This is the out of print 2003 European release of Bare Bones and Branches on the Belgian imprint Delboy Records. It contains some original alternate tracks, mixes, takes, and artwork from that of the 2005 Summersteps release.
"Lewis & Clarke has carved out its own niche thanks to the lush arrangements of its debut, 2005's "Bare Bones and Branches."
"Bare Bones and Branches is moody and careful, resigned and gorgeous. It’s pop at half speed, or it’s country noir, it’s new folk, or maybe we’re calling it slo-core, I’m not sure, but it’s going to drown us in a sort of delicate, well-read, mellow flood. I think it’s a good way to go."
"This is the sound of the leaves falling, the sight of rolling hills revealed through a lattice-work of barren branches, the scent of woodsmoke, moss on the northern side of a nearly-naked tree...a sincerely brilliant piece of work...something unique, equal parts alt-country and chamber folk, sophisticated yet rustic."
"A heartfelt, atmospheric album packed with distinct tracks blends guitar finger-picking, soft reverb, organ, piano, and lap steel with bittersweet vocal harmonies."
- Punk Planet
"Lou Rogai knows the virtues of making things small. The full-length debut of his band Lewis & Clarke is a whisper of an album, lovely without being precious, moody without being beleaguering. The band's only full-time member, Rogai is sheepish and articulate. He's a mild lyrical eccentric-"The sky is mint green jealousy"-and he knows how not to crowd a song."
- No Depression
"Bare Bones and Branches is a pure music experience that whispers half-remembered truths to the soul, as Rogai easily soars above so-called "acid folk"/"freak folk" conventions by exhibiting amazing clarity and a sense of spaciousness in his songs... striking in its authenticity and ability to convey empathy and even inspiration. It is gentle and wild, an abundant feast of simple fare that nourishes the heart."
- The Morning Call
"Rogai always finds a quiet place for solace, capturing the smallness of everyday despair with a laid-back balance of precision, warmth and regret."
- Alternative Press
"Its a shining example of the fact that there is much uncharted territory to explore in this field of music, often-decried of all sounding the same. “Bare Bones and Branches” is a blast of fresh air, just like Gastr Del Soul was when I first heard them, just like Richard Buckner was, hell, like Grateful Dead was when I dropped my pre-existing resistance and listened to American Beauty for the first time with open ears"
- Outside Left
"Old tricks are made new again with the delicate touch of Lou Rogai's imagination."
- Tiny Mix Tapes
"Soft guitars and infectious melodies drew me into a trance when this album was playing. It's pure, charming, heartfelt acoustic folk that is soothing from beginning to end."
- Impact Press
"Lewis & Clarke, or Lou Rogai to be more exact, treads the territory of Papa M and Iron & Wine very well, and to be on par with such talent should be a hint to the quality found on this album....It’s a well-trod genre, but with acts like Lewis & Clarke still surprising us with such simple, melodic insights, maybe we should all just make room for one more."
"(Bare Bones and Branches) is time-friendly, interpretively communicative and complete. It's the little black dress of music when the Stones flash a few too many sequins. It's the violet '69 Jaguar convertible in the wheat field: honest, cute, and terribly desirable."
"(Bare Bones and Branches) shines an intelligent revelatory light into the heart of life and love."
-Detroit Metro Times
"This group is spot-on...meandering melodies on a spool of reflective vocal lines, and sometimes unorthodox song structures... like an up-tempo visit to Scarborough Fair."
"The best songs on Bare Bones and Branches recall the Stones of "Dead Flowers," ....Or maybe the fagged-out Pavement of Wowee Zowee."
"With the first leg of their voyage complete, the band has already penciled in a worthy addition to the folk music map. The songs are stretched to their fullest extents, occasionally meandering through long instrumentals as if to make sure nothing was missed along the way. Expeditions are always subject to wrong turns and missteps, but Bare Bones And Branches rarely strays. After their round trip, Lewis and Clark, explorers, returned home exhausted. For Lewis & Clarke, musicians, it sounds like they’re just getting started."
- Coke Machine Glow
"Bare Bones and Branches features full-band accompaniment, it feels very much like the statement of an individual, bearing a plaintive intimacy most often associated with the lone troubadour....Bare Bones and Branches is also highly melodic, richly arranged, and extremely compact - an artistic statement nearly as impressive as it is cohesive."
- Delusions of Adequacy