Podcast with Todd Snider, who plays The Sanctuary on Sept. 20 behind new release ‘Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables’
There are plenty of great lines on Todd Snider’s most recent album, “Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables,” released earlie rthis year on Snider’s own imprint, Aimless Records. And many of them center on the tensions among the so-called one percent and the 99 percent.
“There’s some threats on that record, where people are threatening to kill other people and stuff,” Snider said. “I was just trying to make my head rhyme, you know. But the older I get, the more confused I feel, or the less I feel like I know. And it comes out less linear or something, or at least I don’t understand the songs as well as I used to.”
If the songs leave Snider wondering, the results are direct. The song’s opening track, which counts as a “stoner fable,” is “In The Beginning,” during which Snider narrates an early human problem — a man with a lot of stuff trying to dissauade a crowd from killing him and taking it all with them.
“God gave me this, because I’m humble, and he can do the same for you too … You better find some way to humble yourself. May I suggest helping me clean up around here?”
Snider plays The Sanctuary on Sept. 20. Kevin Gordon opens the show. Read the entire story in Saturday’s Extra section. On this podcast, we talk about the music and Snider’s collection of father figures, which includes John Prine and Jimmy Buffett. Also, we learn how Snider was inspired to learn guitar and write songs after seeing Jerry Jeff Walker performing in Austin, Texas, years ago.
It “just looked like he’s not moving his hands much,” Snider recalled. “Doesn’t look like Stevie Ray Vaughan. It just looks like he holds his hand in one spot for a long time.
“And then also the stuff he was singing about felt like stuff I was living, you know, and I thought I could rhyme my own life and maybe do this.”
He was correct.