June 17, 1985 12:00 PM

Dan Fogelberg

There have always been plenty of country and folk inflections in Fogelberg’s music. But this surprising album is the equivalent of, say, John Irving’s coming out with a Western novel—and a mighty likable Western novel at that. High Country Snows is a Rocky Mountainized version of bluegrass, with Fogelberg joining such mainstays of the genre as Ricky Skaggs, David Grisman, Jerry Douglas, Jim Buchanan, Herb Pedersen and even that near-myth Doc Watson. (Such closer-to-the-main-stream-players as drummer Russ Kunkel, harmonica player Charlie McCoy and bassist Emory Gordy Jr. sit in too.) While Pedersen and Skaggs do most of the backup singing—Vince Gill and Tracy Nelson each show up on one cut—everybody gets to play, which makes for a joyous experience all around. The tunes include the Flatt and Scruggs standard, Down the Road, which Fogelberg, Skaggs and Pedersen sing a cappella, Jay Bolotin’s Go Down Easy and Fogelberg’s own Wolf Creek, on which he duets with Watson on acoustic guitars. Fogelberg continues to be one of the least predictable and most entertaining performers in pop music. (Epic)

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