The Hard Working Americans aren’t really all that hard working at all it seems. It is hard to picture Todd Snider, the self proclaimed “Peace lovin’, pot smokin’ lazy-ass hippie” as a hard working guy. He leads the charge in this supergroup project along with many other notable musicians from such bands as Widespread Panic. This isn’t to say that this project is misnamed however; the group covers songs that show they are, in-fact, in touch with hard working Americans.
With song titles like “Blackland Farmer” “Mr. President Have Pity on the Working Man” and “Welfare Music” it is easy to see how the name fits the bill. Some songs really hit the mark and make for interesting listens, something that is always unpredictable with covers. Hayes Carll’s “Stomp and Holler” serves as a highlight as the band lets loose on it. Snider even nails his friend Will Kimbrough’s “Another Train” with a very loose and fun reading. Some slower, burning songs are also included like Tommy Womack’s “I Don’t Have A Gun” that show not everything about the Hard Working Americans is a loose jam.
The project remains interesting and is a much better collection of covers than Todd Snider’s tribute to Jerry Jeff Walker a couple years ago. That album found Snider trying to have fun, this album seems to actually capture a group of friends having fun. Hard Working Americans likely won’t become your favorite album or stay in your CD player for months at a time but it is still an enjoyable listen.
Key Tracks: “Stomp and Holler” “Welfare Music” “Another Train”