Falling somewhere between country and rock, singer-songwriter Todd Snider is an Americana mix-breed. The Oregon native lives in Nashville (not the shiny Music Row section, but the scruffier East Nashville side) after stays in Atlanta, Memphis, Houston, and Austin (his wry, shaggy-dog story-songs retain a Texas-troubadour sound). Snider’s lived-in version of Robert Earl Keen’s “Corpus Christi Bay,” from his latest album, The Excitement Plan, sounds like a Snider original. The Don Was-produced CD makes an excellent entry point to Snider, showcasing his mischievous wit and dark-hued self-deprecation. He ambles through an amusing gallery of characters like real-life ballplayer Doc Ellis (who pitched a no-hitter on LSD in the ’70s) and a shady Portland figure named Slick Willie. He also slips in some political messages (the anti-war “Bring ’Em Home”) and some autobiographical material (“The Last Laugh,” “Money, Compliments, Publicity”). There’s also “Don’t Tempt Me,” Snider’s terrifically fun collaboration with the legendary Loretta Lynn. Expect Snider to thoroughly entertain you with his trunk full of barstool philosophizing, lovable laments, and colorful character studies. Todd Snider with Paleface plays the Beachland Ballroom at 7 p.m. Tickets: $20 advance, $22 day of show. —Michael Berick
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