For artists with a loyal following and a wealth of much-loved material—but few, if any, "hits" in the traditional sense of the word—a live album is the perfect device to take stock of a

For artists with a loyal following and a wealth of much-loved material—but few, if any, "hits" in the traditional sense of the word—a live album is the perfect device to take stock of a career to date. Snider's live set is a fitting representation of a gifted songwriter, humorist, and shameless romantic. Like his labelmate John Prine, Snider has a knack for clever wordplay and a unique world view, whether it's the antihero salute "D.B. Cooper," the call-to-action "Beer Run," or the hilarious "Statistician's Blues." Snider's quavering vocals give substance to the touching Eddy Shaver tribute "Waco Moon" and the gentle "Lonely Girl." His rapport with his audience makes long-winded intros not only tolerable but often supremely entertaining, as is the case with "The Ballad of the Devil's Backbone Tavern." Inherent in much of Snider's writing is a sadness, including such poignant songs as "Long Year" and "I Spoke as a Child," as well as less serious tracks like "Doublewide Blues" and "Tension." Like a slacker troubadour, Snider is talented to the extreme and lovable to a fault. He has what it takes for a long and productive career.—RW

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