The Official Website Of Tree Records
Meet Tree's International Artists
Aardvark Chris Adams Javier Ballester Sylvia Bonallack Rick Bryant Jim Carter Peter Caulton
Laurence Cooper Gutbucket Haystack Andy Hearn Nick Johns Bob Keeton
Dene Kellaway Lianne Marc Ludeman Luke Thomas Midge Marsden Mauribatero
Mossflower Donovan Peters Random Thougghts The Group The Supernatural Blues Band
One of the top Bands, they were never full time, but rather a hobby' interest as the day job was the way to go for a happy future. With a top Hotel and leading Restaurant residencies, they had all the night work they needed.
All the major Labels wanted them but they were not interested So how did Tree get to record this band? Simple. The NZ Government of the day decided a Motorway from Lower Hutt to Wellington was the answer to growing traffic jams. John's home lay in the path of the new Motorway and the Government set the price of his home and gave him 6 months to move. Then it sat empty for over a year. John was hopping mad and wanted Mr Muldoon to get the "message". He did. The record was banned from airplay. Tree agreed to record it, knowing there was no chance of ever getting them into a studio again. It was worth it.
The Line-up was: John MacGibbon (keyboard/composer), Paul de Frense (bass), Bruce McKinnin (drums) and Mike Leader (vocals). The band made a national TV1 appearance in 1972 when they performed on a talent show called "New Faces". Sadly, John MacGibbon passed away in July, 2007 so he missed knowing his song was finally heard all around the world.
CHRIS ADAMS (Tree / Bloomfield)
Chris Adams is a musician and song writer with a mainly guitar focused style and a great ability to attach emotion to his work.
Chris kicked off his solo efforts in 1999, embarking upon an instrumental rock career. But by 2002, he had joined forces with John and Geoff Whitbread, described by Chris as “two brothers with phenomenal talent.” John’s vocal technique and Geoff’s drumming skills meshed marvelously with Chris’ guitar playing. These musicians, perfectly in sync with each other, found themselves moving in a more traditional “song-based” direction.
“I still write both instrumental and vocal pieces,” says Chris. His solo career is still going strong; he has three singers and a number of instrumentalists at his disposal for recording and for live shows. The music continues to be guitar-based with a focus on guitar virtuosity.
Chris’ previous albums include “Back To Jerusalem", “One Solitary Chair", “In Through the Soundhole", “On the Rock" “Streams From Bethel”, “Out Of The Silence”, “Variations On A Theme", “Requiem For A Mountain", “House Of Dreams", “So Far" and “Sozo” . Tree is starting it's relationship with Chris by the digital releasing of "Sozo" and "So Far".
Chris is the first International artist to be signed by Tree and is only the second British artist to record for the Label, Newton being the first but he was in New Zealand at the time whereas Chris is living in the UK.
A College Band with a huge following at their College and Suburb only, After-Glo had a unique harmony and when a girlfriend joined in, it was pure magic. Tree made 3 Singles with them but the third was never released as Tree was not completely happy with the finished effort.
The line-up was the two Robinson brothers, Steve (lead guitar/vocals) and Michael (guitar/vocals) with Richard Campbell as their Drummer and an American living briefly in NZ called Corelius Wood (guitar) who returned to the USA after these records were made. The girlfriend, Mary Ann Leslie, just performed in the studio as she was shy about facing an audience. The striking sound of After-Glo was also the double drum set arrangement which Tree Records made full use of, rolling them around the stereo speakers to make the record something slightly 'different' from other 'nice' pop recordings. They specialised in cover versions and their treatment of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" has been well received by the fans.
JAVIER BALLESTER (Tree)
New Spanish Singer from Spain. He has just signed up with Tree and he has a rich and very powerful voice and does Fusion / Pop music.Tree's second Artist who performs in Spanish. See his Profile Page on rhis Site.
