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Snowed In

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Album Review

Snowed In was recorded during the last year of Tim Rose's life, and the process was, in producer Colin Winston-Fletcher's words, "like trying to tame a lion with a rubber chair." The end result is a short album that is dark, depressing, haunting, atmospheric, ominous, and raw as a bare nerve. Everything moves at a slow (and somehow desperate) pace, with Winston-Fletcher's frequent orchestrations giving the whole sequence a kind of ponderous claustrophobia, and the overall tone here is one of enforced defeat and regret. Rose is perhaps most famous for his arrangements of two traditional-sounding tunes, "Hey Joe" and "Morning Dew," and arguably the two best songs on this offering are again drawn from folk pieces, "Down in the Valley" (which contains the telling line "roses love sunshine") and "Hanging Tree," both of which are bone-chillingly bleak in tone. Nothing here is going to cheer anybody up (unless you're Nick Cave or Leonard Cohen), and while this certainly is not an easy album to listen to, it also paints a portrait of an artist unwilling to make any last concessions. If taming Rose for these sessions was difficult, well, you get what you get, because this album sounds like it comes from the heart of a caged lion.


Born: 23 September 1940 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A nearly forgotten singer/songwriter of the '60s, Tim Rose's early work bore a strong resemblance to another Tim working in Greenwich Village around 1966-1967 -- Tim Hardin. Rose also favored a throaty blues folk-rock style with pop production flourishes, though he looked to outside material more, wasn't quite in Hardin's league as a singer or songwriter, and had a much harsher, even gravelly vocal tone. Before beginning a solo career, Rose had sung with Cass Elliott in the folk trio the Big Three...
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Snowed In, Tim Rose
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