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Pittsburgh Artist of the Week: Cherry Tree

Cherry Tree is an anthemic alt-rock band from Dormont. Their new single “Do You Wanna Get Married Tonight?” is a lighthearted love song that captures the unique anxieties that come along with getting married. Cherry Tree recently spoke with Morning Mix host Joey Spehar about wedding stress, Japanese folklore, and something that’s been brewing in Dormont.

This conversation may be lightly edited for content, clarity, or length.

Cherry Tree are Jim Garrity, Lee Sifford, Christian Lyon, Randy Potter, and Matt Snyder.

What’s your musical history up to this point?

We’ve all played with various bands and genres going back to high school. Jim and Lee used to share the stage at Pine Richland-area venues in their high school rock bands. When Jim was looking to start a band again in 2020, he joined Lee at a jam session where he met Randy, and then invited his friend Christian (a Chicago transplant) to sit in on what became Cherry Tree. Recently, Matt came into the fold after playing with Lee’s funk group Big Fat Mallard.

How do you describe your sound?

Cherry Tree is an energetic and anthemic alternative rock band with indie, pop, and heartland influences. In fact, "Do You Wanna Get Married Tonight?" stands out as one of our “poppier” songs, with others ranging from desperate to inspired.

Tell us more about the song “Do You Wanna Get Married Tonight?”. What inspired you to write it? 

It’s really one of our more straightforward songs! Lyrically, we tried to capture the unique anxiety of when the excitement of getting married meets the stress of the planning a wedding. Musically, we tried to stay lighthearted to capture the elation that comes along with marrying your sweetheart. Much of the beauty of this song is brought forward in the unique production by Jake Hanner and mastering by Infrasonic Sound.

What was the first album that really changed your life? 

This is a tough one to answer collectively, because we all have a variety of influences. However, the one album that we could all agree on as a “turning point” in our individual musical journeys was Now 4.

What’s the best part about making music in Pittsburgh?

The crowds! Always! Whether you’re playing a local music hall, a local festival, or someone’s backyard, audiences in Pittsburgh are always genuinely interested in and open to the art you’re creating. We always strive to perform with high energy and devotion, and in Pittsburgh, the crowd always reciprocates.

Any other super interesting things about you we should know?

Our name is a reference to, among other things, how cherry trees are utilized in Japanese folklore. There, the cherry tree’s blossoms represent the beautiful but impermanent nature of life. The blossom is stunningly beautiful, but only last for up to two weeks, and should be admired and revered accordingly.

We consider Dormont to be our “home base”. In fact, we got our start practicing in a building that was under construction to eventually become Back Alley Brewery, of which Lee is a part-owner and brewer.

Learn more about Cherry Tree:


Check out previous Pittsburgh Artists of the Week here.

Joey Spehar is a Pittsburgh native who started as a volunteer D.J. at WYEP, fresh out of college in 2006. He took on any job they’d let him do like editing audio, engineering remote broadcasts, and shoveling snow.