Bob Snider Stealin' Home

After several years removed from the scene, it's been easy to forget what a treat it is to hear a Bob Snider song. Here is a new treasure trove of offerings that poignantly display that he hasn't lost any of his gift to simply be life-affirming with every song he writes. Of course, Snider's homespun art is an acquired taste for anyone unfamiliar with it, but it's still hard not to be immediately charmed by his observations on new love ("On A Night Like This"), man's best friend ("Dog"), and just the plain wonder of day-to-day existence ("How To Build A Fence"). It's far from the most exciting subject matter, but Snider's brilliance continues to lay in his ability to craft something endlessly evocative out of the most seemingly mediocre scenes. The best examples of this are "Granny 1" and "Granny 2," two runs at the same song that, in their combined seven minutes, manage to encapsulate a family's entire history by describing the simplest of activities: "And keeping up the family tradition/ Eddy's in the yard/ More like a burden than an addition/ But you gotta give him credit/ 'Cause he tries so hard." It's the kind of stuff that anyone who's ever pondered William Carlos Williams' poem "The Red Wheelbarrow" will get immediately. It hardly matters if Snider himself has; if he ever saw that red wheelbarrow, he'd surely recognise too that so much depends on it. (Borealis)