Release Date: May 13, 2016
Record label: Melvin
When you name your band Hard Working Americans, you’re making a bold statement that your product is aimed for a particular kind of audience. Once upon a time, that audience would have been prominently made up of the working class, the kids who took shop and planned on factory jobs. The folks who played Creedence and Springsteen songs on repeat in their car stereos and who would listen to any new songs with a sense of suspicion, weighing whether they kicked enough ass to get added into the rotation.
In 2013, singer and songwriter Todd Snider formed Hard Working Americans, a roots rock/jam band supergroup featuring musicians who'd previously worked with Widespread Panic, Col. Bruce Hampton, Ryan Adams, Chris Robinson, Great American Taxi, and others. For their first album, Hard Working Americans recorded a batch of songs about work from other artists, but Rest in Chaos is their first full-length set of original material.
A few years ago, country-folk road-warrior Todd Snider abandoned his acoustic guitar and formed a new supergroup – Hard Working Americans – with veteran instrumentalists from the jam-band scene. Their 2014 debut was a surprisingly pointed post-Occupy covers collection centered around working class consciousness. The follow-up Rest in Chaos, with its dozen original songs, is the band’s first declarative statement of its own.
These Hard Working Americans don’t play the anthemic, blue-collar style the name might imply; instead, they cultivate a likably twisted strain of cosmic-hippie, gonzo-outlaw music,anchored in rock but with various biting Americana flavors. The sextet features colorful singer Todd Snider and two Widespread Panic members, bassist Dave Schools and drummer Duane Trucks. After an all-covers debut, this second album is a major step forward.