Originally Published: February 24, 2017 6 a.m.
Referred to by Buzz Bands as an Americana trio who are a blend of “honey, lemons, tequila,” Dear Lemon Trees is a Los Angeles-based, all-female band who will performing at The Raven Café, 142 N. Cortez St., in Prescott on Friday, Feb. 24.
One of the singers, Leslie Stevens, previously part of a band known as Leslie and The Badgers, is a return performer to The Raven, welcoming the chance to play new songs with her new songwriter/singer friends, Jamie Drake and Kathleen Grace, who is an Arizona native. Stevens said she hopes to see some familiar faces when she appears for something of an encore on The Raven stage.
“I used to come to Prescott, and played mostly at The Raven as well as a few other venues,” said Stevens who with her new group formed about 18 months ago is now based out of Los Angeles. “I’m really excited to be coming back. Maybe there will be a few people who still remember that band.”
Stevens said she is also excited that on the first stop of her band’s new tour, she will reunite with some musician friends, Dylan Ludwig and Matthew Hooper, who will be the show openers on Friday night.
The band whose music is a blend of folk, gospel and country influence – Stevens said she has long been a big fan of the once country trio Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt – got started after performing for a wedding in an eucalyptus tree grove in a California canyon. The three women, who have long supported each other’s individual artistic efforts, never considered how well their unique vocals might blend together until that occasion.
From there, the group needed to select a name. At a rehearsal one afternoon, Stevens said they looked outside and saw a lemon tree. The sight reminded Stevens of a line from a song by Lucinda Williams titled “Fruits of My Labor” that is all about enjoying the things in life “we work so hard to do.”
“It really surprised all three of us that we sounded the way we did … it’s really neat,” Stevens said of the trio that writes most of their own music though they will perform some familiar cover tunes.
In their individual pursuits, the women have performed with some top artists, including the likes of Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys, Jackson Browne, The Milk Carton Kids and Moby. They, too, have performed with other musical guests on late night talk shows with both Jay Leno and Conan O’Brian.
“We call ourselves a band, but we sing around one microphone, taking turns on lead,” Stevens said.
In their newest incarnation, Dear Lemon Trees have opened for Americana acts such as Daniel Romano and Johnny Fritz, and have been twice presented by the Los Angles promoters “The Bluegrass Station.”
Stevens encourages anyone who can to come and hear them sing on Friday night starting at 8 p.m. She assures it will be a good time, yet joked she suspects no one will have more fun than her trio. Most of their musical will be original tunes, but they also will play some recognizable covers, she said.
“There is something really magical about this band,” she concluded.