11 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The "Hard Working Americans" in question here are an all-star team of Americana musicians featuring esteemed songwriter Todd Snider, Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools, Neal Casal (Chris Robinson guitarist and worthy solo artist), Great American Taxi keyboardist Chad Staehly, and King Lincoln drummer Duane Trucks (brother of Derek Trucks). This band of acclaimed veterans scoured lists of their favorite music to come up with songs from Randy Newman, Lucinda Williams, Hayes Carll, Kevn Kinney (of Drivin ’N Cryin’), Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Brian Henneman (The Bottle Rockets), and Chuck Mead (BR5-49). Snider felt the time was right to bring together gifted musicians from the jam band scenes with songwriters who could use the boost and whose songs were perfect for reinterpretation. Thus, The Bottle Rockets’ “Welfare Music,” Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack’s “I Don’t Have a Gun," and Randy Newman’s “Mr. President Have Pity on the Working Man” come alive with blue-collar pride.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The "Hard Working Americans" in question here are an all-star team of Americana musicians featuring esteemed songwriter Todd Snider, Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools, Neal Casal (Chris Robinson guitarist and worthy solo artist), Great American Taxi keyboardist Chad Staehly, and King Lincoln drummer Duane Trucks (brother of Derek Trucks). This band of acclaimed veterans scoured lists of their favorite music to come up with songs from Randy Newman, Lucinda Williams, Hayes Carll, Kevn Kinney (of Drivin ’N Cryin’), Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Brian Henneman (The Bottle Rockets), and Chuck Mead (BR5-49). Snider felt the time was right to bring together gifted musicians from the jam band scenes with songwriters who could use the boost and whose songs were perfect for reinterpretation. Thus, The Bottle Rockets’ “Welfare Music,” Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack’s “I Don’t Have a Gun," and Randy Newman’s “Mr. President Have Pity on the Working Man” come alive with blue-collar pride.

TITLE TIME
4:22
2:55
4:16
3:20
4:48
5:51
3:32
3:18
3:50
4:11
4:47

About Hard Working Americans

When Todd Snider decided it was time to work with musicians his own age for a change, he ended up forming an all-star group of jam band and alt-country veterans known as the Hard Working Americans. In 2012, after Snider had wrapped up touring behind his album Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables, he had a conversation with his friend Chad Staehly, keyboard man with the group Great American Taxi, about his working methods. "One day Chad Staehly pointed out to me that I spend a lot of time with my heroes and avoid my peers," Snider told reporter Jonathan Bernstein. "He was like, 'I always see you with Jerry Jeff (Walker), or John Prine, or Kris Kristofferson. Who do you like that's your age?'" With that in mind for his next project, Snider put together a band of like-minded musicians of similar vintage, including Staehly on keys, guitarist Neal Casal (of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood and Ryan Adams & the Cardinals), bassist Dave Schools (of Widespread Panic), and drummer Duane Trucks (of King Lincoln and Col. Bruce Hampton's School of Music). The new group adopted the name the Hard Working Americans, and despite Snider's pedigree as a songwriter, for their debut album they recorded a set of cover tunes about the frustrations of working life. The band made its live debut in December 2013 at a benefit concert in Denver, Colorado. The Hard Working Americans was released in early 2014, followed by a short tour. In October 2014, the band released The First Waltz, a live album from their tour earlier the same year, accompanied by a documentary on the band's formation. May 2016 saw the release of their second studio effort, Rest in Chaos, which found the band focusing on original material rather than covers. A second concert album, We're All in This Together, arrived the following summer. ~ Mark Deming

  • ORIGIN
    Nashville, TN
  • FORMED
    2013

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