Archive for the Todd Snider Category

Top 20 of 2009: 15-13

Posted in Boca Chica, Jill Andrews, Todd Snider, Top 20 of 2009 on December 21, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

#15 – Jill Andrews EP by Jill Andrews

2009 was really a big year for Knoxville’s Jill Andrews. Her long time band the everybodyfields split up, she became a mother for the first time, and she released her first ever solo project. Jill’s self titled EP was released in October and reads as a deeply personal record that stands up to any of her previous work with the everybodyfields. When I asked her in November how it felt to have a record that bore her name after spending so long as part of a group, she described the feeling as, “pretty much the best thing ever.”

She’s not too far off in her assessment. In my initial review of the album, I mentioned the raw emotions that are on display throughout the album as Jill deals with the dissolution of her previous band. It must have been quite cathartic to get those feelings out of her head and on to a record. She has every right to be proud and excited about this release… it’s certainly “Worth Keeping.”

Jill Andrews: Worth Keeping (Buy Album)

#14 – The Excitement Plan by Todd Snider

I didn’t review Todd Snider’s The Excitement Plan when it came out, but I did give everyone a chance to listen to the album early with a handy widget from Todd’s website (you can still listen to clips of four songs from the album there). I also celebrated Todd Snider day (a holiday of my own invention) back in May when he visited for a couple of shows at WDVX. Todd played brief solo sets on the Blue Plate Special and Tennessee Shines. I left both sets in awe of his easy sense of humor and, of course, his music.

Both of Todd’s assets are in fine form here. He will make you smile with his rant against the music industry in “Money, Compliments, Publicity (Song Number Ten) and with “Don’t Tempt Me,” a classic country cheating song he cowrote with Loretta Lynn. Todd takes an introspective turn on “Greencastle Blues” when he examines his own troubled past with a mix of helplessness and ownership of his mistakes. Todd sings, “Some of this trouble just finds me/Most of this trouble I earn.” It’s an honest assessment of his career, and it serves as a window into Todd’s past and his present.

Todd Snider: Greencastle Blues (Buy Album)

#13 – Lace Up Your Workboots by Boca Chica

Although I bear a slight grudge against the city of Pittsburgh right now after the Steelers late win over the Packers yesterday, I would be remiss if I didn’t give praise here to the Pittsburgh based collective Boca Chica. I was very happy to find this one in my inbox this fall. On Lace Up Your Workboots, songwriter and vocalist Hallie Pritts leads her expansive ensemble cast through ten finely crafted folk flavored tunes that draw influences from all over the musical spectrum.

“Shake Your Party Dress” owes a heavy debt to Fleetwood Mac while other tracks draw from Neil Young, Gillian Welch… even Andrew Bird. It’s folk music with a bit of an experimental edge that also somehow stays true to the core of the original form. Here’s a track called “Valentine” that builds nicely from a quiet acoustic strum into a fully fleshed out symphony of strings, snares, synths, keys, and vocal harmonies. It’s quite captivating.

Boca Chica: Valentine (Buy Album)

Special bonus Boca Chica Holiday track from Indiecater Records Christmas sampler…

Boca Chica: Snow Angels (Buy Album)

Notes on Those Darlins, Todd Snider, Chris Gaffney, etc…

Posted in Chris Gaffney, Those Darlins, Todd Snider on June 2, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Time for another quick notes column… as it seems that’s all I have time to do these days.

First off… an overdue recap of some recent live shows I caught here in town.

***Those Darlins came to town a couple of weekends ago and brought a little bit of fire along with them to Knoxville’s old city. I’ll admit to not knowing much about the group before their show, having only really heard the promo single the band sent me and a few songs from their set over at Daytrotter.

After the show… I’m hooked. Kelley, Jessi, and Nikki Darlin (pictured above) scorched the stage with a high energy set full of songs about drinkin’, partyin’, and just being wild in general. All three girls played guitar (or ukulele), took turns at lead vocals, and they created strong three-part vocal harmonies on every song. Blend the heavier side of Uncle Tupelo with the sass of Loretta Lynn, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of where Those Darlins are coming from. Their music an enjoyable, rough-edged, high-energy mix of punk rock and honky tonk that left me wanting more.

