Nashville singer/songwriter Todd Snider doesn’t shrink away from tough subject matter. In “The Ballad of the Kingsmen” (from 2004’s East Nashville Skyline), he hilariously lampooned religious conservatives past and present for the absurd claim that rock & roll incites violence. In 2008, he released Peace Queer, a politically charged EP that included a cover of the incendiary Creedence classic “Fortunate Son.”
That same confrontational spirit and trademark wit was on display when Snider debuted a handful of new songs during his band’s tour rehearsal last night (Jan. 18) at the East Nashville Rehearsal Hall. Located on 11th St. in Five Points, the room was decked out with patchwork wall coverings, thrift store couches, and folding chairs. Beers were being passed around and the unheated space smelled of incense and considerably less legal substances.
Snider’s loose, playful set included “In The Beginning,” a stream-of-consciousness rant on the disparity of wealth and religion’s role in the matter; “Precious Little Miracles,” a jazzy, laugh-and-grimace-inducing tale of some no-good kids; and a cover of Jimmy Buffett’s acidic “West Nashville Grand Ballroom Gown.” Before wrapping up Snider led the crowd through one final song, the sneering Eastsider anthem, “Hey Pretty Boy (Go Back To Franklin).”
Snider’s forthcoming album, by the way, will be titled Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables and hits stores March 6 via Aimless Records. Track listing is included below. His tour launches tomorrow (Jan. 20) in Evanston, IL.
Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables track listing:
1. In the Beginning
2. New York Banker
3. West Nashville Grand Ballroom Gown
4. Precious Little Miracles
5. The Very Last Time
6. In Between Jobs
8. Too Soon To Tell
9. Digger Dave’s Crazy Woman Blues
10. Big Finish