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Curt Kirkwood

Snow – 2005 (Little Dog)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Curt Kirkwood

If you're already familiar with Curt Kirkwood's sun baked, psychedelic punk rock with The Meat Puppets, this solo CD may strike you as something that is shockingly quiet. Although it's been released on the country Little Dog Records label, its most likely inspirational template can be traced back to the acoustic psychedelics of The Grateful Dead.

As with The Dead, there's a clear eclectic strain running through these songs. For example, one hears a slightly Mexican feel during "Golden Lies," whereas a jazzy trumpet solo brightens "Light Bulb." It's not until the closer "Circles," with its honky tonk piano and pedal steel work, that this music veers toward straight country. But then again, the title track, also rolls to a slightly country rhythm. Kirkwood's musical approach may have changed a bit over the years, but his lyrics are still fairly philosophical. Even so, his latest words are not nearly as bizarre as some of those old Meat Puppets songs could be. Kirkwood sings with a frail and weathered voice, which - though not particularly strong - is nevertheless a convincing instrument.

"Snow" ain't exactly geared toward the Stetson-wearing crowd, but it's no snow job, either.