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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No mechanical bull references here...
In 1980 "country" music was going the way of "Lookin' for Love in All the Wrong Places" and "9 to 5". The old "country" sound of the 1960s and 1970s was giving way to a new "country" sound that would eventually produce Garth Brooks and ultimately make "country" the dominant music genre in the United States...
Published on December 28, 2003 by ewomack

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars pretty good
My Dad had this. And when he first bought it I saw it laying on the couch from a distant. And I thought YAYYYY!!!. A new Crystal Gayle record. Then when I got closer and saw it was Emmylou I was kind of bummed out. Nothing against Emmylou I just love Crystal.
And certainly nothing against this cd. Emmylou was certainly a lot more traditional country then what I...
Published 28 days ago by john thomas


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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No mechanical bull references here..., December 28, 2003
This review is from: Roses in the Snow (Audio CD)
In 1980 "country" music was going the way of "Lookin' for Love in All the Wrong Places" and "9 to 5". The old "country" sound of the 1960s and 1970s was giving way to a new "country" sound that would eventually produce Garth Brooks and ultimately make "country" the dominant music genre in the United States.
Emmylou Harris did not follow this trend, in fact she seems to have fled from it. In 1980 she and the band left the electric guitars at home and recorded an absolutely gorgeous acoustic country/bluegrass album. The road less travelled bore far more fruit than expected in this case. From the first ripping fiddle notes that open the title track the album takes you in with its sound, atmosphere and beauty. I first heard this album in headphones (I was at work and needed to filter out the usual nonsense going on around me), and was simply dumbstruck. Being relatively new to "country music" (I hate categorizing music) I wondered what I had been missing all these years. Now I know.
This album owes as much to folk and bluegrass as it does to country. Its sound is significantly different from Harris' previous album "Blue Kentucky Girl" which tends toward electrified country. The themes are sometimes heartbreakingly sorrowful ("Wayfaring Stranger", "You're Learning", "Miss the Mississippi and You"), sometimes religious ("Green Pastures", "Jordan"), sometimes hopeful ("The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn"). It is also easy to be skeptical about "country" covers of "rock" songs, so I was pleasantly surprised at the version of "The Boxer" which complements the other songs incredibly well. There are no duds on this album, only great and greater songs.
The CD booklet contains in-depth information on the making of the album, and it's place in the "country" genre of the time. We can all be happy that Emmylou Harris is not a follower.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The HOTTEST Version of Emmylou's "Hot Band", March 29, 2004
By 
Mark J. Fowler "Let's Play Two!" (Blytheville, Arkansas (The "the" is silent)) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Roses in the Snow (Audio CD)
Ms. Harris' band has been called "The Hot Band", and dozens of talented musicians have been members. The Hot Band was never hotter than on this beautiful album. Albert Lee is one of the hottest country guitar players ever - a sort of country Eddie Van Halen. Tony Rice on the acoustic guitar is every bit the equivalent of Albert Lee's electric. Ricky Skaggs adds his fine mandolin and fiddle work. Dobro King Jerry Douglas adds his stamp.
Then the vocals! Emmylou's angelic voice is harmonized with Rice and Skaggs. Linda Ronstadt. Dolly Parton. Johnny Cash. The Whites.
This recording is every bit as good as ANY of the "Will the Circle be Unbroken" albums, but it is WAY more consistant. AT the same time it's way hotter than the wonderful "Trio" albums with Ronstadt and Parton. There's not a weak track on here. Ralph Stanley, the Louvin Brothers and Simon and Garfunkle's songs never sounded so good.
Get it.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Angelic music, March 20, 2005
This review is from: Roses in the Snow (Audio CD)
Brave Emmylou made this album at a time when bluegrass was not fashionable at all. Roses in the Snow has remained a firm favorite down the years; her interpretations are just so sublime, the song selection is spot-on, the playing superb and the arrangements exquisite. Several country legends lend their talents to add magic to the sound. The album has now been enhanced by the addition of two previously unreleased tracks that do not reflect the bluegrass style of the other tracks but resemble her traditional country work of the 1970s from albums like Luxury Liner.

It kicks off with the up-tempo title track, an elegy with rich allusive imagery which is followed by the urgent Green Pastures, a stirring devotional duet with Ricky Skaggs. The traditional Wayfaring Stranger comes across with great power in her mid-tempo treatment and yearning vocals. The folk/pop Paul Simon composition The Boxer gets a graceful treatment, light and lilting, while hope triumphs over despair in the slow & melancholy The Darkest Hour is just before Dawn with its beautiful male vocals.