I’ll catch them again the next time they come to town. In the meantime… you can hear more on their myspace page and check out their live sets on Daytrotter and HearYa. You can also pre-order their full-length debut album at their website.

***Todd Snider was also in town last week to do a couple of short sets on The Blue Plate Special and Tennessee Shines. There’s not a whole lot else that needs to be said about Todd… other than he’s still the same smart-ass that he’s always been, and I love it. The new album is out next week.

*** The Chris Gaffney tribute album, The Man of Somebody’s Dreams was finally released last week. I’ve been spinning this thing for about six months now, and am glad to see that it’s finally making its way out to the public.

Chris Gaffney was a songwriter and musician who was known mainly as a member of Dave Alvin’s Guilty Men and The Hacienda Brothers. He passed away last year after a short battle with liver cancer. You can read my post about him over at Star Maker Machine that I did for the “In Memoriam” week. The album is a loving tribute to Gaffney that was put together by Alvin and many of Gaff’s other friends including Alejandro Escovedo, Boz Scaggs, Los Lobos, James McMurtry, Tom Russell, John Doe, Robbie Fulks, and many others. It’s well worth checking out, and all proceeds from the album go to benefit Gaff’s family and the non-profit group “Hungry for Music.”

You can purchase the tribute album at YepRoc’s music store.

The song I’m sharing today comes from Gaffney’s 1995 solo album Loser’s Paradise and features guest vocals from Lucinda Williams.

Chris Gaffney: Cowboys to Girls (Buy Album)

Wednesday is Todd Snider Day

Posted in Todd Snider on May 27, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

While I possess none of the executive powers necessary to actually do so… I hereby declare Wednesday, May 27 to be Todd Snider Day in the city of Knoxville.

Todd will be performing twice in Knoxville on Wednesday, and both performances will be aired live on WDVX.

First is an appearance on The Blue Plate Special at noon. It’s a live, lunch-hour concert that we put on every weekday downtown. Todd will be one of three guests on Wednesday’s show and will probably play for roughly twenty minutes. You can listen in live at noon eastern at

Later in the night, Todd will be onstage at the Bijou Theatre for Tennessee Shines. This time he’ll share the stage with Pieta Brown, Blue Moon Rising, The Danny Barnes Acoustic Trio, and Tennessee Shines host Jim Lauderdale. The show begins at 7:00 eastern and will also be broadcast on WDVX.

There’s no reason to miss these performances. I’ll be attending the Blue Plate in person and running the board in the studio for Tennessee Shines. I hope you’ll all be listening too.

I should, of course, mention that Todd is out promoting his upcoming album The Excitement Plan that’s due to hit stores next month. I’ve got the whole thing streaming here… so I’m not going to post anything from the new album. But I will say that the new disc features Todd at his best, and I’ve been enjoying it quite a bit.

Here’s a classic tune from Todd that is one of my favorites, and might just reveal a few of his influences as well.

Todd Snider: Vinyl Records (Buy Album)

Todd Snider: The Excitement Plan

Posted in Loretta Lynn, Todd Snider on April 28, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Todd Snider’s new album The Excitement Plan doesn’t come out until June, but you can stream the whole thing now over at Yep Roc’s Website. You can also listen in on the nifty little widget posted above. Pay extra attention to “Don’t Tempt Me,” a duet with Loretta Lynn. I’ve been anxiously waiting to hear that one since I first heard about it a month or so ago.


Also… Todd’s website lists him as performing at the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville on May 27th… the final Wednesday of the month. Seems like something else usually happens at the Bijou on the last Wednesday of the month

Notes & Links

Posted in Loretta Lynn, Rob McNurlin, The Monkees, Todd Snider, youtube on March 13, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

*** Todd Snider’s new CD, The Excitement Plan, will come your way this June from Yep Roc Records. The full scoop on the album is over at Twang Nation (scroll down), but here’s the biggest thing you need to know. The album will feature a duet with none other than Loretta Lynn. It’s safe to say that I’m excited to hear their collaboration.

*** The evolution of No Depression continues. The stalwart Americana and Alt-Country (whatever that is) magazine ceased publication in its print form a few months ago and moved to an online only format. Last week, ND launched a new, community based website that seems designed to get readers more involved in the proceedings. Users can create their own profile and use it to upload photos and videos, participate in the forums, and even contribute their own blog posts to the site. There’s also a facebook-like feature that allows you “make friends” with other users. It’s still a relatively new undertaking, but something worth keeping an eye on.

