Posts Tagged ‘Todd Snider’

more stuff I dug in 2011: Jason Isbell, Hayes Carll, Todd Snider

This is the post where I talk about a few of the big/well known albums from last year that most of yall likely already know and love (2011 sure was a great year for our kind of music).

First up is Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit’s excellent album album Here We Rest.

What more is there to say about this album that hasn’t been said better by others? Just know it’s a damn good album and Isbell continues to grow by leaps and bounds with each album. I actually caught Jason and band twice last year, once that I already wrote about, and more recently in Roanoke, VA. Both shows were excellent but the band was certainly at the top of their game for the October show in Roanoke. Playing a double headliner bill with James McMurtry I must say that as good of a show as McMurtry puts on (and he puts on a hell of a show) Isbell and co. topped him. Enjoy the video below of Codeine from Here We Rest from said show, and also be sure to watch this blistering version of Try in which the band breaks into Led Zep’s No Quarter mid song also from said show. Dig that awesome cover art from former 400 Unit member Browan Lollar too.

Next let’s talk about Hayes Carll’s equally impressive album KMAG YOYO (and other american stories).

Again what is there to say about this album that hasn’t been said better elsewhere? It’s a great album and one you likely already own. My favorites off this include the subterranean homesick blues on meth sylings of the title track, the rousing Bottle In My Hand (featuring Todd Snider and Corb Lund), Stomp and Holler, Another Like You (featuring the lovely Cary Ann Hearst), Hard Out Here…hell every song is great. I’m especially fond of the video for Another Like You as seen below.

I actually caught Hayes last year in Nelsonville, OH and it was a damn fine show. The show was shortly after Bill Morrissey died and he did a touching tribute (Bill Morrissey wrote the song Live Free Or Die off Hayes’ first album). Sorry no video from that show, but enjoy this bonus video of KMAG YOYO acoustic

Now let’s talk about Todd Snider’s live Storyteller album/DVD from last year

I am particularly fond of the DVD, as it’s the only full Todd Snider performance DVD there is. However…as good as it is, I am going to be a little critical of it. Critical because the thing I love most about Todd Snider is his frantic energy, and it seems to be tamed down somewhat with this Storyteller set. As a fan it is essential, but I still prefer the massive Moondawg’s Tavern bootleg. That said, it’s not bad, it’s really cool to see/hear him with a backing band, especially one as skilled as Great American Taxi, I just don’t feel it captures his live energy as well as say Near Truths. Check out an example from the DVD below

Now listen to this version of Is This Thing Working (where he is damn near channeling Chuck D) from his March 5th show at the wonderful V-Club in Huntington, WV.

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Todd Snider – Is This Thing Working (Huntington, WV 3/5/11)

Talk about energy…the V-Club is a place where I’ve never seen a bad show, and Todd was feeding off the crowd and the crowd was feeding off him in a perfect performer-fan symbiotic relationship. I will actually be seeing Todd again next friday and I’ll let yall know how his new songs off “Agnostic Hymns” sound

Free Music Alert: Elmo Buzz and The Eastside Bulldogs (AKA Todd Snider) – Shit Sandwich

Holy hell, I have been wanting an Elmo Buzz, and/or an Eastside Bulldogs album from Todd for some time. Never expected him to give us a free one. This is so damned good. When Todd gets in this reckless, rowdy, loose, and loud rock ‘n’ roll mode it is one of my favorite things from him. If I’m not mistaken the East Side Bulldogs includes Bobby Bare Jr. and Elizabeth Cook. At least according to this video that was made for Nashville flood relief. The instructions to download are little ambiguous but I will lay out here real easy. First go to this post on Todd’s facebook page. All the information you need is contained in that link, but like I said, I’m gonna make it easy for you. Go to this page on toddsniderlive.com, enter the code which can be found in the above post on Todd’s facebook page (hint, it’s “tsl.com”), hit submit, then download and rock the hell out….cause I sure as shit am right now. Bonus points for the Spinal Tap reference.

