Trees Leave traveled the nation for 6 years in support of the haunting debut album, "Run" and the dynamic follow-up, "The Gospel of Hurt". From those albums came the neo-Bluegrass number, "Water Falls" which placed the duo as a finalist in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest held at Merlefest. The duo was placed in the Bluegrass category, but even contest host, Jim Lauderdale, didn't know how to classify the song. "It's just different, in a good way", he said. That's exactly how Trees Leave likes to be described: different. Over the years, they have crafted a sound that marries their Bluegrass roots with their love of Rock, Blues and Traditional Country music. Trees Leave's preferred brand of Americana mixes raw, emotional lyrics with equally jarring melodies and instrumentation. Whether they are plugged in or sitting on the back porch, the urgency in their music and performance is hard to ignore.
Usually performing as a duo, they share rhythm guitar duties when the other is impressing on their signature instruments. Cobi Ferguson's polarizing guitar riffs and Wyatt Espalin's fiery fiddle solos add spice to their live performances and keeps audiences guessing what will come next. When the venue suits it, Trees Leave performs with a backing band and their songs do not hesitate to meet them at the next level. The listener is caught off guard with the twists of irony, winks of wit and sighs of sorrow of the characters in their songs.
Trees Leave have studied the architects of Americana music and are not ashamed of borrowing from their influences such as Ryan Adams and Whiskeytown, Gillian Welch, the Counting Crows and new Folk-Pop act, the Weepies. They would never call themselves Bluegrass players, but they love taking turns on fiddle and mandolin-laced folk tunes and often try to recreate the sounds of old world music with their tight harmonies and interesting interpretations of old standards.
Trees Leave has been featured on Georgia's Public Radio with Edgar Treiguts and on Prescott, Arizona's Folk Sessions.
Raised in Hiawassee, Georgia, Wyatt Espalin grew up in the Heartland of Americana. His passion for Appalachian style instruments has followed him throughout his life. Wyatt spent six years touring with his good friend Cobi Ferguson in their iconic duo, Trees Leave, before Wyatt released his first solo EP in 2015, Songwriter/Singer. An accomplished musician and award-winning performer, Wyatt Espalin and his music embody Folk-Americana. Although he is based in north Georgia, Wyatt spent years in Nashville developing a style that drips with alternative and modern folk influences. Particularly, Wyatt’s music is characteristic of artists such as Patty Griffin, Band of Horses, Gillian Welch, Indigo Girls, and The Head and The Heart.
Some of Wyatt’s accomplishments include winning the 2014 L.E.A.F. Festival New Song Singer-Songwriter Competition, and Winning second place in the 2014 John J. Jarrard Music Foundation Songwriting Awards. He has been a finalist in the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Competition, the 2014 New Song 13th Annual Songwriter Contest, the 2014 24th Annual Rocky Mtn. Folks Festival Songwriter Showcase, the 40th and 41st Eddie’s Attic Bi-Annual Open Mic Shootouts in 2014, and the 2009 Chris Austin Songwriting Competition-Merlefest.
Wyatt has shared the stage with other accomplished artists including: Indigo Girls, Amy Ray, Patty Loveless, Shawn Mullins, Randall Bramblett, Michelle Malone, The Spin Doctors, Jennifer Knapp, Chely Wright, Angel Snow, The Grascals, Claire Lynch, Seth Glier, Hannah Thomas, The Good Graces, Alice Peacock, The Whites, The Greencards, Tim O’Brien, Sam Bush, Larkin Poe, Von Grey, Trina Meade, and Kevn Kinney of Drivin’ N Cryin’.