The picking on the fast-paced I'll Go Stepping Too is breathtaking as is the overall instrumental virtuosity. It contrasts markedly with the slow, aching ballad You're Learning, a moving description of love gone wrong. Next come the joyful gospel song Jordan where male vocals make a prominent contribution, followed by the gentle ballad Miss the Mississippi. The original album concluded with the sublime Gold Watch & Chain, another up-tempo duet.

Besides this bluegrass treasure, Emmylou's non-traditional country albums include 1987's Angel Band, a devotional album that is more folk than country, 1999's Western Wall which is folk-rock and the trilogy of Wrecking Ball, Red Dirt Girl and Stumble into Grace where she explored a haunting style of atmospheric rock music. They are all works of consummate artistry but Roses in the Snow has a visceral emotional appeal.

Every single song is a gem so it's not easy to pick favorites, but the title track, Green Pastures, Darkest Hour, The Boxer, Miss the Mississippi and Gold Watch & Chain are particularly outstanding. I also recommend Dolly Parton's bluegrass excursion Grass Is Blue although it does not leave quite as strong an impression as this masterpiece. I've discovered much beautiful new music since bluegrass made a comeback in the 1990s but I always return to Roses in the Snow as one collection embodying the absolute best of the genre.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emmylou At Her Loveliest, August 24, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Roses in the Snow (Audio CD)
I grew up on Emmylou Harris' music. I have this album on vinyl, and it is the one record I always took extra special care of, because the music on it is among the most gorgeous ever put on record. Along w/ The Whites, she makes S&G's "The Boxer" her own sad story to tell, and her version of "Wayfaring Stranger" is chill-inducing. Dolly and Linda join her on the Carter Family song "Gold Watch and Chain," and while it's not the best of their work together, it's great just the same. The musicianship on this album is fabulous, and Emmylou's voice sits extremely well in bluegrass and acoustic music (not that that's a real newsflash to anyone). This is a fine recording. Grab this cd today!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emmylou's Best, October 28, 2002
This review is from: Roses in the Snow (Audio CD)
This is the one album (CD - whatever!) that I can attribute to the beginnings of me loving traditional music of all genres. The time was around 1980 or so that I first purchased this album. Listening to it taught me that you didn't need electric instruments or drums to enjoy music. That lyrics did not necessarily have to deal with politics and sex to be relevant. That true undying love, morals, and Christianity still had a place in my Led Zeppelin world (and I'm still a Zep fan, too!). Roses In The Snow just grabbed me and shook me out of my closed minded senses, and I'm forever thankful for that!
The tune that begins the disc is what the CD is named for, Roses In The Snow. Although written in the 1970's, lyrically it could have been written in the 1870's. Follow that with a true 19th century folk song - Wayfaring Stranger - and you know you're in for a real treat! The high quality of the first two songs is maintained throughout the rest of the CD, with cuts including the Carter Family's Gold Watch and Chain, Flatt and Scruggs cheatin' I'll Go Steppin' Too, and a beautiful number called Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn.
Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, The Whites, and especially Ricky Skaggs help out on different cuts in this collection, with Ricky, of course, being a member of Emmylou's Hot Band at the time, and the main influence for Emmy's direction. This is pretty much an 'O Brother Where Art Thou' collection before 'O Brother' was even an inkling in anyone's eye. And if you're a fan of 'O Brother,' and especially a newcomer to this style of music, Emmylou's 'Roses' should be your next CD purchase. Her voice was in top form here, never better before or since. The instrumentation is top notch, with Willie Nelson, Tony Rice, Albert Lee, and Emory Gordy Jr., all giving Miss Harris the perfect backing for her wonderful voice.
The only disappointment on the reissue of this disc is the inclusion of the poor selections for the extra tracks. You can't tell me that there weren't any available tunes done in the same bluegrassy/traditional style available to keep the continuity of the original album! Who's choice was it to pick these two songs? Not that they are bad songs, they just do not fit the "Roses" concept. Oh well, just program them out when listening to the entire album, then program then back in when listening to Emmy's "Quarter Moon" or "Cimarron."
