Flyinshoes Review

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East Nashville’s Todd Snider is cut from a unique cloth. He is hugely innovative and out-spoken into the bargain. His latest record East Bulldog sees him bring to life his Elmo Buzz pseudonym; a character obsessed with the lifestyle (in song) of the images carved out in Hank Williams, Jnr’s songs. Given a blast of undiluted rock’n’roll he charges through an album written, and recorded in double-quick time (when some studio time came available) with terrific flair. Though it is Snider's first solo album in since 2012 release, Agnostic Hymns And Stone Fables he has been far from taking it easy with recordings from his other project Hard Working Americans filing the void.      


Fueled like he was on some high velocity yet to be found energy-powered substance Snider’s outrageous wit goes a step farther than ever before. Performing in everything but southern country rock style though he does speak about chicks, cars, partying hard and enjoying a dig, sly and otherwise at the music biz but Snider has developed his character. One he first took on when gig opportunities were in short supply near home. Among the highlights you have the Jerry Lee Lewis-hinted piano driven sharp shooting “Hey Pretty Boy” dance tune “The Funky Tomato” and power house southern driven“Bocephus”. I love the saxophone and swirling organ as Snider brings in a healthy helping of Memphis soul.   


Kicking up a ruckus Snider not only brings attention to the plight of today’s East Nashville singer-songwriter scene trying to stay true to tradition underlines there is no substitute for genuine talent. For his part he is trying to keep folk music popular in East Nashville. For the record, Snider for the first time in his career lays claim to performing all the guitar parts   


If I were to be critical it does sound like one or two of the songs were though put together quickly, there isn’t sufficient separation between some lack the identity they might. However, being surrounded by a bunch of his friends, usual suspects of the locale they pull it off and at the same time have a blast. Grammy-winner Eric McConnell (Loretta Lynn, Kris Kristofferson) co-produced the album, and though at just over 25 minutes it has to be one of the shortest 10-track albums I have heard in an eternity Snider with the help of Elizabeth Cook, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Hank Williams 111, Chris Robinson and Shooter Jennings, he comes up with a record comparable to music comparable to music (funk, soul, rock’n’roll etc) of the ilk Doug Sahm might have recorded if he were still around.         

                                                                                                 Maurice Hope 

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November 2017

JW Roy & The Royal Family
80 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
Chris Hillman
79 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Turnpike Troubadours
46 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton
36 pts.
Wildflower Blues
Cinquefoil Records
Eilen Jewell
34 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
Lucinda Williams
31 pts.
This Sweet Old World
Highway 20/Thirty Tigers
JD McPherson
29 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
Mark Martyre
26 pts.
Tom Russell
26 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
Anna Tivel
25 pts.
Small Believer
Fluff And Gravy Records
Margo Price
25 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
Fred Wickham
22 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
Joe Henry
22 pts.
Ear Music
Whitney Rose
22 pts.
Rule 62
Six Shooter/Thirty Tigers
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
Jim White
18 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
Peter Gallway
18 pts.
Feels Like Religion
Gallway Bay Music
Thomm Jutz
17 pts.
Crazy If You Let It
Mountain Fever Records
Kris Delmhorst
16 pts.
The Wild
Blue Blade Records
Daniel Crabtree
15 pts.
In The Shadow Of His Wings
Jeremy Pinnell
15 pts.
Ties Of Blood And Affection
Sofaburn Records
Julien Baker
15 pts.
Turn Out The Lights
Amber Cross
14 pts.
Savage on the Downhill
Chris Blevins
14 pts.
Better than Alone
Horton Records
David Rawlings
14 pts.
Poor David's Almanack
Acony Records
Grainne Duffy
14 pts.
Where I Belong
Jeff Crosby
14 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records

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