Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Money, Compliments, Publicity

I should consider myself either lucky or damned. In comparison to Todd Snider the number of my turbulent relationships with the fairer sex would barely raise a ripple on a pond. Any angst-y grist for the composing/writing mill I'd had would have required a minimal trickle of water to turn that mill. In relation to Mr. Snider, an 8 oz. bottle's squirt would have been sufficient. Having an inexhaustible supply of crash-'n-burns to cull from and armed with an eye for detail and a wit for pain, Mr. Snider has come up with, IMHO, his best effort to date. Each song has a hook of a story to snag you and every song is anchored by memorable lines laid out in a tired, but not exhausted, throwaway manner. In previous albums, he's referred to Jerry Jeff Walker’s influence on him (particularly on the tracks "The story of the ballad of the devil's backbone tavern" and "The Ballad of the Devil's Backbone Tavern", from Near Truths & Hotel Rooms) and you can certainly hear the laidback attitude that Jerry Jeff always had in Mr. Snider’s delivery. But, Jerry Jeff was never as funny nor was Jerry Jeff as prodigious a composer as Mr. Snider. Rober Earl Keens' Corpus Christi Bay is the only song on this album not his own and Mr. Snider's unique delivery of this great song practically makes it his own.
There are no favorite songs.
Let me ask, "Who's your favorite child?"
And while Mr. Snider asks "...when are you too old to learn?" in "Greencastle Blues", we all know the answer, in his particular case.
Never.
Good Lord wiling, thankfully, never.

So, Excitement Plan?
A great album cover (WHAT, exactly, is that breed of dog? Crazy Handsome), a Don Was produced album (Snider's best-sounding release to date, IMHO), every song a gem; every song worth a repeat listen. I can't emphasize Don Was' production enough. While everyone knows he can make geese farts sound meolodic, the beauty he creates with Todd Snider's voice and each song's instrumentation is breath-taking, especially if you give a listen to any of Mr. Snider's previous issues.

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