SYLVIA BONALLACK (Bloomfield)
Sylvia Bonallack started playing the guitar when she was 12 and has performed at St. Paul's in Wellington, New Zealand, taught the skills of guitar playing to many youngsters and recorded two albums for the Tree label. Her second album and is a program of music for Lute from the 18th Century Romantic period. Pure classical guitar, no other instruments featured, and a selection of music executed with a surprisingly non existence of 'birdies' or 'bridging chords' to get around the more difficult and demanding passages. Also issued by the World Record Club (EMI NZ) to it's members in 1972, the year of it's issue. Critically acclaimed by the local press and used extensively by TV One as fillers when programmes fell short and they had time to 'kill' until the advertised time of the next programme. In this respect, Syliva is perhaps New Zealand's most heard but not known artist as no credit lines were displayed by TV One.What makes this album interesting is her 'duets' with herself made possible by modern recording techniques. "Greensleeves" starts the program with a duet version and there are two or three other tracks featuring Sylvia performing with .. Sylvia. Critics were impressed by the lack of 'birdies' and the very high quality of the Tree pressings which gave out very little surface noise, making this album one of the purest in that sense. Only her second Tree Album, "Greensleeves" is still available on vinyl only. See her Profile Page here and at Intuit.
RICK BRYANT (Tree)
Rick Bryant started singing the blues in and around Wellington in the late Sixties and teamed up with Gutbucket in order to get more Gigs. He was a quiet, modest young man who just stepped up to the mic in the HMV Studios and casually, in one take, delivered the most explosive slow burning, heart wrenching, vocal blues outing Tree's producer had ever heard.
Rick went on with his solo career and travelled to America where he made a lasting impression on his audiences too. He has issued a number of recordings over the years and released a solo CD Album in 1996/7.
JIM CARTER (Tree)
Jim Carter hails from America and has been an active entertainer since the 1960's when he was a member of a pop group and play the part of Ron in "Hair". Today he performs 'live' singing and playing the piano and other keyboard instruments in the USA
Jim has performed with such well known artists as Helen Reddy and Jose Feliciano and. has a new Album up at CD Baby under Jim Carter and Tree Records is starting it's partnership with Jim by releasing his "Daydreamer" Album as a digital title, globally, later in 2009.
Jim also writes songs himself as well as singing classic hits like "Walkin' In Memphis", "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" "Drift Away" and "Summertime". See Jim's & CG Keys Profile Pages on this Site.
PETER CAULTON (Tree)
Today Peter Caulton is an active performer living in Germany and seen 'live' all over Europe and at a few Military Bases where he entertains Middle East based Troops.
He has worked in New Zealand, Australia and America and has been nominated for 6 Grammy Awards including Best New Artist and Best Album for his USA recorded Album.
Peter's recording career started with Viking when Ron Dalton produced a cover version of "Six Days On The Road". Then Tree wanted to record a song it liked and Peter had the right voice for it so a deal was struck (Peter hated the song) which gave him total control over the material on record number 2. He chose to do"Pickin' White Gold" with Midge Marsden.
Convairs) penned song "My World Keeps Changing". He wanted Midge Marsden on the record as they were working the Pub Circuit, as a double act, at the time. Sadly Midge was still bound by the HMV Contract for Barri & The Breakaways so Tree had to hire him as a Session Musician and no credit could be given. In 1996, with those strings gone, Midge was given the credit he well deserved to have.
Born in Gisbourne, New Zealand, Peter's early career was as a C&W singer and he rapidly rose to be the kingpin of Country, starring in several TV Shows, Headliner for National Tours, did a P&O Cruise as resident entertainer and made three records for Viking & Tree.
After the break-up of his first marriage, Peter moved to Australia and produced two full Albums while there. Looking for greener pastures he tried the USA and met the owner of a Texas based Record Company and made a third Album for them. When it didn't win a Grammy, Peter found himself in the Bahamas. Not amused, he and his second wife moved to the UK and on to Germany as his wife is German.
Teamed up with The Bear Family, Peter's new Management gained work for him all over Europe and even North Africa. This lead to new friendships and Peter has made a number of pop/rock recordings with the creator of The Boy Band Killers. A full and amazing career path so far, Peter is without a doubt one of the most polished and highly entertaining stars around today.
