Lone Tree is the rock band you didn’t expect. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, this group of 5 expat teens formed 6 years ago to create a high energy, powerful sound that is contemporary yet firmly rooted in their influences from rock, blues, funk, reggae, and the legacy of great, live music.
The band was originally named Refuge which represented what they are all about: escaping from shallow, inauthentic music. First meant as tongue and cheek, it came to symbolize their drive for progress.
Influences are broad and reflect their deep knowledge of music history across many genres. Key artists include Pink Floyd, Allman Brothers, The Wailers, Xavier Rudd, Funkadelic, Sublime, Jethro Tull, Groundation and King Gizzard.
Although they are expats, Lone Tree considers itself a Kenyan band with roots around the world, including the U.S., Bolivia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, U.K. and Belgium. Their youth and diversity are unmissable – members have collectively lived in 10 countries and speak 6 languages. The vocalist and lead guitarist are also siblings.
Lone Tree started making waves in 2018 with the release of its first original song “Gone Astray” which debuted at #1 in the East African rock charts. Multiple local and international TV, radio and online appearances quickly followed, as well as live performances – the band plays all the top venues in Kenya, including opening for major artists like Sauti Sol, Fancy Fingers, Bensoul, Nviiri the Storyteller and Ferocious Dog.
The band played its first international gig in 2018 in Bolivia. They played their first international festival in August 2019 in Germany at the Bautz Music Festival to an audience of 10k people. By summer 2021, they played their first U.S. gigs at The Basement in Nashville for New Faces Night and at Fantastic Negrito’s in Oakland.
Lone Tree returned to the U.S. this summer (2022) completing a 10-show tour that started with 8 shows in Nashville, moved to DC, and ended at Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA for their first U.S. festival gig.
Lone Tree has just released its 6-song EP titled Refuge made in collaboration with Grammy-winning songwriter, Bensoul, and Sauti Sol producer, Mutoriah. The music is distributed in partnership with The Orchard.
2019 is when the band recorded its first EP of 9 original songs under the old name, Refuge. In 2021, they released their first singles under the new name, Lone Tree, including “True Love”, “Wind Song”, “One Season”, and “Rude Bwoy”.
The band recently produced a Live Set Documentary that gives fans a more intimate experience of what Lone Tree is and what it’s like to jam with them live.
Exposure on social media has grown to over 33k followers, mainly from the U.S., Europe, Africa and South America on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter.
Band members: Teresa Sanders (lead singer), Patrick Sanders (lead guitar, vocals), Gabe Gebremedhin (drums, vocals), Silas Piper (rhythm/slide guitar, vocals), Ben Matsaert (bass, keys)