Time moves agonizingly slow when winter weather rears its ugly head and shuts everything down.
During a particularly heavy snowstorm about a year ago, ’60s folk-rock throwbacks The Rosewood Thieves were stuck in Erick Jordan’s parents’ house in the Pocono Mountains for three days.
Icy roads made driving back to New York City impossible. With little else to do but play board games and sip hot coffee, Jordan, the band’s main songwriter, pulled out his acoustic guitar and favored the gathering with a new piece he’d been working on called "Honey, Stay Awhile."
Marked by a light, drifting melody and glowing instrumentation, the gorgeous acoustic sketch sparked the group to take the unexpected free time it’d been given and record a clutch of songs for the recently released EP Lonesome.
"It definitely helped guide us to what other songs of ours would make sense to record over the next few days," says Jordan of the gently swaying track. "I like that you can hear crackling at points during the song, ’cause we were just figuring out the gear. I think we did ‘California Moon’ second, and that made it even more clear what we were making."
As it turned out, the muffled quiet of the snowbound house created a calm atmosphere in which to work, and out of a series of impromptu recording sessions came Lonesome, the tranquil, and somewhat rustic, followup to The Rosewood Thieves’ previous EP, From The Decker House. Not surprisingly, perhaps, that serenity is felt throughout Lonesome.
"We weren’t in a normal recording studio, just in a basement, so we were all relaxed and had time on our side," says Jordan. "We were all so happy with how these all turned out that we really wanted to take it a little further. We went to L.A. to have Thom Monahan (The Pernice Brothers, Devendra Banhart) mix it, and it’s always nice to work with him."
Having hours upon hours of recording time at their disposal was a blessing. And not having to dig out of a pile of snow all day without the necessary implements helped even more.
"It’s always nice to be in situations like that," says Jordan. "Once I was stuck in a snowstorm in ’94 with my uncle Joey, and he made me shovel the driveway with a rake and a trash can lid. It took me five hours, and it wasn’t very much fun."
Spending a few hours with either Lonesome or From The Decker House would be a much more satisfying way to pass the time. The two EPs couldn’t be more different, however. Where Lonesome tumbles softly out of the reclusive country hideaway where it was birthed — with delicate acoustic renderings, sweet vocal harmonies and spare drums — From The Decker House was a shambling, freewheeling barn party of old-fashioned Americana.
An expanded version of From The Decker House, which originally dropped in the summer of 2006, has been reissued with three previously unreleased bonus tracks.
"We recorded a ton of songs during that session, so when we got it back from the label, we decided to add three more songs on the iTunes version, limited-edition style," explains Jordan. "Those extra ones will only be available for about another month."
And The Rosewood Thieves aren’t done padding their growing resume.
"We actually just finished our first LP," reveals Jordan. "It’s going to be called The Rosewood Thieves Rise And Shine. It’s much more upbeat than Lonesome. We are all very excited with the new songs and have been playing lots of them at shows. Hopefully, it’ll be available early 2008. We are still deciding, but it might include one song from each of the EPs."
Down the line, more ephemera