While you are there, check out the download for the March 5th Todd Snider show at The V-Club in Huntington, WV. I was at this show, and it was amazing. I can’t reiterate enough how great a bar The V-Club is for live shows and the recording really captures the wild energy of that night

Todd Snider: Rolling Stone Live

I know everyone out there knows about the new Todd Snider live album The Storyteller, and here are some great vids Todd did for Rolling Stone. In the interview he discusses his influences before getting distracted by his own beer run story. Great version of Greencastle Blues here, and it’s good to hear a little of the story about him being a “political prisoner” in Greencastle, IN




From The Archives: Todd Snider – Ohio River Valley Folk Festival 5-19-07

Well it’s been about a month since my last post. Sorry guys, just been busy, kind of overwhelmed with stuff lately. Longtime readers will know this is no new thing and generally happens every year around this time. Regardless, I did promise some re-ups so here is one that folks have been wanting for a while. Sorry it took so long, hope y’all enjoy. Click on the image below to go to the original post to download.

Todd Snider – The Phoner (Uncut Version)

So if you enjoyed the version from Funny or Die, here is the longer uncut version. Much funnier, love the part about Obama’s birth certificate.

Todd Snider shenanigans from Funny Or Die

The Phoner – watch more funny videos

Belated Show Reports: Scott H. Biram, Cedric Burnside, Todd Snider, The Fox Hunt/Demon Beat, Jason Isbell

I’m way behind on these and just thought I would do a quick blurb about each one:

Scott H. Biram @ Martin’s Downtown – Roanoke, VA 11/13/10
This show here had to be one of the best I’ve seen, and I’ve seen some killer shows recently. The one thing that struck me about Scott, talking with him before and after the show, was how genuinely happy he was to be there doing his thing. He was just having a blast doing what he does, and man let me tell what he does is something to behold. If you ever get a chance to see him live…DO IT! do not miss him when he comes to your area. Unless you hate yourself and hate good music and hate highly energetic performances. I would say the highlight of the show for me, was when he made his guitar do some crazy feedback, set the guitar on it’s stand, left the stage to go take a piss…guitar still blaring….returned, picked it up and started right into the next song. Bad. Ass.

No vids of the show (well I did take some crappy vids with my cell but you don’t want to see that, I still need to replace that infamous camera lost at the McMurtry show), but this vid I found online of him doing Muddy Water’s classic “Can’t Be Satisfied” is the closest approximation of what I experienced that night, when he did this song it blew me away…so good, check it out: (embedding seems to be effed, so click here)

Cedric Burnside & Lightnin’ Malcolm @ Awful Arthur’s – Roanoke, VA 12/4/10
(sorry, no picture for this one)
This was my second time seeing Cedric and Lightnin’, and my first time at Awful Arthur’s (who have amazing fried oysters I might add). There was a blizzard going on outside, and I drove to my buddies and after watching a few vids online and me telling him how good Cedric was, we climbed in his Jeep and made the 30 mile trek in the snow to Roanoke. It was worth it.

The opening act was a group of local blues jam types who played some by the numbers blues standards, this gave us time to chow down on some of those killer fried oysters and get a few drinks in our bellies. Then Cedric came up to do his solo acoustic set, this set was particularly powerful because he dedicated it to his Uncle who had just passed a few days prior. He poured all his grief into those acoustic songs. After that set Cedric switched to drums and Malcolm took the stage with his Telecaster. The proceeded to blow the roof off the joint. If you’ve never seen Cedric Burnside live you are missing out on seeing one of the greatest drummers of our time. And the music…this is not John Mayer blues…this is BLUES the way it was meant to be played, dirty and raw. The only downside of the night was after the show I lost my favorite coat at the nearby waffle house :(

Todd Snider @ Stuart’s Opera House – Nelsonville, OH 12/30/10
This was my first Todd Snider show, me and a buddy decided to road trip up to Nelsonville, Ohio and swing by Huntington, WV on the way back for New Years Eve. First let me say Stuart’s Opera House is a great great venue. Reminds me a lot of the Lincoln Theater in Marion, VA where they tape Song Of The Mountains, and the Nelsonville/Athens area of Ohio was a really cool area. The stage was set up with a piano a guitar, and a table with a Todd Snider hippie flag draped over it. We were sitting stage left 2nd/3rd row. When it was time for Todd to come out, the PA started playing the theme from Sanford and Son…awesome.

