Artist: Jethro Tull
Genere: Progressive rock, Rock, Folk-rock
Title: Roots To Branches
Musicians:Ian Anderson – vocals, concert flute, bamboo flute, acoustic guitar
Martin Barre – electric guitars, Andrew Giddings – keyboards, Doane Perry – drums and percussion, Dave Pegg – bass guitar, Steve Bailey – bass guitar
Producer: Ian Anderson
Engineer: Ian Anderson
Mastering: Chris Blair
Roots to Branches is the 19th studio album by the British band Jethro Tull released in September 1995. It carries characteristics of Tull’s classic 1970s art-rock and folk-rock roots alongside jazz and Arabic and Far Eastern influences. All songs were written by Ian Anderson and recorded at his home studio. In January 2007, a remastered edition of the album was released, but I’m not going to bother with it unless it’s on vinyl. The sound on this CD is not that bad, but it is Jethro Tull and usually I have found JT CDs to be severely lacking in sound quality.
This album was much derived from the visit Ian Anderson made to India. The style of the album could be called as the Indian Songs from the Wood.
About Roots to Branches, Ian Anderson said: “I see Roots To Branches as the 90s version of Stand Up, because it has a lot of the things that I feel represented the key elements of Jethro Tull: there’s lots of flute, lots of riffy guitars and quite a broad palette of influences, from the blues and classical to the Eastern motifs that were apparent on Stand Up “. On the other hand, Anderson also added that “the only thing about it that lets me down is that I made it sound a little too Seventies. I deliberately made the album sound like it was in the context of a live performance, rather than have it sound too ‘studio.’ But looking back on it, I think it should have been a bit more varied”.
This album also has more of a prog rock bend to it while also having what I feel is an other worldly sound. In my opinion, this is not only one of the best albums I’ve ever heard from Jethro Tull, but it makes it to my top 20 list of best albums overall. Listening to this album is like reading a really good book you just can’t put down, you want to keep reading to see what happens.
1. “Roots to Branches” = Obviously the title track. This is one of my favorites on the album, it has a slight Mediterranean feel to it underneath. I also like all the changes it goes through.
2. “Rare and Precious Chain” = This track has an interesting feel to it, it’s like hard rock meets world music.
3. “Out of the Noise” = This track is just a good rock-jazz song that the band is seasoned at doing.
4. “This Free Will” = Track number four and we have not let up or fallen yet! This album just doesn’t stop. This track has a middle-Eastern flavor with a mid-east flute called a Ney in the background. The tune also has a slight Deep Purple flavor I think.
5. “Valley” = This tune opens with a flute solo and acoustic guitar for the first verse, then the keyboards, drums, etc. join in. This is a great Tull song.
6. “Dangerous Veils” = This is an incredible song, it has a rather sophisticated style and the drumming is stupendous. This is a must listen.
7. “Beside Myself” = This song starts with an acoustic guitar solo and goes into a more sophisticated style like the song before. Another great one from Tull.
8. “Wounded, Old and Treacherous” = This is more art-rock/jazz. The song has a strong jazz foundation while the verses are spoken word. This is very different from the rest of the album and yes, it’s good. Interestingly enough the ending is more in the rock style.
9. “At Last, Forever” = This song once again provides that great acoustic Jethro Tull sound for the first verse and as the rest of the band joins in it still keeps that signature Tull sound.
10. “Stuck in the August Rain” = I thought this one might be just a standard “nothing to write home about” type song, but it’s pretty ok. If I had to have a least favorite on this album, this song is the only one that might qualify.
11. “Another Harry’s Bar” = Listen close and you will hear a slight Mark Knopfler style to this closing tune.
Roots To Branches = https://youtu.be/V0h1Lmy4nt0