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It's amazing how time flys when your having fun!
Back in 1978 in a smokey little bar in Salem, NH called THE STING the beginnings of The Treebeard Band began to form. None of us realized it at the time but this wonderful ride would take us over the next five years from playing at THE STING all the way to appearing on the GRAND OL OPRY Stage and a television special sponsored by Dodge Trucks and Wrangler Jeans.
We started out as a Duo
As Mick Jagger of the Stones sang, "Please allow me to introduce myself", my name is Phil White, I played Guitar and sang in the band. Let's start at the very beginning when a good friend of mine, Angelo Lagana started hosting an open Mic Night at THE STING on Tuesday nights. At the time I was playing with two long time friends, Doug Seed and Dane Gardner. One evening we were there to play a short set and also appearing on the bill was Brian Bethune and Paul Grasso. We had never heard them live but we had heard many good things about their singing and playing. When I heard Paul and Brian play that night two things stood out to me. The first thing was that Paul had a Great Classical tenor voice, when he sang songs by artist such as John Denver and Kenny Logins he would hit every note perfectly and could copy their styles to a Tee. The second thing that stood out was that Brian was a really good guitar player and had a voice that I refer to as a character voice, not a classical sounding voice like Paul’s but one that has so much personality and character to it that you could listen to it all night. Brian definitely did not sound like Denver or Logins he sounded like Brian.At this time I was looking to take my music further than just an occasional open Mic night and I had heard that Brian was also looking to start something that would give him a chance to express himself a little more as well. We got together to sing a few songs and hear what it would sound like. We tried a couple of tunes including a unique version of one of my favorites, Neil Diamonds "Solitary Man". After we did that song both of us knew that this was a musical combination that we would both enjoy, from that point on it was Brian and Phil.

Brian and Phil
This is an old ad for one of our first paying gigs. Notice the prices of the Steak Dinners.

Brian, Phil and Rick
Brian and I started working up material to play together; this was an easy task as our taste in music was very similar. Some of our favorites at the time were; Harry Chapin, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Neil Young, Simon and Garfunkle and a slew of others.We started playing the open Mic nights around the area and as soon as we had enough material started booking full nights out. After a couple of months Brian and I decided that we really could use a good Bass player to add bottom to our sound and also add a third vocal. A duo that went by the name of Rick and Randy had been playing at the Sting at this time doing some of the same style songs that we were performing and Brian and I both thought that Rich Schaitel who played Bass with Randy would be a Great fit with the two of us and our music. We got together with Rick one night to play a few songs and the core of TREEBEARD was formed.


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Phil White, Rick Schaitel and Brian Bethune = Treebeard

Click here for Early Band Photos