LAURENCE COOPER (Tree)
Laurence Cooper who's long and successful career in music started with Gutbucket, included Tapestry and more very successful New Zealand Bands, has been playing guitars since the mid 60's. His Slide guitar work on Gutbucket's first record,"Wild About You", still impresses today and showscases Laurence's obvious Musicianship.
His "56 Coopers Lane" EP and now "Phosphorescence", reveal another side to Laurence's talents - his ability to sing and compose and pen interesting songs. His latest effort took 4 years to complete and was recorded and mixed in Australia at Sky Lab Studios in Sydney.
Laurence's latest release, launched on October 21, 2006, is a laid-back, mellow Album but with the tang and zest only an artist with Laurence's experiences could pull off very successfully. Dull it is not. Interesting and attention holding, it most certainly is. A real winner here and the Album delivers the goods this outstanding cover design suggests are inside.
Laurence is supported here by Phil Groves on keyboards / programming, Dave Russell playing bass on 'Sailing By" and Djembe on "Sailing By" and "Luminous World".We highly recommend this Album and you can buy it now through our NZ Music Shop at Musicstack.
This is a classic case of teamwork being very successful. Gutbucket was the remnance of a New Plymouth band which lost one member to "The Challenge", an Auckland band, and one to a motorcycle accident in Australia. The remaining members moved to Wellington and formed a new band they named Gutbucket. They played the blues but had no singer. A very young Rick Bryant was a blues singer with no band. By working as a "package deal", they both got gigs around Wellington and when Tree Records invited Gutbucket to make a record, Rick Bryant just tagged along too.
The Gutbucket line-up was Bernard Schmidt (lead guitar), Laurence Cooper (2nd guitar / bottleneck), Steve Hemmens (bass) and Mike Fullerton (drums). Laurence Cooper went on to be a part of "Tapestry" and now has a solo career
(see above). With the release of their single, they were invited to the 1969 National Blues Convention which lead to further appearances at the Masterton and Hawkes Bay Blues Clubs as well as "WIld About You" being hailed as the best blues recording in NZ ...... and it probably still is.
THE HARLEQUINS (Tree)
Two Maori sisters who sang in perfect harmony and just loved to sing. The Manager of the Wellington Warehouse distributing Tree Records for a while had promised them a Contract without checking with his HO first. He had egg on his face and asked Tree to record them for him. Tree did that and agreed with his opinion of their talents but he kept all contact with them to himself so a single record was made and then all contact with the girls lost.
Having already cleaned up two Seasons of the Talent Quest on TV1's "New Faces", they added Radio NZ's "Rock Quest" to their victories before Dene Kellaway walked into a local Record Shop where Neil worked, sell Tree's Sylvia Bonallack LP's. Neil asked if Tree did non-classical stuff and if so, would Dene listen to a demo tape. Dene agreed. "Nigel" alone clinched a deal for them but the whole tape was amazing.
The finished Album gained a rave Review in the "NZ Listener" by Ray Columbus and sold quickly in the group's home town but otherwise, it turned out to be a sleeper, 10 years ahead of it's time.
Then in 1996, Tree sold off the last 60 copies to a Record Dealer. Suddenly everyone wanted it from Tree because the price was $60 NZD for Mint Copies. Haystack's time had finally arrived. Tree is surprised that the album is now considered "Progressive Country / Folk".
Just 4 tracks, 2 from each side, were put on the "Kiwi Made Music" CD -"Bright Boy" c/w "Ebenezer" was the last 7" vinyl single issued by Tree. See their Profile Pae on this Site.
SAM H (Tree)
Sam H is a popular Indie Singer / Songwriter from Sweden who has worked on several tracks with Chris Adams. You'll find Sam H on Facebook and at MySpace.
