Songs of the back roads, hard traveling and lost love, sincere but no longer innocent, with a restless energy and timeless quality, make up the four offerings on Twin Tree Grove’s debut EP. Led by Ofer Amichai, their sound is pure and exuberant as whiskey at sunset, with all the heat of the moment, and the feeling that lingers. Twin Tree Grove are: Ofer Amichai – guitars, vocals, songwriter; Sharon Levi – guitars; Assif Ben-Ezra – keyboard, harmonica, & vocals; Nir Horovitz – bass, harmonium, & vocals; Ronny Ben-Ezra – drums. The band has a warm rapport, there’s a friendly vibe onstage as they move easily from honey sweet harmonies and country rhythms to the burning indigo of electric blues.
The EP launch took place at the Bar Giyora last Wednesday, December 27, 2017, giving the Tel Aviv underground (literally) venue a feel of wide open spaces. Listening to the band was like being back in Texas, only better, because the occasional onstage Hebrew banter spiked with cynicism is what feels like home to me. They opened with Sunny Days, a country tune of lost love that is not on the EP, then continued with Devil on My Shoulder, Living on the Highway with Assif Ben Ezra on harmonica, and Every Now and Then. The songs are all written by Ofer Amichai, an old soul singing in the powerful voice of a young man. It’s a debut album that has the feel of a songwriter in the fullness of his time, a torrent of talent that has found its true direction. The wonderful singer-songwriter Gal de Paz joined the band for the reflective, melodic Preaching to the Choir, with Nir Horovitz on harmonium.
Then the band joined Gal on Down the Rabbit Hole, a song from her album with The Paz Band, followed by a wild and raging cover of Stephen Still’s For What It’s Worth. There were some more beautiful blues, and even a song so new it doesn’t have a name yet – so there’s lots more to look forward to from Twin Tree Grove! But I’d like to conclude with Ofer Amichai’s words, right after For What It’s Worth: “We will continue the resistance because the forces of darkness are taking over.”