Todd Snider Peace, Love And Anarchy

Snider is one of those artists often called "a songwriter’s songwriter,” which is usually a euphemism for "commercial failure.” Still, he has a loyal enough fan base to justify putting out this "odds’n’sods” collection. Yes, it’s scrappy, raw and perhaps a mite self-indulgent (i.e., the canine vocals on one song), but there’s enough here of merit to keep that core following happy, but it certainly won’t expand his audience. The disc appears on John Prine’s label, and such noted players as Peter Holsapple (dBs, R.E.M.), Keith Christofer (Georgia Satellites) and Tommy Womack are featured on some cuts. The fact that honky tonk hero Billy Joe Shaver co-wrote a song with Snider ("Deja Blues”) further testifies to the peer respect he enjoys. Seven of the 12 tunes are just Snider on vocals and guitar, and he’s endearingly loose on both instruments. His signature sense of humour comes to the fore on "Combover Blues,” while he pays sincere homage to his hometown on "Nashville,” album highlight "East Nashville Skyline” and the talkin’ blues of "From A Rooftop.” Closing song "Cheatham Street Warehouse” is a fun, raucous romp that nicely sums up this slight but enjoyable collection. (Oh Boy)