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With the Ocoee River in East Tennessee as the backdrop, and North Georgia on the horizon, Wyatt Espalin’s debut album, The Pardon (2013), was born. Entertaining audiences in his hometown of Hiawassee, Georgia as early as age eight, Wyatt’s passion for music was obvious, even from the barn room stage built by his grandfather. He and his brother Matt were known as “The Fiddling Brothers.” While Matt hung up his fiddle and bow after high school, Wyatt was just getting started. Armed with a guitar and a desire to write songs, he paired with his friend, Cobi Ferguson to form the acclaimed Americana duo, Trees Leave. Combining electric guitar with traditional bluegrass roots led to a noticeably unique sound and a growing fan base. Having years of touring under their belts and two successful albums, Run (2008) and The Gospel of Hurt (2010), it was time for Cobi to settle down, and Wyatt to find a new setting fit for a more personal level of songwriting. So alone began his sabbatical to the Ocoee. While working as a raft guide and caring for his ailing Granddaddy, Wyatt began writing the songs for his debut album, The Pardon. His songs have garnered much attention winning the New Song Songwriting competition at the acclaimed L.E.A.F. festival in 2014. He also placed as a finalist in the Chris Austin Songwriting competition at Merlefest, the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival Songwriting Competition and Eddie’s Attic Open Mic Shootout. Performing solo or traveling with a revolving set of talented musicians as Trees Leave, Wyatt Espalin has found a way to continue writing and performing these songs that have longed to be free; to be pardoned, like the river.