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Something So Right

alt.music.country

I'd only heard one song by Todd Snider ('Vinyl Records', on a Bob Harris Presents Americana compilation), but that was enough not only to propel me to his gig at the Borderline last night but to drag mrs_leroy_brown along too. How, after all, can you fail to like someone who's released an album called East Nashville Skyline?

The warmup was Danni Nicholls, who has a lovely voice and played pretty much the perfect support slot: short, sweet and with the promise of a free six-track CD if we signed up to her mailing-list during the interval. (Check out Heavy Shoes at the above link.)

Bec and I both commented that we'd never seen the Borderline so full so early, and when Todd appeared on stage it became obvious that he had some hardcore fans in the crowd. (We should have guessed from all the cowboy hats, really.) He did new songs and old songs, all of which were new to me - but his lyrics are simple and funny and he sings them clearly, so I was joining in with the chorus by the end of several numbers. The refrain from 'Beer Run', his ode to underage alcohol purchase, was on my lips as I rode home, and I was still at it on my way in to work this morning.

When he referred to a car crash as 'some kind of car-related altercation', I realised he reminded me rather of Arlo Guthrie - perhaps unsurprising for a self-confessed 'peace-loving, tree-hugging, pot-smoking, folk-singing, lazy-ass hippie'. It struck me that if he removed a few of the F-words from his repertoire, he would be brilliant on Sesame Street. His politics are left-wing; he sympathises with the young and the poor although baffled by their low-slung trousers and casual violence.

The line that caught my attention most was a reference to 'the star-spangled bomber' in one chorus - obviously intended to be a Bad Thing, but a felicitous phrase in my ears.

I didn't get to hear 'Vinyl Records' itself, as I was too shy to shout it out when he called for requests ("What? No one wants to hear 'Freebird'?"). Another time!

That 'Beer Run' chorus in full:
B double E double R U N, beer run!
B double E double R U N, beer run!
All you need is a ten and a fiver
A car and key and a sober driver
B double E double R U N, beer run!
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It struck me that if he removed a few of the F-words from his repertoire, he would be brilliant on Sesame Street.

So, ideal for a guest on an Avenue Q sequel? ^_^

I'll have to check out some of his work. I do get the impression I'd like what I'll find.
Ha! Yes, definitely give him a go!