30 Apr 2015
I produced Dark Green Tree’s album Secret Lives. In reality this has been a decade long journey. I met Ross Cockburn at one of my first song writing workshops in a drafty hotel in Perthshire. After playing guitar in various guises for many years he told me he had hit a bit of a brick wall. That weekend, I believe, the germ of Dark Green Tree was born. Over the following years he made (with my help) albums with Wild Strawberry and as the driving force behind Jake Cogan’s fine debut. But all through this time I could tell Ross was looking for the ideal musical partner. Making music is a funny thing, it is dependent on an undefinable chemistry that you only find once in a blue moon. As soon as Ross told me about Jay Brown I knew his search was over. Suddenly ideas and concepts were coming as naturally as rain. This album was written largely by Ross and Jay with my input here and there. We all knew what a Dark Green Tree song was. Although I hadn’t met Jay before this I could sense he’d been on the same journey as Ross.
For me, this is the story of this band. It is the beautiful end of a long search. And I think that informs the music. There is a freshness but also a sense of personal history in everything they do. That is what makes Dark Green Tree such a perfect name.
Making the record was easy in the way that good records are. It all made sense. Every player who was invited to contribute played out of their skin. See, when the script is good you can concentrate on your part. Along the way Cera Impala was invited to sing and play her banjo. She fits into DGT in a spookily prescient way. It feels like it was meant to be.
When I listen to music I am always drawn to the ache that’s inhabits the greatest records. It says, we are all in the wilderness but we don’t have to be alone.
Secret Lives will be your new favourite album
Boo Hewerdine, Spring 2015.