The historic charm and acoustical magic of The Barns at Wolf Trap have been praised by music fans and critics alike throughout its 24-year history as one of the most remarkable performing arts venues in the country. The Washington Post recently declared that, "There are not many auditoriums, in the Washington area or elsewhere, in which the natural sound of an unamplified guitar can be enjoyed in its full glory by a sizable audience, but this barn is certainly one of them," and USA Today has commended The Barns for being "One of the 10 great places to see cabaret...the setting, in two 18th-century barns...on rolling countryside in Northern Virginia, is one of a kind." In a feature story published in The Washington Post on November 21, 2003, Richard Harrington wrote, "The smaller Barns [at] Wolf Trap has been a much more utilized site for live recordings [as compared to the Filene Center] since its opening in 1981. Musicians love the acoustics of the 300-year-old wood interior." And indeed, it is the recognition by musicians themselves, of The Barns at Wolf Trap as a superior performing arts venue, which has led to the exceptional sound recordings compiled on Raise the Roof - A Retrospective: Live from The Barns at Wolf Trap.
To date, 22 albums (23, including Raise the Roof) have been released containing material recorded at The Barns, and dozens of additional live recording sessions have taken place, with or without the intention of eventually being released. Of the 22 albums, 15 have been recorded in their entirety at The Barns, while the remaining seven contain one or more tracks recorded there. Thirteen of these albums have tracks represented on Raise the Roof. Three previously unreleased live recordings are also included on Raise the Roof - Tom Paxton's "Did You Hear John Hurt?," Cravin' Dogs' "First of September," and Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer's "Daughters of Feminists."
All of the artists included in the project have generously donated their sound recordings to the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts to support the Foundation's nonprofit Education Programs which will receive one hundred percent of the proceeds generated from the sale of the CD.