The Right Kind of Medicine
By Renee Unsworth and Bill Kenyon
Photos by Mark Cubbedge
Americana-folk with influences from bluegrass, old-time and even hints of classical music,” is how Gabriel Acevedo describes the sound of Remedy Tree, a St. Augustine-based band that performs in venues and festivals throughout the area. In a few short years, the group has attracted a lot of attention with their sound.
Making music together is simple for Acevedo and his wife Abigail, Remedy Tree’s original founding members. The two had moved to St. Augustine the year before the band was formed and Gabriel was looking for an avenue in which he could express his growing collection of original songs. His wife Abigail, who had grown up singing and playing guitar with her family, in the Morse Family Band, started backing him up on guitar, and then stand-up bass. When the duo added a cellist in 2015, Remedy Tree officially came into being.
When asked to describe Remedy Tree’s musical genre, Gabriel says the band, “is not very strict when it comes to genre specifically. Though we definitely operate under the folk umbrella, I would describe us as lyric-driven, Americana-folk with influences of bluegrass, old-time, and even hints of classical.”
Like a growing number of younger generations of musicians who appreciate those who came before them, Gabriel has quite a list of influences which aren’t heard on pop or alternative radio stations. “I started writing songs when I was around 11 years old,” he says. “Back then my inspirations were very bluegrass driven — Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Dailey and Vincent and Kenny and Amanda Smith were some of my early musical heroes. As I started writing more, I took to the indie-folk movement with artists such as Peter Bradley Adams, Matthew and the Atlas, Mumford and Sons. Today I still pull from everywhere for inspiration. My current favorites include Mandolin Orange, Town Mountain, and The Steel Drivers.”
While Gabriel, or Gabe as he’s know to his friends, writes most of the bands material, Abigail’s sister, Leah Lynn, is also a prolific lyricist. She and Gabe have co-written several songs that have made their way into the Remedy Tree repertoire.
Of the songwriting process, Gabriel says, “It’s hard to pinpoint when it’s going to happen. I’ve written songs in the middle of a busy kitchen, singing to myself in my head. Lots of times I’ll come up with an idea and write it down, then sit down later and finish the thought. That being said, I think the best of my inspiration happens when I’m in my studio alone in perfect silence, just me and my thoughts.”
The band has one EP, “A Tale of Three” which was released in 2016 and two more planned for 2018. One is scheduled for release this spring, with the other coming out by the end of 2018.
In addition to performing locally, Remedy Tree recently completed a fall 2017 tour throughout the Southeastern states. “That was the highlight of our year,” Gabriel exclaims. “We decided to step across state lines, and wet our feet a little, in the southeastern United States. Our tour was all self-booked and we mostly camped along the way. We found some amazing campsites. Our tour spanned nine days, and we played small venues throughout Georgia, North Caroline, and Tennessee, including the North Georgia Folk Festival in Athens, Georgia, The Cave, in Chapel Hill North Carolina, and the Blue Plate Special, in Knoxville Tennessee. We hope to be doing it again soon.”
According to Acevedo, “I think performing is the platform that music gives us (and artists) to impact the world, it is the biggest thing we have. It’s a responsibility, really. Even if we play an empty bar, if there’s one person that enjoyed and listened, and was touched in a positive way, that makes it all worth it. We are greatly blessed to have that opportunity.”
For more information on Remedy Tree, see their website HERE.