ANDY HEARN (Tree)
A British singer/songwriter, Andy has been on the music scene for a decade, with a solid following already on MySpace. Very much a 60's style of writing, sounding a lot like both The Hollies and The Beatles. First Album issuedt in 2010. See Andy's Profile Page on this site.
NICK JOHNS (Tree)
An Australian rock artist working in and around Sydney. Nick has been on the music scene for decades and writes some powerful songs. He also has the Nick Johns Band. His first Album on Tree was issued in early 2010. Nick has moved on, making a very different kind of music but his Album is still up at iTunes. See Nick's Profile Page on this Site.
BOB KEETON (Tree)
Bob Keeton is a very talented Singer, Musician, Composer and his own Producer. His first CD Album, "Stronger" was released in 2003 as a CD-R and was sold exclusively by Bob at his Wellington, New Zealand, gigs. Tree Records signed Bob to the label in 2007.
Bob has gigged around Wellington as a Keyboard player for some 15 years and played with the Benj Berryman Hiptet. Bob started writing his own songs in the 1990's and has an interest in rock and jazz but he has also been trained as a classical pianist too. He was a guitar player right up until he turned 18.
"Stronger" is a collection of songs which demonstrate Bob's wide ranging interests and skills. It takes you through pop/rock, cool funky groove jazz and back.
In 2009 Bob released "Dust In The Wind", a fund raiser single made with Britain's Chris Adams then went on to produce a stunning second Album called "Perfection" which holds a huge hit "Forty Years Ago".
Today Bob is full time carin for his sick Mother but there is an unreleased track Tree still plans to release. See Bob's Profile Pae on this Site.
DENE KELLAWAY (Tree / Bloomfield)
The singer/songwriter who turned into a pop magazine Publisher / Editor before finally creating Tree Record's and being it's Producer.
Born in Levin, Dene moved to Wellington at the very start of 1965. By 1966 he had risen to be the Editor of the NZ Teen Beat Magazine and created "Groove" Newspaper when "Teen Beat" shut down. Seven months later he found himself forming a record label, something he had no intention of doing until it happened. He had made demos for both HMV (NZ)
Ltd and Viking Records for several years and was finally asked to record for Apollo, which fell over a couple of months later.
At the time of the single's release Dene was with the NZ Army doing his National Training for 14 Weeks so he was not around to promote it. An old school friend told him years later that he heard "If I Didn't Have A Dime" on a Sydney radio station and nobody believe him when he said he went to school with the singer
Dene's singing career took a back seat once he started recording and producing the Tree Record's catalog.
Born in New Plymouth, New Zealand, Lianne was just 19 when she recorded for Tree. Her very promising career ended abruptly when she packed her bags for Auckland at very short notice for personal reasons. So short in fact, Tree Records only found out when they tried to contact her about cutting a new Single with them.
Lianne worked in the music business for a Booking Agency so she knew the ropes when fellow entertainer Barry Duncan (of Vivky & Dicky "Alergic To Flowers" 7") encouraged her to step into the spotlight herself.
He made arrangements for her to sing at the famous nightclub every American sailor knows, The Downtown Club, as well as making sure Tree Record's producer was present. She looked amazing and had the crowd in the palm of her hand before she even opened her mouth. Then she just blew everyone away. Tree signed her up right away before EMI, Philips or Pye heard of her talents.
MARC LUDEMAN (Tree)
American Singer/Songwriter from Detroit. Has
been writing songs for a long time and has already issued 4 Albums to date. Newly signed to the Tree Label with first release due in Feb, 2011. See Marc's Profile Page on this Site..
LUKE THOMAS (Bloomfield)
Luke Thomas is a British Folk / Alternative singer / songwriter signed to the Boomfield Label in November 2010. See his page for full details.
MIDGE MARSDEN (Tree)
Midge started his recording carre as a member of the 60's pop band and HMV recording artists, Bari & The Breakaways. He played harmonica and backing vocals for Peter Caulton on his single "Pickin' White Gold". The two were touring NZ at the time so it worked well for the 'live' performances of the song.
