One Tree Hill plays a unique blend of styles than can only be described as acoustic-driven Americana. They started out as a trio- acoustic guitar, fiddle and two vocals, and have since added a 2nd guitar (acoustic & electric), bass guitar (upright & electric), and drums (kit & hand) to their sound.
OTH began when songwriter Patrick Lloyd left the practice of law to pursue music. "There is no better way to share the eternal truths of life than in & through music," says Lloyd. "Music has a unique ability to cut to the chase & commune with us in very intimate yet mostly unknown ways. She is the perfect lover of whom we never tire ... because we cannot contain her." After playing solo for three years, Lloyd added a vocalist and fiddle to the mix, and eventually kept growing to their current configuration.
"We clearly leaned more toward the folk aspect of our sound during the early days, where Brian's guitar work ads a rock aspect to our current sound. I like them both & more. I love bluegrass, country, blues & jazz, too. That's why I describe us as Americana - we've got a little of all of those genres in our music. The fact that we don't sit in the middle of any musical genre is fine with us. Our "genre" fluctuates from song to song," says Lloyd.
In December '05, the band brought singer Melody Burr into the mix. "Big changes like that are scary," says Lloyd. "The audition process mostly addresses someone's musical ability but can only tell you so much about how that person will ultimately affect the band's personality. It's very emotional--you just gotta hop on, hold on and trust that where He's taking the band is somewhere you want to go. We auditioned several singers and then Melody came to us asking if I could record/produce a demo CD for her in OTH's studio. I said yes & was therefore able to 'audition' her voice & personality without her even knowing it which, quite frankly, resulted in the purest audition possible. After finishing her demo CD, I then told her that we were looking for a singer if she was interested. She was, so we went through the many additional phases of auditioning Melody which culminated in her singing with us live at Higher Grounds Coffee House in December '05. She was a good fit & we invited her to join the band! The Lord stepped up to the plate and went yard on this one, literally bringing Melody to us as opposed to us finding her. In other words, God found a way to keep me from mucking things up! Our sound and new tunes are drifting back toward the folk & country rock aspect of our sound: a simpler, more relaxed feel which is a perfect fit for Melody's folk timbre & style of singing. Simply put, we're excited again. We've just finished mixing our 6th CD that we will release on November 10th & 11th. Basically, the band has evolved & we've settled into our new "voice" & look forward to sharing it with you.
The songs continue to be shaped by Lloyd's hard-knocks journey--this thing we call life. Thus it has been said, "[OTH], your music was balm for the soul. Your music is so very important. I was particularly moved by the words in your music."
"We definitely see our music as an opportunity to talk about what matters most in life. We don't hesitate to talk about spiritual matters, but not to the exclusion of the physical and emotional. Our faith is not a magic carpet ride that hovers above the daily grind," Lloyd says. "Oh, sure, we're all occasionally blessed with a respite, and you will hear that in some of our songs. But our music mostly endeavors to embrace the stuggles of life head on."
OTH's unique sound and willingness to speak forthrightly in their music makes for a refreshing experience.
Patrick Lloyd was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, graduating from The Westminster Schools. Patrick played baseball in college until after his junior year when he was in an auto accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Patrick returned to school at Georgia State University, graduating with a B.A. in philosophy where he was Philosophy Student of the Year (translation- he can shoot the bull with the best of 'em) his senior year. He went on to receive a J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law. Patrick was a trial lawyer (shot the bull) in Atlanta for seven years until he left the practice of law to pursue music full time. "I've fallen from law to grace," Patrick muses.
Carl Bedingfield grew up in Columbus, Georgia, then moved to Atlanta, graduating from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Physics and Computer Science. While at Tech, Carl began playing guitar and bass. Carl pontificates, "Those were the days of barefeet, blue jeans and tie dye. Some things never change." He's played in several bands over the years & an original member OTH. Carl also is the techno wizard for the band.
Brian Bartlett is a native Atlantan, graduating from what is now known as North Atlanta High School. After high school, Brian toured from Sandy Springs to Saudi Arabia with various rock bands for fifteen years. Brian definitely wins the Most Band-Worthy award amongst us OTHchers. Brian got his first guitar at 10, teaching himself how to play from the infamous Mel Bay ("This is a plectrum [guitar pick]") books.
Melody Burr grew up in Statesboro, Georgia and graduated from Georgia Southern University with a BBA in Marketing and moved to the Atlanta area shortly thereafter working as a graphic designer. Melody, her dad being a music minister & her mom a piano player/singer, has been involved in music all her life. She picked out her first tune on the piano at age 3 and sang her first solo in church at age 5. Melody is married with two boys, seven and four years old, and teaches music part-time at Horizon Christian Academy in Cumming & has been singing in the praise band at her church for several years.
Melody sings & plays some percussion
Bo Bedingfield often sits in with OTH as a guest musician on drums & percussion. Bo grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, watching his dad play bluegrass with his friends. At an early age he picked up the guitar and, being home schooled through elementary school, he had time to learn a few songs and figure out that playing music is a noble (& girls like it) pursuit. Needing no more encouragement, he immediately began learning to play the drums and bass as well. Bo has been in various and sundry bands over the years including a country top 40 cover band, a funk three piece, and a Christian rock band among others. Bo is himself an accomplished singer-songwriter and has released his debut CD.
Bo plays drums & percussion