*** A bit of sad news here… Former Monkee Peter Tork was recently diagnosed with a rare form of head and neck cancer called Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. Tork underwent successful surgery last week and is now resting at home and preparing to begin radiation treatments. You should know that I hold a special affection for the music of The Monkees. Here’s hoping for a full and speedy recovery.

*** Had a comment and a couple of e-mails concerning my post on Rob McNurlin earlier this week… so I thought I’d give you another little taste of his music in this space. Here’s a youtube video of Rob with Dave Prince on guitar doing a song called “Deep Deep is the Blue.”

*** Since I already mentioned Loretta Lynn once in this post… I think I should also go ahead and mention that Saturday is Miss Loretta’s birthday. She was born in a cabin on a hill in Butcher Hollow (Holler), KY on March 14, 1934. Loretta is a hometown girl (Butcher Hollow is just outside the city limits of Paintsville, KY where I grew up) who made good. She had a ton of hits and caused more than a few controversies with her outspoken feminist lyrics in the 60’s and 70’s. Her success helped blaze the trail for every female country artist who followed. She is a Country Music Hall of Famer and truly one of the greats. Happy Birthday Loretta.

Loretta Lynn: Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind) (Buy Album)
Loretta Lynn: You Ain’t Woman Enough (Buy Album)

A Last Look Back Before We Move Forward

Posted in Todd Snider on January 20, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Today is an exciting day in America. It is the day we inaugurate Barack Obama as the 44th President of The United States. I, for one, am very excited for the next four years and am filled with a sense of optimism that I have not felt in some time. It will take time to fix many of the problems facing our country, but… for the first time in a long time… I truly believe all of those problems can be fixed.

I had thought of using this space today to post songs that address that feeling of hope and optimism that I am feeling. However, that is currently being done over at Star Maker Machine with “Hope and Change” week.

Instead, my post today will take a brief look back at the last eight years, and say goodbye to President George W. Bush, with Americana’s favorite smart-alec, Todd Snider.

Todd Snider: Conservative Christian, Right-Wing Republican, Straight, White, American Males (Buy Album)
Todd Snider: You Got Away with it (A Tale of Two Fraternity Brothers) (Buy Album)

Todd Snider: Peace Queer

Posted in Todd Snider on September 9, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

Todd Snider has never shied away from controversy with his music, as evidenced by such Snider classics as “Conservative Christian, Right-Wing Republican, Straight, White, American Males” and “You Got Away With it (A Tale of Two Fraternity Brothers).” The first song (from 2004’s East Nashville Skyline) attacks exactly who it says it does, people who hate “Tree huggin’, peace lovin’, pot smokin’, porn watchin’, lazy-ass hippies” like Mr. Snider himself. The second song (from 2006’s The Devil You Know) lampoons the college days of a certain future world leader with a penchant for evading trouble.

Well… Snider is at it again with his new disc, Peace Queer due out October 7th. The opening track “Mission Accomplished” immediately pounds you over the head with a Bo Diddley beat… and a bit of political commentary. In it, Snider attacks a certain leader as a “man who could not stop lying,” and accuses him of driving the country off a cliff and calling it flying.

From there, Snider tells the tale of a Revolutionary War soldier and how his life was changed by the war in “Cape Henry.” The album also includes a sombre reading of CCR’s “Fortunate Son,” a not so rosy view of adult life on “Stuck on the Corner,” and a dark humor look at death in “Dividing the Estate (A Heart Attack).” Snider calls the album a six-song life cycle. The songs are enhanced by guest shots from Patty Griffin, Don Herron of BR549, Will Kimbrough, and Doug Lancio among others.

Fans of Snider, his world view, and his specific brand of humor will like this album… probably quite a bit. The one caveat is that the album only includes eight tracks, and two of those are spoken word pieces. It does seem to be priced accordingly, however. You can pre-order on Amazon for $9.

Todd Snider: Mission Accomplished (Because You Gotta Have Faith) (Buy Album)

Tech note: I finally figured out how to use the Yahoo Media Player and add it to the site. Now you can just click the play button icon next to each song to listen to the music without being taken to another page.