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“Leaving Paper City” by The Scarlet Tree is eclectic in feel, ranging from Americana, Country, Roots Rock to almost Latin. Delivering an auspicious album, Christopher and Vanessa score a definite win. Vanessa Constance Knox is a humble, polished performer who never lets her own ambition cloud her purpose -- performing brilliant, deceptively simple and beautiful music. The caliber of each musician is phenomenal and Vanessa herself possesses a voice that is all at once smokey, rich, warm and intimate. The Scarlet Tree not only has a great sound, they have great songs as well. The material, unlike 'Making Spirits Bright' their Holiday album, is all original and the multi-talented group of players, Scott Dente, Ken Lewis, and Jerry McPherson surpass expectations delivering a timeless, rich record. The album is a divine marriage of first-class music with marvelous lyrics. It feels familiar and yet it’s fresh. We've only just begun to witness what The Scarlet Tree has to offer. This album is a gem.
A strong, solidly melodic rock album with hints of country, gorgeously written, tastefully arranged, and impeccably played. In terms of its sound, it is far less eclectic than 'Leaving Paper City,' muscular, lean, and forward-driving. Effectively efficient. Both lyrically and musically, The Scarlet Tree works within traditional forms rather than pushing at boundaries. Knox is more craftsman than innovator with this album, (in this way he resembles John Mellencamp). The Scarlet Tree achieve their most noteworthy moments in their uptempo, instrumentally thick songs, such as the first three tracks, "I Left It All Back There in Susanville," “Run,” and "Something’s Gotta Give." The slow stuff might be a bit ponderous, but the first six or seven songs manage a rare trick: They're incandescent enough to jump out at you on the radio, yet are steeped in a type of introspective inquiry that was once integral to rock & roll, and has nearly vanished. Susanville is equal parts durable and likeable.