For a lifelong road dog, Jon Snodgrass, due June 23 at the Streets of London Pub, is the type of musician who has always made music that is lighthearted and fun. Whether it's singing about his dog, Pants; teaming up with Frank Turner for a concept record about their friends, 2011's Buddies; or just the general way he carries himself on stage, the Fort Collins-based artist aways has a touch of goofiness, even when performing his most down-trodden material.
These days, Snodgrass — known for his work in Drag the River and Armchair Martian — is finding ways to have more fun on the road, planning an upcoming tour around the Colorado Rockies' road schedule and following the team as it travels the West Coast.
We asked Snodgrass about how music and baseball mix and why he's always having so much damn fun.
Westword: Tell me about what's going on with baseball and your music these days, and the tour.
Snodgrass: Well, my son showed some interest in baseball last year, like right when the season was starting, and I was pretty psyched, because he originally was kinda talking like he thought he liked football. He's about to turn four in like two days, but he knows how to hit a ball now. That's another thing. He's pretty awesome, actually, but I was just stoked, because I didn't want him to get into football because I don't want him to get hurt.
I love baseball, and I grew up in Kansas City watching the Royals, but when I first moved to Colorado, this was funny, because now I actually realized, when I came to stay for good in 1993, that's when the Rockies were starting.
I've always been a fan, so I wanted to find some more ways to watch them when I tour. I'm gonna go see a game in San Francisco next Thursday, and then I'm gonna go to Dodger Stadium on, I think, the first. This time I'll see four games. Next year I'm gonna do even better. I'm gonna go to even more.
Have you ever seen games on tour before?
During spring training, so I guess during March, we had two days off between Tulsa and San Diego, and I really wanted to take everyone to a spring training game. But I pushed the van too hard in the heat and it broke down. We had to pull over to get it looked at. Instead of seeing the game, we got to spend the afternoon getting the van looked at, and almost didn't make it to the next show, in San Diego.
Is doing things like seeing games a way to keep touring more fun?
Yeah, maybe. I mean, playing music has always kind of been a paid vacation, you know what I mean? I mean, it's the main way that I live and do stuff, but I've always just thought of it as a...it's just a way to get to do fun stuff, and get to afford to do it.
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Are you recording any new material, solo or with Drag the River?
Drag the River has some shows in November, and I am recording some new solo songs with Stephen Egerton (Descendents, ALL, FLAG).
Oh, wow. That's exciting!
I thought it would be nice. Well, I needed, a good buddy, to play drums with, you know – to work on some songs so I could rock. And I wanted to have someone that had some skills, that knew how to record things and get good sounds, and knew how to maybe play some other stuff, and I decided to just drive to Tulsa and record with him. I think we recorded four hours one day, and so we did two songs, and then we did one song the next day. They're basically demos right now, with Stephen playing drums and me playing guitar and singing. In the old days, I would've just put that out, but I have a lot more work to do on them.
Jon Snodgrass and His Buddies w/ Gods of Mount Olympus, Zach Quinn, Scooter James, 9 p.m. Saturday, June 23, Street of London Pub, 1501 East Colfax Avenue, $5-$12, 303-861-9103.