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  • Near Truths And Hotel Rooms
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Near Truths And Hotel Rooms Live

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Audio CD, Live, May 13, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Todd Snider really knows how to work a room. As a storytelling troubadour for the slacker set, he takes inspiration from the likes of Jerry Jeff Walker (as he explains in one of this solo concert album's deadpan introductions) and Robert Earl Keen and applies it to a selection of shaggy-dog stories, talking blues, and slices-of-life gone askew. One of his earliest signature tunes, "Talking Seattle Grunge Rock Blues," has now outlived grunge by too long, but the more recent "Waco Moon," inspired by the death of guitartist Eddy Shaver, shows that Snider's songwriting is good for a whole lot more than laughs. Some of his most engaging songs such as "Beer Run" seem to have practically written themselves, while others such as "Tension" and "Statistician's Blues" sound like songs that were just waiting to be written. It's an integral part of Snider's engaging appeal that he makes it all seem so effortless. As with Keen, the challenge for Snider is balancing the easy laughs with his more serious progression as a songwriter. --Don McLeese

1. Tension
2. D.B. Cooper
3. Lonely Girl
4. Beer Run
5. Statistician's Blues
6. Waco Moon
7. I Can't Complain
8. The Ballad Of The Devil's Backbone Tavern
9. Easy Money
10. Talking Seattle Grunge Rock Blues
11. Long Year
12. Side Show Blues
13. I Spoke As A Child
14. Doublewide Blues
15. Broke
16. Beer Run (Bob and Tom version)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 13, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Oh Boy Records
  • ASIN: B0000950X6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,417 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on June 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Todd Snider has finally recorded an album that maximizes on his strengths: namely his clever wordplay and sharp-witted sense of humor. Snider is one of the best singer-songwriters working today, but his studio albums have always cut him a bit short. With "Near Truths & Hotel Rooms" it becomes obvious that Snider is much more comfortable in the spontaneous environment of the live stage than he is in the polished, overproduced world of studio recordings.
It must also be said that Snider is very generous with his fans, putting out a disc that is paked full at 23 tracks and 75 minutes of music. As it turns out a longer recording was necessary as Snider gives spoken word introductions to many of the songs. Snider classics like "Lonely Girl," "I Can't Complain" sound better in the accoustic format, while tunes like "Ballad of the Devil's Backbone Tavern," and "Broke," become epics with their introductions. For those who are not that familiar with Snider's music, I would liken this album to a combination of John Prine and Arlo Guthrie on thier best days.
Overall, an outstanding live album in a style that suits the artist very well.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By JBM on November 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I agree with everything all the other 5-star reviewers here have said but I have to admit to being late to the Todd Snider party.
I first heard Todd play live a couple of years ago opening for Suzanne Vega. He seemed like a little bit of an odd fit but I liked him though since it was in Seattle and he did a song about Seattle music scene that was really funny, I just assumed he was some local guy. I think I may also have seen him open once before that for John Prine.
So why did it take me until now to get around to discovering his greatness through this record? Well, I think he's taken awhile to reach his peak as a writer and also he makes you laugh so easy and makes it look so easy to do what he is doing on stage that I might have easily assumed he's coasting a bit and not see how good he is. Play this album a few times and you will quickly realize that's just flat out misperception. Todd's a fully rounded songwriter and performer who can make you laugh one song and put a lump in your throat with the next one. For example, if you tend to have just heard him as a 'funny storytelling guy' check out "Lonely Girl", "Waco Moon", "I Spoke As A Child" or especially "Long Year" here. They are just fine well crafted tender songs that show he's as capable of observing about heart ache and the depths of the human condition in his songs as he is at making clever light verse. Oh, and not to discount the funny songs either. They are right up there with anybody's best when it comes to humorous songs. You will find that you can laugh just as much at Todd's lyrics and delivery of them in "Tension", "Beer Run", "Statistician's Blues", "Talking Seattle Grunge Rock Blues" and "The Ballad of the Devil's Backbone Tavern" after multiple repeat listenings as you might have the first time they caught your ear.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By William E. Adams on January 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Back in 1994, Snider issued a CD called "Songs for the Daily Planet" which had a half-dozen astounding compositions on it, and announced the arrival of a huge new talent. While in the past ten years, Todd has not had that elusive chart-topper, he has released five additional studio CD's on two labels, each of which has merit. This 2003 live disc presents some of his best songs, done in his best setting, meaning in front of folks. He has some humorous introductions, a few cuss words, but mainly he presents these songs in versions as good as, or better than, they are rendered on the studio discs. His guitar-playing is also wonderful. Here he does a few raucous tunes, but also some of his prettier ballads. It is a great way to introduce a friend to Snider, if you don't own the "Daily Planet" album. And I own all his CD's, yet I am delighted that my son gave me this one for Christmas last week. I'm the Todd fan in the family, although I'm 60 and my boy is 26. He and I saw Todd live in Lubbock, Texas, three years ago. I can vouch that Snider is even better now. If you dig him, you really dig him, and you keep waiting for the world to embrace a song of his and make him some real money. Mainstream country star Gary Allen did put Todd's "I'm an Allright Guy" on a recent CD, and that's a step in the right direction. Todd is a blend of folk, rock, country and blues which is hard to describe. Just listen to samples from his various albums and make up your own mind.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Todd Snider is one of the few (if any) musicians who can engage an audience for two hours with nothing but his guitar, harmonica, stories and songs.
It is a treat to finally have a souvenir of those great live shows that he travels around the country giving under the radar of the mass appeal which he so richly deserves. I have seen Todd play in front of 20 people the same way he plays to 500.
He could throw out the guitar and be entertaining just telling the stories. He is an original, and a great songwriter to boot.
The great banter between songs also recalls Jimmy Buffett's earlier shows.
Go see Todd Snider in concert at the small venues he plays before the rest of the world catches on. And buy the cd and listen to it closely - you will experience a full range of emotions, from the narrative of an AA meeting (Long Year) to the humor of Beer Run...
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