Alana Amram & The Rough Gems – Snow Shadows – Songs of Vince Martin

January 01, 1970

(Kingswood Records) 

Vince Martin’s status in folk music circles ranks well
below the radar when compared to others of his generation, particularly
steadfast troubadours like Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Eric Anderson and others of
that ilk. His earliest recorded appearance was alongside the venerable Fred
Neil via an album the two recorded together in the early ‘60s titled Tear Down the Walls. While Neil would go
on to make his mark in the music biz, authoring “Everybody’s Talkin'” for
Nilsson (which later became a hit after its appearance on the Midnight Cowboy soundtrack), Martin
soldiered on unobtrusively into the early part of the ‘70s, releasing several
albums for Capitol and making his name as a Florida singer/songwriter long
before Jimmy Buffett even dreamt of offering his ode to margaritas.


Nearly 50 years later, Alana Amram pays the kind of heartfelt homage Martin was
denied the first time around. Happily, she hits her marks, with her honey sweet
vocals and embracing arrangements recalling the idyllic innocence of Martin’s
sun-dappled originals. Indeed, those unfamiliar with Martin’s music get an
ideal introduction via her resolute take on “Fayetteville,” the beautiful and benign
“Catch Me I’m Falling,” and the gentle steel guitar sway of “South Wind” and
“Leaving Song.” “Joe Panther,” an environmental anthem that laments the
destruction done to Martin’s tropical environs is especially effective, its
trudging violins setting up the scenario. “They’re killing the Everglades,” Amram wails softly. “They’re taking my



With Van Dyke Parks and Martin’s former comrade in arms
John Sebastian participating in the proceedings, the air of authenticity gets a
further boost, and Martin himself even makes a cameo on the incidental closing
track, the jaunty “Honest Joe.” Regardless, Amram’s sentiments speak for
themselves and Snow Shadows effectively shines the spotlight on this most reluctant honoree.



DOWNLOAD: “Fayetteville,”
“Joe Panther,” “Leaving Song” LEE ZIMMERMAN

Leave a Reply