Todd Snider

When a Billboard reporter asked him what was the most memorable part of recording his latest album, New Connection, Todd Snider replied, "Going out for wine." Knowing the devil-may-care Snider, that hucksterish response probably isn't far from the truth. Like a hayseed version of Chris Isaak, Snider's appeal goes beyond his songs and lyrics. The unflappable "Alright Guy" for the ages, he commands attention when on stage, whether solo or with a band, without trying very hard. But Snider is much more intelligent than he lets on. He often comes across as some half-wasted college kid from a road-trip flick, only to make a stealthy, off-the-cuff comment that really hits the mark. As usual, Snider's latest material appeals to his cross-sectional fan base of college kids and the folksia intelligentsia. On one extreme, there's "Beer Run," a ditty about the hardships involved in using a fake ID to purchase alcohol. On the other, there's "Waco Moon," a mournful lament to his friend the late Eddy Shaver.

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