Hard Working Americans: The First Waltz

Stars and stripes and spliffs.

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The name of the band put together by Widespread Panic’s Todd Snider and featuring members of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood and Great American Taxi is not intended ironically. They may be a bunch of stoned Jerry Garcia-loving hippies, but on the documentary/live DVD accompanying this album, Snider gets right in there with the good ol’ boy, God bless America patriotism.

Admittedly, he’s waving the flag through a weed-scented fog and a drop-out-but-work-hard-in-a-band philosophy, but the fuck yeahness of America is something he’s sure of.

As for the music itself, it’s very much of the jam band tradition, Snider’s smoke-gruff vocals twanging with a country-tough attitude while the band peel out by-the-book blues licks behind him.

Their tales of hard-working men and drugged-out days have no alarms and no surprises, just old-fashioned American country rock’n’roll, but you suspect that’s exactly how their audience want it./o:p