Lone Tree, based in Nairobi, Kenya, is a group of five ex-pat teens formed six 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 social progress. Lone Tree’s influences are broad and reflect their deep knowledge of music history across many genres. Major influences include the Allman Brothers, Pink Floyd, Gary Clark Jr., The Wailers, Xavier Rudd, Brittany Howard, Funkadelic, Sublime, Jethro Tull, Groundation, Fleetwood Mac and King Gizzard.
Although they’re ex-pats living in Nairobi, Lone Tree considers themselves 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 ten countries and speak six languages. The vocalist and lead guitarist are also siblings.
MEET THE BAND
Patrick Sanders - Lead Guitarist: Patrick started learning guitar when he was nine under the direction of an old-time Nepali hippie and pioneer of the Kathmandu rock scene. He has subsequently lived in three other countries where he practiced with expert guitarists from a variety of styles and genres. Patrick started to take things seriously in 2015 when he arrived to Kenya and discovered that a few good friends also jammed. Lone Tree was formed a year later. As the band’s main songwriter, he takes a lot of his inspiration from current issues related to social justice, his disdain for pop culture, and a bit of J.R.R. Tolkien!
Influences: Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead, CSNY, Doobie Brothers, Jethro Tull + more.
Teresa Sanders - Vocalist: Born in Cochabamba, Bolivia, Teresa sang publicly for the first time when she was just six years old. The song was"For What It’s Worth" by Buffalo Springfield and she’s been in love with the rich history of folk, rock and bluegrass. Gifted with a deep, soulful voice, Teresa is adamant about not imitating anyone and simply searching for her own sound and style. This sets her apart from many modern singers who she says “always copy each other.” Although the youngest member of Lone Tree, Teresa plays the "mother hen" role in the band and has a big personality that keeps the boys in line.
Influences: Wilson Pickett, Otis Reding, Freddie Mercury, Alex Turner, Grace Slik + more.
Silas Piper - Rhythm/Slide Guitarist: Born in the US but raised most of his life in Kenya, Silas started playing guitar at six years old, and his love for roots music continues to grow. An avid poet, over the past three years he has turned his attention to lyric and songwriting. Although officially called the “rhythm guitarist”, Silas operates more as a second lead guitarist in Lone Tree, especially when he lights things up with his slide. His motivation for writing music comes from a desire “for people to see it as an escape from inauthenticity and superficiality. This band is trying to give new direction and substance to shallow pop culture.” Silas also has a pretty sweet 3-point shot and claims he can dunk.
Influences: Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Santana, Gary Clark, Jr. + more.
Ben Matsaert - Bassist: Although born in the UK, Ben has never actually lived in his home country and was raised most of his life in Kenya. Ben likes to acknowledge that he's the only musician in his family (which is actually the case for all of us!). He started playing at ten, accidentally, when his family moved into a new house that happened to leave behind an old bass guitar and a piano. Ben learned both and has been blowing our minds ever since. When gig-related crises have hit, Ben has stepped in to play piano, drums and even lead guitar during several live performances. Everyone is curious to see what he will be playing next… maybe even bass someday.
Influences: Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Dire Straits, The Clash + more.
Gabe Gebremedhin - Drummer: Born in Silver Spring, MD, Gabe spent a few years in Zambia before moving to Kenya when he was nine. Around that time, he started showing great interest in music: “We had all kinds of instruments in the house and I started teaching myself bass guitar and drums.” He considers the legendary John Bonham his favorite drummer but also enjoys lots of styles. Always looking to long-jam, his collection of toothpicks that come from former drumsticks says it all. He will also hit you with the cowbell when you least expect it. Gabe is fairly pissed about the state that modern music finds itself in and has vowed not to cut his hair until “rock n’ roll is free”.
Influences: Led Zeppelin, Pearl Jam, The Who, Alice In Chains + more.
In 2022, Lone Tree showed us their sensitive side with single "True Love" and "Woman", and also provided us with an entire EP Refuge. The EP features previously released single - "Come Back To You" and "Woman", along with newer tracks - "If You Want", "Don't Wanna Go so Far," "I Need You (Kosana)" and "Brother, My Friend."
On December 9, 2022, Lone Tree graced us with a live album - Lone Tree At Snowball (Live). The album features hits such as "Miss You When You're Gone", a cover of Neil Young's "Southern Man", "Hold My Hand" and tons more.
We hope you loved learning about these young rockers as much as we did. You can stream their music + keep up with Lone Tree below!