Todd Snider added to MerleFest 2014

By Jeff Eason (eason@mountaintimes.com)



Article Published: Mar. 27 | Modified: Apr. 26
Todd Snider added to MerleFest 2014

Singer-songwriter Todd Snider will bring his wry, observational wit to MerleFest on Friday, April 25.

Photo submitted



In the world of big-time country and Americana artists, Todd Snider has always flown under the radar.

Among music lovers who revere a rebel, Snider is a star.

Although Snider is relatively unknown outside of his small sphere of influence, Rolling Stone magazine has twice named his albums in its annual list of the top 50 albums of the year, with his latest solo release, “Agnostic Hymns and Stoner Fables,” tabbed as the No. 47 album of 2012.

Snider will bring his original take on country and Americana music to MerleFest 2014, it was announced this month. Snider will perform on the Hillside Stage from 2:15 to 3 p.m. Friday, April 25. Later that day, he will host the Songwriters Coffeehouse on the Austin Stage inside Alumni Hall from 10:30 to 11 p.m.

MerleFest is a four-day music festival held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro. This year’s event is scheduled for April 24 to 27.

For the past two decades, Snider has been making music that makes people think and laugh. His pointed protest songs take on everything from the news media to country music radio to the conservative Christian political movement.

After putting out three albums on the MCA label in the mid-1990s, Snider switched to John Prine’s Oh Boy Records label. The move proved to be a good fit for Snider, whose songwriting style and wry style closely resembles Prine’s.

On his second album for Oh Boy Records, “New Connection,” Snider scored a hit on college and underground radio with the song, “Beer Run,” about some young men trying to acquire beverages on their way to a Robert Earl Keen concert.

His following studio album, 2004’s “East Nashville Skyline,” found Snider exploring more controversial themes. “The Ballad of the Kingsmen” talks about how every generation of parents look at their kids’ musical taste as depraved. “Conservative, Christian, Right-Wing Republican, Straight, American Males” pokes at the hypocrisy of the religious right in America. And “Alcohol and Pills” mines Snider’s own battle with his personal demons.

Last year, Snider teamed up with fellow musicians Dave Casals, Chad Staehly and Duane Trucks to form the band, Hard Working Americans. The band recently released a music video for the song, “Stomp and Holler,” featuring cameos by Blues Traveler singer John Popper and singer-songwriter Hayes Carll.

For more information on Todd Snider’s MerleFest appearance, visit http://www.merlefest.org.

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