Todd Snider: Busy Man Comes to Bloomington

(originally written for NUVO.net (8.31.10)

I hate musical labels. But I can use them. I’d call Todd Snider a roots rocker, having seen him with his old band The Nervous Wrecks, all sweaty and rockin’. Call him folk, or a kind of Prine/Petty/Jerry Jeff Walker/Jagger hybrid. Some of those work for you?

Todd will perform at the 3rd annual Hillbilly Haiku Concert at the Upland Brewing Company in Bloomington, Indiana this Friday (September 3rd) at 6pm. TV Mike and the Scarecrows and The Elly Maze open.

The Hillbilly Haiku Americana Music Series is hosted by the Upland Brewing Co. to raise money for the Sycamore Land Trust. All proceeds from the concert’s ticket, food, and beverage sales benefit the Sycamore Land Trust, whose mission is to preserve the landscape of southern Indiana. Working with private landowners to protect their family heritage, SLT has conserved over 5,500 acres on more than 66 parcels and helped plant over 55,000 trees.

After he rolls out of town, Snider will head to the Americana Music Festival held in Nashville beginning September 8, and will fire up a group he is calling Todd Snider’s Rock & Roll Revue, featuring Jason D. Williams, Dan Baird and Friends. Continue reading “Todd Snider: Busy Man Comes to Bloomington”

New Springsteen “Darkness” Reissue Contains Intriguing Additions

Though grounded in a rock and roll, with a healthy R&B/60’s Soul tradition chromosome, Bruce Springsteen was signed as a folk guy (at least that’s what Columbia Records thought they were getting). As successfully as any artist in modern music, has been able go from folk to rock to soul to pop without losing his ability to write insightful lyrics and embrace rock music.

But the record that has proven to be the strongest, most timeless work is 1978’s Darkness on the Edge of Town album.   It gets a newly remastered treatment (The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story, a 6 CD/DVD set, due out November 14) with a package that includes two CD’s of unreleased, new/old songs from the original recording sessions; a live concert video from 1978; and a making-of documentary – one that debuts at the Toronto Film Festival September 14, and on HBO in August.

I have the orginal CD in my car.  It’s a favorite on my iPod.  I can still remember the day in 1984 , going to the used record store in Hillsdale, Michigan, and coming out with a used vinyl version.  I still have it.

It a record that has some of Bruce’s meanest guitar playing, down-but still-hopeful lyrics and a core set of songs (“Badlands”, “Prove It All Night”, The Promised Land”) that form the heart of most of the band’s live shows.

He had to wait two years following the release of Born to Run before he could even get into the studio to record the album, because of the lawsuit with his management, and a judge’s injunction against recording with his new manager Jon Landau while the court case dragged on.  Continue reading “New Springsteen “Darkness” Reissue Contains Intriguing Additions”