After spending six months in Europe, the California-based road warrior returned to the States, where he launched a tour of the Southwest. The tour ended in Tucson, a cosmopolitan desert town known for it's rich mix of alt-country, roots-rock and folk music. Forest stayed there for months, writing the new songs that became his eighth studio album, Just Begun, releasing October 2nd, 2012. "This is definitely an American record," he explains. "After half a year in Europe, I looked at this country with new eyes and a deeper appreciation. I found inspiration in a new city and in the rhythm of staying in one place after so much time on the road." The desert landscape had a profound effect on Forest's new songs, as did the new friends who joined him in the studio. Winston Watson (Bob Dylan, Lenny Kravitz) played drums, Craig Schumacher (Iron & Wine) played organ and harmonica, Fen Ikner (Calexico) handled bass, and Jacob Valenzuela (Calexico) played trumpet. Rounding out the all-star Americana group were Forest's longtime touring partner and harmony singer, Transylvanian songbird Ingrid Serban, as well as two luminaries from Oklahoma, Jared Tyler (Emmylou Harris) on mandolin and dobro and Jesse Aycock, lap and pedal steel. Just Begun was tracked at Wavelab Studios, where hometown heroes Neko Case and Calexico do most of their recording. Songs like "Just My Size" were left sparse and twangy, anchored by little more than an acoustic guitar, a lonely harmonica and the harmonized vocals of Forest and Ingrid. Others, like the Latin-influenced "El Coyote" and the breezy, groove-based title track, allowed Forest's band to stretch their legs a bit. "We bought Waylon Jennings' cousin's old upright piano at a garage sale," Forest remembered. "I love to play the piano and don't always have the chance on the road. A piano doesn't exactly fit in my suitcase or the overhead compartment on the plane. New songs were written on that piano and some old ones came to life again." The result is a rootsy Americana record tinged with a Sonoran desert flavor, all wrapped up in Forest's laid-back California style. After seven albums, Forest Sun is still eager to explore. He's far from finished. He's only just begun.