Todd Snider, 'The Excitement Plan' (Yep Roc)

Critical Mass
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by David Menconi

Todd Snider was born in Oregon, but he's a spiritual Texan -- a hardheaded, sharp-penned Americana songwriter whose character-actor croon fits somewhere between Lyle Lovett and Jerry Jeff Walker. But like Robert Earl Keen, he has a way with a punch line and the frat-boy fans to prove it -- they're gonna love "America's Favorite Pastime," which recounts the 1970 no-hitter Dock Ellis pitched on LSD. The rest of us will admire "Bring 'Em Home," a spirited call to get our troops the hell out of harm's way. Listen to the man.

Watch: Todd Snider, "Slim Chance" (Live)

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