By Billy Ludt and Ashley Custer
The Bees Trees, a rock and soul band from Youngstown, will be going on tour from July until early August in reaction to releasing their new EP “Roots.”
The Bees Trees is frontman Liam Jones on vocals and guitar, Doug Brandt on bass, Ryan Jones (no relation) on drums and Mitch Lawrence on saxophone, flute, backing vocals and keyboard. Dave Humphries, the band’s fifth member, play percussion and provides extra backing vocals at larger shows.
Ryan Jones, Doug Brandt and Liam Jones are current Youngstown State University students. The band has spent the last month booking dates in eastern states in the U.S.
The tour will visit in West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina,Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
“Nothing too big; nothing too small,” Liam Jones said.
The tour will lead up to one of The Bees Trees’ mainstay festivals, Fusion Fest at the B&O Station in Youngstown on Aug. 13. Prior to that, Liam Jones said they’re playing an important date in Cleveland opening for experimental funk group, EGi, July 22 at the Beachland Ballroom.
“We’re gaining new ground, and we plan to continue gaining new ground,” he said.
“Roots” was released on Christmas.
“There’s less solos, and it’s more about the songwriting,” Liam Jones said.
Liam Jones said he writes songs for The Bees Trees, providing a lyrical structure. As the songwriting process progresses, each band member adds to songs until they’re fully realized.
“The band started in July of 2011 but has seen quite a few lineup changes to get to the position we are in now,” Liam Jones said. “We have gone through four drummers and three bassists to get to the current lineup.”
The Bees Trees will also be at Earlybird Music Festival at Nelson Ledges Quarry Park on April 30, which is about 30 minutes from Youngstown. Their set is at 4:30 p.m. before the Cleveland reggae rock group Tropidelic and legendary guitarist Buckethead.
“We continue to evolve and enchant listeners. Delivering a dynamic fusion of melodies that highlights a wide range of musical influences including jazz, roots rock, reggae and Blues,” Liam Jones said. “The Bees Trees delivers its unique sounds to an eclectic audience frequently performing in a variety of venues from taverns to music festivals and theaters. Our sound meshes various musical genres and appeals to an audience of all ages and styles.”
“Roots” is available for purchase on iTunes and CD Baby.