It’s a rough quote for Todd Snider fans to digest, from a Kansas City Star interview:
“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I think I may not do any more Todd Snider. I might start over. I won’t pretend my name didn’t used to be Todd Snider, but I do want to put an end to that body of work. I feel it stands by itself. I want to put a period at the end of all those songs…
The songs I make up now don’t make very much sense. I work them really hard but, it’s hard to describe. They’re from a different place. I just don’t think I feel like I can make up any more songs like the songs I used to make up.”
He adds that he’s really loved playing with his new band, “Hard Working Americans”, which has taught him a lot about songwriting and also about not holding the spotlight.
I can’t blame Snider for wanting to hang it up. On the one hand, the one time I saw him live (Alexandria’s Birchmere, September 2012, and he was the best storyteller I’ve seen this side of Arlo Guthrie), he gave a more full-throated defense of not getting tired of the stuff you wrote than I’d ever heard. On the other hand, if his music reflects his life, then the philosophy he borrowed from Aaron Allen of always living life such that you can pack up everything you own and move in less than 15 minutes just isn’t sustainable. There’s more to the life God gave us than that – sometimes, you’ve got to put down roots to bloom, or you just keep watering yourself with the bottle. And while that produces great music, we really shouldn’t wish that empty pain on anyone, least of all the people who entertain us.
So if Snider’s ready to move on, whether it’s for more work with “Hard Working Americans” or a completely new solo chapter, I say, I can’t wait to see what’s next.
And the equally delightful Part Two of that story, advice comin’ back round years later: