ACL Music Fest Friday Interviews

The onetime Texan humorist finally gets his due

By Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Oct. 2, 2009

ACL Music Fest Friday Interviews

Todd Snider

3:30pm, Austin Ventures stage

Todd Snider's been slugging it out in the singer-songwriter ghetto for nearly 20 years, but he's finally garnering the recognition he's long deserved. Even The New York Times weighed in on his new Don Was-produced album, The Excitement Plan (Yep Roc), which features "Don't Tempt Me," a duet co-written and performed with country music royalty Loretta Lynn.

"Loretta's daughter is married to someone who's been a friend of mine for a long time," the onetime Central Texan explains from his Nashville home. "He introduced my music into their house maybe six or seven years ago. This year he said she was getting ready to make a record. He called me and said, 'They asked who she wanted to co-write with and she said your name.'

"We wrote that song, and then about a month later, I went out to her house and we wrote two more. One is going to be on her new album, 'She's Got Everything It Takes to Take Everything You've Got.' She sings it with Elvis Costello."

Like his heroes John Prine and Kris Kristofferson, Snider doesn't preach. He shares stories that leave listeners to decide for themselves.

"There was a time when I wanted to have a message and say important things, but I never did," Snider cracks. "I don't believe anything. There's shit I know and stuff that I don't know. I'm certain that music is not going to change the world, but that doesn't stop me from singing out about the way I hope the world could be. That's fun to do on a Saturday night."

write a letter