Todd Snider is one of the finest songwriters to come down the pike in the past 15 years, and this set offers a chance to look at the writer as his songs develop. The first four tracks are all Snider, as he covers all vocal parts, accompanying himself on acoustic, and even supplying percussion (by banging on the guitar).
Much of the record consists of demos. “Nashville” is a fun song about the good side of Nashville. Also fun is hearing Todd add the background vocals while singing lead. “Feel Like I’m Falling in Love” sounds like a hit. Even done solo, its hook runs you right off the road. “Missing You” is a lovely tale of longing, misery, and (oddly enough) hope. “Barbie Doll” is an off-kilter tune served up solo, but could very well be a hit on country radio. It’s hokey, but could be a hit. “Combover Blues” has an oddball lyric that’ll leave you laughing. “Stoney” is a philosophical tale of an old acquaintance, and “Cheatham Street Warehouse” is the only real rocker, with Tommy Womack adding a blistering solo.
Snider’s very likeable stoner voice is in full bloom here. He immediately sounds fun and subversive, the attitude is enhanced by the demo-like quality of the tunes, and the songs hold together better than some of his “official release” records.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Jun. ’07 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.