Near Truths and Hotel Rooms

Near Truths and Hotel Rooms

Infobox Album
Name = Near Truths and Hotel Rooms
Type = studio
Artist = Todd Snider


Released = 2003
Recorded =
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"Near Truths and Hotel Rooms" is a 2003 album by Todd Snider, his first live album and third release on John Prine's Oh Boy Records. Snider plays solo acoustic guitar and harmonica on the album, but more significantly reflect the humor of Snider's live performances.

Snider had originally tried to record the album on June 17, 2001 at the KPIG TX Uprising & Swine Soiree in Santa Cruz, California. In actuality, the show was recorded over an eighteen month period.

Snider tells stories about an airplane magazine that inspired "Statistician's Blues", the 6 foot 8 inch, Trog, and a friendly barmaid who led to the creation of "The Devil's Backbone Tavern", a stabbing at a local Circle K, and an Australian fan who grew distrungtled with the violent lyrics to "Broke".

The album also marks the appearance of Snider's trademark opening remark, "If you've never heard me play before, my name's Todd Snider. I've been traveling around for -- years, making this shit up and singing it to anybody that will listen, some of its sad, some of its funny, some of its short, some of its longer than others, and sometimes I'll go on for as many as eighteen minutes between the song". Eighteenminutes.com, an archive of Todd's performance dates and miscellaneous Snider information, took its name from this speech.

The first half of the album features "Tension", which over the years has opened many of Snider's shows, "D.B. Cooper", which is about the famous plane hijacker and Snider's fellow Oregon native, and "Lonely Girl", which Snider had originally conceived as a way to say hello to Melita Osheowitz Snider, whom Snider met in a hospital. Also featured are "Beer Run", arguably Snider's most famous song, "Statistician's Blues", which Snider co-wrote with Kent Finlay, "Waco Moon", a song that expresses Snider's anger over Eddy Shaver's suicide on December 31 2000, and "Can't Complain", which features a finger-picking melody and lyrics pay homage to early John Prine songs.

The last part of "Near Truths and Hotel Rooms" includes "The Ballad of the Devil's Backbone Tavern", which features the story of how Snider became a performing musician, "Easy Money", a tale loosely based on Snider's father, and "Talking Seattle Grunge Blues", which had previously been a ghost track on Snider's debut "Songs for the Daily Planet". The album concludes with "Long Year", about a recovering alcoholic, "Side Show Blues", reminisicient of Bob Dylan's "Subterannean Homesick Blues", "I Spoke As A Child", "Doublewide Blues", and "Broke", which Todd Snider originally wrote on an electric piano given to him by his now deceased manager, Skip Litz. A bonus alternate version of "Beer Run", which Snider had originally recorded on the "Bob and Tom Show", is also included on the album.


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