Todd Snider – La Zona Rosa, TX

Todd Snider is first and foremost a performer. Yes, a songwriter as well, but he’s in his element when performing those songs in front of a live audience. His delivery creates side-splitting laughter and his famed stories that can potentially last for 18 minutes enthralls the crowd.

Colorado’s bluegrass jam masters, Great American Taxi (with Vince Herman, Chad Staehly, Jim Lewin, Chris Sheldon and Brian Adams) both opened the show and then served as Snider’s backing band. While they seemed a little sluggish (possibly a side effect of celebrating Staehly’s birthday a little too hard) their constant shout-outs to Austin and the Hill Country and tightly-leashed instrumentals kept the crowd interested.

Snider opened his set with “Sideshow Blues” then “Mission Accomplished,” from his Peace Queer EP. After his traditional and much-loved “18 minutes” speech he launched into some favorites like “Tension” and “Old Times.”

Straying from his usual storytelling (his new live record is aptly titled The Storyteller) in favor of more music – though he did pause to talk about writing “45 Miles” with Will Kimborough minutes before wrecking a rental car (“being from Alabama and Oregon we didn’t know how to drive in the snow, and we didn’t know that we didn’t know”), becoming a Bob Dylan (“all the sudden I wanted every Bob Dylan record… and while the restraining order is still in place I’ve got a feeling it will be lifted in a few months”), copying Dylan (complete with a convincing impression during “Keep Off The Grass”) and leaving Texas for Tennessee with an unexpected gift of week from a driver involved in an accident on the highway.

Ignoring the the set-list and the “hits” and closing the night nearly 20 minutes past their allotted time, Snider and the band skipped “Conservative, Christian, Right-Wing, Republican, Straight, White, American Males” and “Moondawg’s Tavern” instead performing “Guaranteed” from Viva Satellite and in another tribute to Jerry Jeff Walker, an acapella rendition of “Will There Be Any.”

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Photos by Nichole Wagner

Set List
Great American Taxi
Nobody’s Business
Twilight (The Band)
American Beauty
Instant Armadillo (Blue Dogs)
Appalachian Soul
New Millennium Blues
?
Good Night to Boogie

Todd Snider
Sideshow Blues
Mission Accomplished
Tension
45 Miles
Old Times
The Devil You Know
Keep Off the Grass
Stuck on A Corner
Looking For A Job
DB Cooper
Train Song
East Nashville Skyline
Sangria Wine (Jerry Jeff Walker)
Ballad of the Devil’s Backbone Tavern
Ballad of the Kingsmen
Alright Guy

Guaranteed
Will There Be Any (Jerry Jeff Walker)

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