When Todd came out, he sang Can’t Complain, he then opened it up to requests, matter of fact he played requests the whole show, even encouraging people to write what songs they want to hear and throw it on stage during the intermission between sets. As expected, he told stories, great stories…in particular one about Bill Elliot that was spectacular. Another highlight of the show, early on when he first opened it up to requests, someone requested Vinyl Records….to which he claimed it had “a shitload of words” but he persevered….forgetting the words halfway through but carrying the song anyway the way only Todd could. My buddy who had seen Todd two times before said this was definitely the best Todd show he has seen so far. Another highlight was after the intermission he came out to do the second set and sat on the piano and did a cool piano version of the Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. This whole show can be downloaded at toddsniderlive.com for $7. A great thing to have for a show I attended. Here is a sample from the show below, the version of Vinyl Records I was talking about:

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The Fox Hunt & The Demon Beat @ The V-Club – Huntington, WV 12/31/10
When I heard about this show, I knew we had to add this stop to our roadtrip on the way back from seeing Todd Snider in Ohio. First I want to say that The V-Club just may be my new favorite bar/venue in any town. Just a great place, no TV’s, an outside bar, pool tables, great bands,  great atmosphere, cheap beer, great local characters, and the cutest bartender in west bygod. Plus the V stands for Valhalla, which is kind of badass. Now about the show itself, this being a New Years Eve show, it was just one big party…the place was packed, the ladies were all decked out and everyone was having a good time. I don’t recall much about the opening band Universes, but they took the stage around 10 or so. It wasn’t until after midnight that the Fox Hunt took the stage. Let me tell you this is the way to see the Fox Hunt…the way they feed off the energy of the crowd…they seemed to be calling the songs off the cuff, deciding what songs to play based on the crowds response to the last song. They finished their set with Four Horses, which the crowd also ate up. They said they could tell whether or not they had a good show by how the crowd responds to that song. They had a good show. Those worried about the new lineup need not worry, the new guys sound like they were always in the band, the only thing missing is all those great songs by Matt Kline. Luckily they have many other great songs to take up the slack.

Sometime later (excuse my time lapse, I had had a quite a few beers by this point), The Demon Beat took the stage. I knew this because THEY WERE LOUD! This was a damned rock show…no doubt about it. The guitarist Adam Meisterhans performed THE BEST windmills on the guitar I’ve ever seen. I mean I’ve only seen clips of Townsend, but I will say the windmills Meisterhans performed are as fucking good! Speaking of The Who…The Demon Beat’s drummer Jordan Hudkins played the drums like a mad man. I’ve never seen anything like this. By the end of each song the drum kit would be completely destroyed and have to be re-set up. Cymbals falling over, snares and toms falling over…all from sheer ferocity of his playing. At one point he picked up a fallen tom and used it to hit one of his crash cymbals. WOW. Check these guys out if they come to your area, we are talking balls to the wall, high gear, meth in your cocaine type of energy coming from this band. A ROCK SHOW!

Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit @ The V-Club – Huntington, WV 1/15/11
So at the V-Club on New Years we saw the posters for this show, and had such a good time we decided to make the trek again to see Isbell. Now, I may or may not have drank entirely too much at this show so my recollections are a bit cloudy. Should have probably let my buddy Brad (who will doing some upcoming guest posts) write this one. However, Jason and the gang put on a killer show. They played for over 2 hours, mixing in many covers such as crowd favorite “Psycho Killer”, and many songs from Jason’s DBT days like a killer version of “Decoration Day”, even some new songs from his upcoming album. Only disappointment about this show is that I did not see Jason at the local Applebees pre-show with Meghan McCain sharing the date night special (those who follow Jason on twitter will understand that joke). Though I did meet him on the street while we were walking to the club. Nice guy that Jason Isbell, puts on a hell of a show too. [EDIT: Professional-like photos from this show can bee seen here]

Todd Snider – Last Songs For The Daily Planet

This is an interesting bootleg, with not very much info to go on. Matter of fact I could not even find the exact date. Best thing to go on is it’s sometime within the week prior to The Daily Planet in Memphis shutting down, and judging by the set list, it’s likely 1994 or 1995. The Daily Planet was a bar in Memphis where Todd honed and perfected his writing and performing. Word has it that sometime around 93 or so, Todd went to Memphis in search of Keith Sykes. Todd found Keith, who was at the time playing and writing with Jimmy Buffet. Keith introduced Todd to Jimmy, Jimmy signed Todd to his label, and Todd named his debut album “Songs For The Daily Planet”  in honor of the bar he had made his home in Memphis.  Most of those songs are on this set.

What’s really interesting about this boot to me is that Todd had yet to perfect his “cosmic hippie” stage persona. There are glimmers of it there, but you can tell he’s very much a greenhorn on this show compared to the masterful presence he has on stage now. Also interesting is an early version of  Devil’s Backbone Tavern complete with an early version of the Trog story. Not quite as fleshed out as it would later become but all the important bits are there. It also sounds like this may have been recorded for some kind of unrealized live album because he does “My Generation, Pt. 2″ twice and says to the crowd “Y’all wanna be on a record”. Also interesting about this is there are some songs on here I’ve never heard before such as “Hey Texas”, “She Just Left Me Lounge” and “Heavy Metal Has Been”.

Sound is an A-, and if you are a fan of Todd Snider you are going to want to get this just for it’s significance.

If you are not aware, Todd has launched an Official site where you can buy and download his live recordings. He still allows taping at shows, but no longer allows people to plug into the soundboard. Generally the downloads are around $7 and I think the intent is so fans who attend his shows can go home and download the show they just saw (which is a great idea in my opinion). Download cards can be purchased at his shows as well.

But back to this bootleg (which you won’t find on that site, as the site only goes back to Nov. 2009), I don’t know if this was the last show played at The Daily Planet, but it was the last show Todd played at the Daily Planet. And to tie it into Father’s day which was this past weekend, Todd dedicates this show to his Father, who was in the crowd along with his Mother and folks from Margaritaville Records (another reason I believe this was recorded for some kind of unrealized live album).

Download Todd Snider – Last Songs For The Daily Planet here

EDIT: Thanks to Hedge for pointing out that the info for this show is on eighteenminutes.com. The date is Jan. 27th, 1994 (so my guess was pretty good)

Todd Snider – Play A Train Song vid (with “coincidental” train)

A buddy showed me this vid the other day, and I just had to share it on here. I say “coincidental” train because in my opinion that ain’t no coincidence…that is Skip “play a train song” Litz.  I mean it’s just too perfect. Todd knows it, Will knows it…Todd even gets a little choked up at the beginning.

If you don’t know the story behind the Play A Train Song, read this road journal entry from Todd, THEN watch the clip.

Collaborations you would like to see

Earlier today I was listening to the new Kristofferson album Closer To The Bone and it struck me how stylistically similar it is to Todd Snider’s latest album The Excitement Plan. Couple that with some other recent listens that include the excellent collaborative albums of Carolyn Mark & NQ Arbuckle, and the Gretchen Peters & Tom Russell album One To The Heart, One To The Head (which are both fantastic albums BTW). That got me to thinking about how killer it would be if Kris Kristofferson and Todd Snider made a collaborative album together. Man I would love to hear that.

What are some of your favorite collaborative albums, or ones you’d like to see happen?