Todd Snider, the Tennessee-based troubadour who has spent nearly fifteen years and more than twelve proper releases perfecting the humorous talking folk song, is, to put it simply, a strange guy who records and performs strange songs. His ironic eccentricity, however, is his charm. Part satire, part serious, part song, part spoken word, Sniders newest album, Peace Queer, finds him abducted by an international league of peace queers and forced to write protest music. Which hes not half bad at: The albums first cut, Mission Accomplished, features both drug euphemisms and the clever (though not entirely original) lines Im so turned around I could calm up a riot. Fighting for peace? Thats like screaming for quiet.
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But Sniders rowdy, often rambling live shows (clips from which are widely available on YouTube and his various personal sites) are his strong suit. Traditionally armed with little more than a guitar and a harmonica, he demands hoots, hollers and a healthy sense of humor. Expect to be duly entertained when Snider appears tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Ski Jam in Steamboat Springs, with Band of Heathens (6 p.m.) and mandolin virtuoso Sam Bush (9 p.m.). Tickets for the whole thing which takes place at the Ski Jam Tent are $23 after fees; go to www.skijam.net. Get more on Snider (including details on a January 30 stop at the Boulder Theater) at www.toddsnider.net.
Jan. 12-17, 2009