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Album Review: Time as We Know It: The Songs of Jerry Jeff Walker by Todd Snider
Great, Based on 5 Critics
Rolling Stone - 100 Based on rating 5/5
Todd Snider credits his transformation into stoner-folk troubadour to a Jerry Jeff Walker show he saw at 19. This covers LP pays tribute on 14 narrative-heavy tracks, from the jailhouse ballad "Mr. Bojangles" to the beer-soaked "Takin' It as It Comes." Recorded in four days, it's loose and rough – just how Jerry Jeff would want it. Listen to 'Time as We Know It: The Song of Jerry Jeff Walker': Related• Photos: Random Notes .
Jerry Jeff Walker first gained fame as a performer when he relocated to Austin, Texas in the early '70s and fell in with the local singer/songwriters who would find an audience as part of the outlaw country scene. While Walker clearly had no problems with either drinking or hell-raising, like his compatriots Billie Joe Shaver, Guy Clark, and Willie Nelson, he had a much greater poetic sensibility than his reputation would lead many to imagine (particularly after he unwittingly made Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mothers" an anthem). Given Snider's not-undeserved reputation as a hard-partying misfit who wanders from place to place spinning tall tales he's set to music (which are often more literate than his fans seem to acknowledge), it's no wonder he'd feel a kinship with Jerry Jeff Walker, and he pays homage to his fellow gypsy tunesmith on Time as We Know It: The Songs of Jerry Jeff Walker, in which Snider covers 14 songs either written or recorded by Walker.
One night we were sitting there listening and Trogg put on this CD of this guy I’d never heard before. Jerry Jeff Walker. Who some of you might have heard of… If you haven’t ever heard of him the main thing that people know him for is the song “Mr Bojangles” but he’s got a ton of great songs. And, I had never heard that kind of music before.
It’s probably no shock for Todd Snider followers to discover that he was/is heavily influenced by veteran gonzo country singer/songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker. Snider has been carrying on Walker’s scraggly Texas-styled country/Americana tradition since he started, without specifically acknowledging it… until now. He and some musical friends along with co-producer to the stars Don Was, kick back and sling out 14 Walker tracks that range from the iconic (“Mr.
Good news: Todd Snider's released two albums in the span of two months. One collects songs associated with his hero Jerry Jeff Walker. It's lovingly curated, shambolic in all the right places, and celebrates the Texas troubadour's 70th birthday in high style, with an emphasis on the high. The other is Snider's most pointedly political work.