After a stint working in Programming for Radio NZ, Midge moved north and proceeded to record a number of singles and Albums for the major Labels in NZ.
Today Midge is still involved in other artists' projects, one being the Johnny Croot (The Group) new Album which was released in 2010 with USA inputs and video clip.
A singer, songwriter and muscian, Mauribatero lives in Spain and produces songs and music in a pop / dance cross-over style of his own. Most songs are sung in Spanish but a few are in English as well.His first Album for Tree was issued in 2010. See Mauriberto's Profile Page.
A talented group still at College when
they formed this group in West Auckland. They organized their own gigs and had a huge following. About a year later people started asking when they CD was coming out and since no Record Company Scout had appeared, they wrote some songs, hired Auckland's then top Producer and rented a top line Studio. "green" was the result.
The usual lack of Airplay, no record deals and no gigs they didn't run themselves, they became disheartened by the 'scene' and broke up.
A nomadic young man who drifted into Wellington in 1972, made this recording for Tree Records and drifted on to new horizons. We only know what he told us and that was not a lot. What we do know is he's a very talented songwriter and comfortable vocalist in so much as he's pleasant on the ears.
We understand he was born in Malaya and educated in England so we gather he was the son of a British Diplomat or Businessman who worked in Malaya for a while. Newton was well spoken and clearly well educated.
Tree Records were annoyed at his sudden departure, having promoted him heavily, produced solid sales and had plans for an Album by him. All that went up in smoke.
DONOVAN PETERS (Tree)
Donovan Peters is an American Entertainer who has performed at many Corporate Functions as well as appearing at many of America's top Hotels. He is a Rock Singer / Pianist and also performs Smooth Jazz and Meditational Music as well. Check him out at www.donovanpeters.com
RANDOM THOUGHTS (Tree)
They came 3rd in the Wellington leg of the "NZ Battle Of The Bands" but were the real winners. Teased relentlessly by fellow Band's about their 1968 Battle Of The Bands performances were performed on borrowed equipment, Random Thoughts responded with their close cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Only Living Boy In New York" just to prove a point.
Formed in 1968, Random Thoughts consisted of two brothers, Brian and Harry Mouton and friends Ian Cowie and Kevin Leong. They were in their early 20's when "The Trouble" was recorded for Tree Records. Brian Mouton was not just the lead singer, but the group's drummer too. Ian Cowie was their organist and a Law student at Victoria University. He is now living in the UK while Kevin Leong was the band's bass player by night and a computer programmer by day.The Band had a change of line-up when Harry Mouton decided to move north to Auckland. He was replaced by Ex "Dizzy Limits" guitarist Kelvin Diedrick who plays on rhythm guitar on "The Only Living Boy In New York".
THE SUPERNATURAL BLUES BAND (Tree)
A popular Blues Band on the University Circuit in the NZ Capitol of Wellington, what this 5 man band lacked in high tech equipment, they made up for with pure 96 octane energy. "Out In The Cold" came out of the starting gun with a hiss and a roar and sold out in just one day. And the controversy raged. Accused of putting the music scene back 10 years, Dene just smiled, for the raw energy of this recording was what music is really all about. Strangely, 35 years later, it's the song Tree Records is most remembered for. You can buy this track on the CD "Kiwi Made Music . The line-up was, as per photo above, (l to r): Bernard Lee, Vic Trott, Mike Lee, Dave Browne & John O'Connor . Bernard and Mike Lee are brothers.
THE GROUP (Tree)
1960's part time Band playing the Private Functions circuit in Wellington as "The Big Four", re-named "The Group" when Tree Records signed them in 1969 and recorded their only Single, "People In The Night" c/w "Colour Blind". A bad call by the owner of the Booking Agency saw "The Group" disband rather than leave Tree for HMV and go Pro.
John Croot, who went to school with Dene Kellaway, has recently released a solo Album himself called "Do You Fear Me" and goes under the name Johnny Croot & Friends. Check it out at www.amplifier.co.nz
See Individual Artists' Pages for more detailed information
No photos exist of these Artists