Alan Mearns is a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland. 'The Tree' is a hauntingly beautiful exploration of his country's music. This album is guaranteed to delight any fan of Irish and Scottish folk music. Opening with a moving instrumental elegy for his grandparents (Billy and Lilly), the music passes through every emotional terrain, from lilting jigs and ancient hymns to the nostalgic comfort of his hometown memoire (Dunmurray). This music will instantly transport the listener to a simpler place; to the '...one place on earth That heaven has kissed With melody, mirth And meadow and mist.' Mearns' beautiful, harp-like guitar playing is framed by virtuoso fiddler Melissa Alderman and expert Bodhran player Michael Crisp. Infused with a sense of inner quietude, the inspired songwriting and skilled musicianship weave together to form a sublime musical tapestry. Anyone of Irish or Scottish ancestry will be deeply moved by this CD.