmares/ I swear I’m here within the birdsong/ Human voices joining along in our loving song.” These trippy lines are beautifully delivered—spooky three-part harmonies paired with unpredictable chord and tempo changes rattling out from a finger-picked guitar. But when the flute swoops in like an excitable raven, cynicism and years of anti-Renaissance Fair conditioning creep into one’s opinion.

About half of Human Voices is instrumental, with Stephen Cohen’s voice and acoustic guitar canoodling with Jeff Stier’s expertly played flutes and organic percussion. And while the wordless compositions—anchored by Stephen’s brother Jeremy on bass—are coolly melodic, it’s a side of the recently rebuilt trio that is going to be tough for modern audiences to contextualize. Oregon was a gentler place in 1984, it would seem. Still, the Tree People’s lyrically driven songs are both accessible and modern. The haunting “Grandfather” evokes Lou Reed more than Donovan; disc highlight “Thomas” is a Simon and Garfunkel-esque story song, and the earnest “That’s Entertainment” is both relatable and thrillingly told.

Picking up a Human Voices isn’t quite like discovering Nick Drake or John Fahey—musical spirits who seem more natural now than they ever did when they were in their prime songwriting years. Instead, one has to meet Treepeople halfway between now and then. But Human Voices, like the trio’s fascinating 1979 self-titled debut, provides another excellent reason to do so.