‘Return to Roots’ is exactly that as Splintered Tree presents his music in its most intimate and raw form. This is the first recording from Splintered Tree to appear in over 10 years and after countless incarnations and musical projects this was also a return to the striped down acoustic sound from which his career in music began. The other return to roots was certainly in the method of recording because there was nothing more the a single stereo microphone used for any of these recordings, which was then plugged directly into a laptop. This approach led to an intimacy in the recordings, capturing the performance as well as the ambient noise of each location. The absence of any over-dubbing led to an aesthetic of honoring the ‘vibe’ in the moment over the pursuit of a ‘perfect’ rendition or a high fidelity polished sound. In this way, it is once again a Return to Roots for Splintered Tree. This collection of songs also represents a travelogue of sorts as all the recordings were done while traveling through Europe in the summer of 2009, performed on borrowed instruments, recorded in the bedrooms and living rooms of the homes of friends and family, and in the end a musical diary of life ‘on the road’. The attentive listener will be able to hear the ambient sounds of life playing a supporting role in the background of many of these songs from ambulances, conversations, kittens meowing, and other bizarre audible curiosities. Also unique to this collection of songs is the inclusion of three covers. The first song on the album, “Rosa Lee”, is a gem of a song written by east coast song smith, Tom Shaner. “Mama, You Been On My Mind” is a well-known Bob Dylan chestnut given a loving treatment here by Splintered Tree as he bends and plays with the melodies that Dylan originally created. The last cover song is easily the most famous of the trio and a song which has been interpreted hundreds of times by countless artists over the years. In this version, “Nature Boy” takes on the acoustic intimacy in which it was perhaps originally intended. And the rest are all Splintered Tree originals ready to stand the test of musical time.