By the way, if you do like this disc, may I recommend Emmylou's Christmas CD, 'Light Of The Stable,' and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's 'Will The Circle Be Unbroken' (the REAL beginning of the 'O Brother' marriage between youth and bluegrass/traditional).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old favorite, March 5, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Roses in the Snow (Audio CD)
I was 12 years of when the "Wayfaring Stranger" track of this album began to get a great deal of airplay. I loved it, and my parents bought me the LP of ROSES IN THE SNOW for my birthday. I practically wore the thing out, listening to my favorites "Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn" and "Gold Watch and Chain". Linda Ronstadt sings backup on GWandC, and I have always thought that Ronstadt and Harris produced some of the purest, most beautiful sounds when they sang together. I didn't know that the music was bluegrass, I just knew I loved it.
After the O Brother craze began, I watched a PBS special hosted by Ricky Skaggs, in which Harris sang "Darkest Hour". I pulled out my old LP for my husband and kids to hear and they loved it, too. I just couldn't resist the CD. The first extended track didn't do too much for me, but "Root like a Rose" is just gorgeous.
Thank you, Emmy, for a super album that I have enjoyed most of my life.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant bluegrass from Emmylou, June 19, 2004
This review is from: Roses in the Snow (Audio CD)
This album, in its original vinyl form, was my first full bluegrass album. It starts impressively with the up-tempo title track and maintains a high standard throughout the original album. I replaced my vinyl with CD, since when Rhino have re-mastered it and added two bonus tracks (You're gonna change, Root like a rose) that I'm told are good but not bluegrass. In any case, this album is well worth it for the original ten tracks.
Wayfaring stranger, a traditional song, became a top ten country hit and ensured the success of the album against record company expectations. This was 1980, remember, when Kenny Rogers was the biggest name in country music and the Urban Cowboy craze was at its height. I love Kenny's music and the Urban Cowboy soundtrack, but there are many different types of country music and it's healthy if they can co-exist.
Green pastures is a traditional song that shares the same tune as the more famous Farther along (which Emmylou recorded with Dolly and Linda on one of their Trio albums). On this track, Willie Nelson plays gut-string guitar while Ricky Skaggs sings the song as a duet with Emmylou. Dolly provides harmony vocals but you have to listen closely to hear her contribution.
The Boxer is a cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic. It works well as a bluegrass classic, though Emmylou did not adjust the lyrics for gender. Obviously, not many people minded as the song was released as a single and made the country top twenty.
Darkest hour is just before dawn, a cover of a Ralph Stanley song, also features Ricky Skaggs on vocals. That song is followed by the brilliant up-tempo song, I'll go stepping too - if this doesn't set your toes tapping, nothing will.
You're learning comes from the songbook of the Louvin Brothers. Emmylou recorded several of their songs, notably If I could only win your love and When I stop dreaming, on her early albums and did much to revive interest in their music.
Jordan, an upbeat gospel song, features a few lines from Johnny Cash.
Miss the Mississippi and you is a cover of the Jimmie Rodgers classic, brilliantly revived by Crystal Gayle just a year or so before Emmylou recorded this album. While Crystal did it in a pop-country style, Emmylou did it as a bluegrass song. Both are excellent in their different ways - as, of course, is the original version by Jimmie Rodgers.
