You’d kinda have to stretch to call Continental Drifters a “supergroup,” even in alt-rock circles. Sure, there was Vickie Peterson of the Bangles & Mark Walton of The Dream Syndicate and Susan Cowsill of the Cowsills, but none of these people were really household names, or the reason I bought their music.
For me, the draw for me was ex-dB Peter Holsapple, whose main band will be discussed just a few weeks from now.
Even after the dBs broke up, I followed Holsapple’s career, leading me to buy a few of the Continental Drifters CDs and probably underrating the hell out of them. (In the two-plus weeks since I wrote the first draft of this and today, I stuck Better Day into my mix and am really enjoying it.) One song I didn’t underrate: Susan Cowsill’s glorious “Snow,” which is definitely on my list of Prettiest Songs Ever Recorded (Indie Division).
“Snow” knocks me out from the very start, with an nearly unaccompanied Susan Cowsill singing the utterly melancholic chorus:
I had joy and I was strong
And I was good at holding on
And I had heart and I had soul
And if I wanted to I could even make it snow
It’s a song about her childhood, which is interesting, as she was part of a musical family that had several hit singles (the one you’d probably remember is “Hair,”), and usually showbiz-lifer adults don’t look back fondly upon their showbiz childhood.
And to be honest, I think this is more about remembering how she was full of wonder and imagination as a child and worrying about losing that as an adult.
There I still feel it beating all the years mean nothing
I am still believing, I can see the touching
Of my soul and the sun
If I close my eyes and I’ve won
And none of that matters, because the melody of “Snow,” — played slowly and with restraint throughout — is as fresh and pure as the new-fallen snow itself.
“Snow” performed live in 2001
Fan-made video for “Snow”