Hard Working Americans
About Hard Working Americans
When Todd Snider decided it was time to work with musicians his own age for a change, he ended up forming an all-star group of jam band and alt-country veterans known as Hard Working Americans. In 2012, after Snider had wrapped up touring behind his album Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables, he had a conversation with his friend Chad Staehly, keyboard man with the group Great American Taxi, about his working methods. "One day Chad Staehly pointed out to me that I spend a lot of time with my heroes and avoid my peers," Snider told reporter Jonathan Bernstein. "He was like, 'I always see you with Jerry Jeff (Walker), or John Prine, or Kris Kristofferson. Who do you like that's your age?'" With that in mind for his next project, Snider put together a band of like-minded musicians of similar vintage, including Staehly on keys, guitarist Neal Casal (of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood and Ryan Adams & the Cardinals), bassist Dave Schools (of Widespread Panic), and drummer Duane Trucks (of King Lincoln and Col. Bruce Hampton's School of Music).
The group adopted the name Hard Working Americans, and despite Snider's pedigree as a songwriter, for their debut album they recorded a set of cover tunes about the frustrations of working life. The band made its live debut in December 2013 at a benefit concert in Denver, Colorado. The Hard Working Americans was released in early 2014, followed by a short tour. In October 2014, the band released The First Waltz, a live album from their tour earlier the same year, accompanied by a documentary on the band's formation. May 2016 saw the release of their second studio effort, Rest in Chaos, which found the band focusing on original material rather than covers. A second concert album, We're All in This Together, arrived the following summer. ~ Mark Deming