Gold watch and chain completes the original album. It is an old Carter family song and features Linda Ronstadt as duet singer. On the re-mastered Rhino version, you now get to hear those two extra tracks.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emmylou Harris' First Masterwork, September 3, 2000
This review is from: Roses in the Snow (Audio CD)
Emmylou Harris has had several masterpieces before and after this gorgeous album; but ROSES IN THE SNOW is the first of three masterworks (ROSES IN THE SNOW, THE BALLAD OF SALLY ROSE, and WRECKING BALL). The album exemplifies her daring aristry. Acoustic bluegrass, on the mainstream outs since the 1950s; was not the best way to sell records in 1979 and 1980. Bill Monroe was currently the only major bluegrass artist on a large label. Emmylou Harris had decided to record a complete album, much to the chargin of Warner Bros. It was also recorded without the complete Hot Band. Stellar support came from Hot Band guitarist Albert Lee (on mandolin), Tony Rice (on acoustic guitar), and assisting on a large portion of the project is music prodigy Ricky Skaggs (on fiddle, acoustic guiatr, and lead and harmony vocals). Hot Band bassist Emory Gordy Jr. is present on several tracks. Harris and her gorgeous voice remains the star. With flawless arrangements and brilliant song selection ROSES IN THE SNOW is a music treat that is a guaranteed delight. The title track is marvelous, it's opening fiddle is a keynote address. I consider the title track to be my favorite from this extraordinary album. "Wayfaring Stranger" a #7 single, is a chill-inducing spiritual. "Green Pastures" is a marvelous duet with Ricky Skaggs with harmony work by Dolly Parton. Harris would record two versions of this spiritual; I prefer the version of 1998's SPYBOY, but this one is the classic. Paul Simon's "The Boxer" was the only contemporary pop song on the album, and a #13 single. Sung in sensational harmony with the Whites it's a beautiful three minutes of music. Skaggs sings lead on the final verse of "Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn", and the song is a lovely duet. "I'll Go Stepping Too" is fantastic, a brilliant country performance. "You're Learning", written by the Louvin Brothers, is a majestic duet between Harris and Skaggs. Next to "Roses In The Snow", this song is my favorite on the album. "Jordan" is the final spiritual on the album, with stunning harmonies from Emmylou Harris, Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, and Johnny Cash. "Miss The Mississippi And You" (or "Miss The Mississippi" depending on which format you own) is a breath-taking version of this country classic. Speaking of Country classics, the album concludes with "Gold, Watch, And Chain", a magnifiscent song with harmony vocals from Linda Ronstadt, and a lead from Ricky Skaggs. Non-bluegrass songs "How High The Moon" and "Millworker" were issued on her excellent album EVANGELINE, which unfortunately has yet to be issued on CD. ROSES IN THE SNOW became Harris' fastest selling album to earn a gold record. It lost to COAL MINER'S DAUGHTER for the best album Grammy; but did win Harris the "Female Vocalist of the Year". ROSES IN THE SNOW is an exceptional album, with some of the most beautiful country music ever recorded within it's groves.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All other Emmylou Harris Albums(CDs) pale by comparison, August 14, 2000
By 
This review is from: Roses in the Snow (Audio CD)
I purchased this album in 1980 just because I liked Emmylou Harris. Did I get a surprise! Wow!!! What a gorgeously done CD. Back then an album. I bought a cut master recording, but not as nice as my new CD. I hear the naunce, the hauntingly elusiveness of Emmylou's voice on "Wayfairing Stranger." She sends cold chills up one's spine with Ricky Skaggs" accompanyment on Ralph Stanley's, "Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn." Johnny Cash is heard in his gravel thoated best in accompanyment on "Jordan." Dolly Parton, Linda Rodriguez(Ronstadt), Willie Nelson, The Whites, Jerry Douglas, Albert Lee, Emory Gordy, Brian Ahern, John Ware, Billy Nelson, the llist of her Hot Band goes on and on. Not a single album before or since shows the true voice and class this artist is capable of. It is too bad she can not bring herself out of the quagmire she has molded around herself and bring back the only producer to ever bring out the real Emmylou Harris. Brian Ahern(her then husband) and I believe she needs to assemble this group again with Ralph Stanley and cut another Classic CD. This album was nominated as "Album of the Decade" by one of the trade publications back in the late 80s. It is my opinion, this album is one of the all time classic albums by anyone, anytime, anywhere----LISTEN. Get the Enactron Truck fired up and record Emmylou again with all the people who helped her on this album and the world will have another CLASSIC!!!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emmy's Best, January 5, 2004
This review is from: Roses in the Snow (Audio CD)
As the liner notes indicate in the CD booklet, while country music was beginning to move towards a more pop sound in the early 80s, Emmylou ran the other way and created one of her best masterpieces, 1980's ROSES IN THE SNOW. It would seem strange that Emmylou would choose to do a bluegrass album, but it shows her versatility as an artist and her willingness to try new things when the rest of the world is going for whatever is more contemporary. She has never been confined by the walls of Nashville. This is the Rhino re-release of the album, and it includes two bonus tracks, "You're Gonna Change" and "Root Like A Rose". The two hits from the album include Paul Simon's "The Boxer" which peaked at #13 on country singles, and "Wayfaring Stranger" which peaked at #7. The album features an array of guest artists including Dolly Parton, Ricky Skaggs, Willie Nelson, Jerry Douglas, Johnny Cash, and many others. To pick highlights would be useless, as the whole collection is excellent. No Emmylou collection is complete without this album!
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Roses in the Snow
Roses in the Snow by Emmylou Harris (Audio CD - 1989)
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