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Todd Snider gets political

Wednesday, July 2, 2008 – Offbeat singer Todd Snider is going political with "Peace Queer," which drops Aug. 19. The CD is the follow-up to 2006's "The Devil You Know."

The cover photo, which depicts Snider being held at gunpoint by a shirtless hippie. "Clearly, anyone who looks at the photograph can tell that I had been abducted by an international league of peace queers and forced to write protest music. You know, for their cause," said Snider.

The eight tracks include a Civil War sea shanty, a plaintive cover of the classic "Fortunate Son," a spoken-word number, a rocket-fueled meditation on contemporary culture ("Stuck On The Corner"), and a Fred Sanford-ish funeral dirge. The emotional centerpiece is the wistful "Ponce Of The Flaming Peace Queer."

"'Peace Queer' is a six-song cycle, starting with a song called 'Mission Accomplished,'" Snider explains. "In six sentences, the record goes like this: Here's the kid being told everything's going to be great. Here's the reality of that. Here's that kid when he comes home a sad and banged-up and angry 'winner.' Here's the breakdown of why I think that's happening. Here's the guy in our culture that I think is causing that to happen, and it's not a president. And then here's what I think is going to happen to that guy. And then we roll credits."

Credits include Patty Griffin, Kevin Kinney, Don Herron and Will Kimbrough.

"Things happen in this album besides you being told that war is wrong, with a beat," Snider said. "I don't know that war is wrong. I just know that I'm a peace queer, and I'm totally into it when people aren't fighting, in my home, at the bar where I hang out, or in a field a million miles away."

Songs on the CD are:
1. Mission Accomplished (because you gotta have faith)
2. The Ballad of Cape Henry
3. Fortunate Son
4. Is This Thing Working?
5. Stuck On The Corner (prelude to a heart attack)
6. Dividing The Estate (a heart attack)
7. Ponce of The Flaming Peace Queer
8. Is This Thing On?

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