Thursday, May 19, 2011

the other todd

On a hippy-er note.

I love some Todd Snider.

I have all his stuff – his bobblehead is on my desk – and he never ceases to please me. Way back when, when country music latched on to him, and tried to make him a star, he looked like this:

Even though Viva Satellite was a bit too country rock for me, something said there was more to the Snider story. There was. Since then, he’s moved to a musical neighborhood in which he’s more comfortable (neighbors with John Prine, Robert Earl Keen, and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot), and his songwriting has been stellar.

The first time I saw him live, in Reno (actually, The Nugget in next door Sparks), it was during the very short period of time every year that he gets together with his band, The Nervous Wrecks, plugs it in, and blows the doors of the place. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. (Apparently, this is a strictly Nugget stop on the annual tour, I never see other dates with a band.) The Wrecks, at least the version I saw, included greats Will Kimbrough and Dave Zollo filling the sound. The second time I saw him was a solo show/date with X at the Birchmere in Alexandria. He couldn’t be more different in his two iterations – the solo, storyteller being more the norm – when it’s just him you get at least a half-dozen, between song stories that will make you laugh the rest of the night. He’s a truly engaging performer who everyone should experience at least once. Or not.

You’re not my brother’s hero. You’re mine.

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