The roots of the odd pairing of Kottke, an acoustic guitar legend in the midst of a 30-year career, and Gordon, the bassist from the legendary rock band Phish, began back in the late 1980s when Kottke performed live at the University of Vermont. Both Gordon and Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio - students at UVM - attended the concert. Years later, Gordon sent Kottke a cassette tape of his own rearranged version of Kottke's "The Driving of the Year Nail." The duo considered collaborating in the future, and finally began working together in the midst of Phish's two-and-a-half year hiatus.
Writing for Allmusic, music critic Tom Semioli wrote of the album "Phish bassist Mike Gordon and acoustic guitar virtuoso Leo Kottke are a natural multi-faceted collaboration... A timeless record by two artists on an organic journey. Take the ride."