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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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Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Lambert smiles, dances the night away – Miranda Lambert didn't perform "Tin Man," one of her best, but also one of her saddest songs during this Wildcard tour stop. It's a song sung from the perspective of one who is sad that she has a heart that can be broken. That's not the current condition of Lambert's heart, though. She's apparently in a good... »»»
Concert Review: For Brooks and fans, a most unusual change of pace – To say that this was a change of pace for Garth Brooks - not to mention his fans - would be an understatement of the highest degree. Brooks all but begged during the show to be playing next door at Gillette Stadium where the New England Patriots play. But, alas, Brooks exuded joy and excitement at the chance to play before about 500 people at a club,... »»»
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