#155 Todd Snider – Peace Queer (2008)

On the “Devil You Know” tour St.Paul 2008

Todd Snider is one of my all time favorite artists, and this is just the first of many appearances on my blog for him. He was first discovered by Bill Sykes, a member of Jimmy Buffetts’ Coral Reefer Band. They made a demo which eventually got the ears of Jimmy himself, who signed him to Margaritaville Records. He then released his debut album “Songs From the Daily Planet”, in which Todd displayed his retro rock electric folk sound. Over the years Todd’s sound has morphed and he has evolved into a country folk hippie troubadour.
“Peace Queer” itself is a shot at the war in Iraq and Todd wastes no time getting to the point. Picking up where he left off on his previous albums song “You Got Away With It”, he takes another unapologetic swing at George Bush.”Mission Accomplished” which is a lyrical indictment of President Bush (working for a man who could not stop lying..he drove us off a cliff and told us we were flying) set to a Bo Diddley beat. It’s a little piece of musical madness and a masterpiece of lyrics (you might find a little fox in an atheists hole). I believe that Todd knew when he wrote this song that it was that good ,so he built this album around it, when it is clear after listening, that he did not have enough material. That being said, although there are fewer musical high points than a normal Snider offering, when he hits it he knocks it out of the park. His cover of CCR’s “Fortunate Son” fits perfectly, like an old pair of tennis shoes. The original was a fast paced lambasting of the Vietnam war and those who were forced to fight it. In Todd’s version he slows the pace down and is accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. The is a dark, brooding & bitter protest song. The other stand out song on this album is “Is This Thing Working?”. It tells the story of our young high schooler who is being picked on by a bully and turns the tables. Todd likes it so much that he also offers a spoken word version on the disc. While this is certainly not his best offering (as you will see his name many times farther up this list) it is worth getting for those 3 songs alone.

Other Todd Snider on this blog: #126 Todd Snider – Viva Satellite (1998)

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