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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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May 2018

John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
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Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
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Texas, etc...
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
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Settling Scores vol. 2

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