Logjam Presents

Todd Snider

The American Troubadour Tour with Nicki Bluhm

The ELM

Bozeman, MT
Add to Calendar 10/02/2022 20:00 10/03/2022 01:00 America/Boise Todd Snider

Logjam Presents is pleased to welcome Todd Snider for a live in concert performance at The ELM on Sunday, October 2, 2022. Tickets go on sale Friday, June 10, 2022 at 11:00am  online or by phone at 1 (800) 514-3849. Reserved balcony loge seating, reserved premium balcony seating, reserved balcony wing seating, and general admission… Continue Reading

Logjam Presents - Missoula, Montana false MM/DD/YYYY
7:00PM (door) 8:00PM (show)
$32-$42 (Adv.) + applicable fees
All Ages
Tickets Groove Presale

Logjam Presents is pleased to welcome Todd Snider for a live in concert performance at The ELM on Sunday, October 2, 2022.

Tickets go on sale Friday, June 10, 2022 at 11:00am  online or by phone at 1 (800) 514-3849. Reserved balcony loge seating, reserved premium balcony seating, reserved balcony wing seating, and general admission seated tickets are available. All ages are welcome.

Additional ticketing and venue information can be found here.

About Todd Snider

Troubadour, meaning an itinerant singer of songs, is a word that dates back centuries, and comes from the French verb “trouver,” which is to find. These musical wanderers would find and invent stories humorous and intellectual, romantic and earthy, performing them as they went from town to town. Troubadour is also the word that acclaimed musician-raconteur Todd Snider leans on to describe himself and his latest release, Live: Return of the Storyteller.

“I think my first thought with this record was I wanted to remind people really quickly that I’m a troubadour,” says Snider. “Playing live is the only chance for me to show, ‘This is what I really do.’ I’ve never thought of myself as a recording artist. I’m someone who gets over by traveling around, telling stories, making up new songs and singing them alone on stage.”

Before he even made his professional debut with Songs For The Daily Planet in 1994, Snider already knew that he wanted to be part of this time-honored tradition. “I like the romantic notion of drifting around and laughing your way through life,” he says. “Like Jim Croce or Mark Twain. I felt like I was half-doing that anyway. When I was 19, I was a real drifter and a sofa circuit person. Then when I first saw Jerry Jeff Walker and John Prine play, I became obsessed. I followed them both around like The Grateful Dead. I saw that the difference between a free spirit and a freeloader was three chords.

“And as soon as I figured that out, I knew that it would help me as a person who didn’t have a plan. Just to be a busker. I didn’t want to sign up for normal life. I wanted to do another thing, and then it turned into a real gig. I was really surprised. It’s still funny to be getting away with it.”

That speaks to Snider’s modesty about his singular talent and deep catalog of songs of every emotional stripe. Rolling Stone has called him “America’s sharpest musical storyteller” while the New York Times described him as “a wryly quotable phrasemaker and worthy antagonist.” Live: Return of the Storyteller – his third live album and nineteenth overall – plays like a masterclass by one man with a guitar and a freewheeling imagination. Threading his husky-voiced phrasing through a likable cosmic cowboy manner, he invites you on a tour of tunes humorous (“Big Finish,” and the have-meets- have-not “In Between Jobs”),  Proustian (“Play a Train Song,” “Too Soon To Tell,” and the lump-in-the-throat snapshot of John Prine on “Handsome John”) and heart-worn (“Like a Force of Nature,” “The Very Last Time,” “Roman Candles”). As the fifteen-song set unfolds, you can feel a tangible bond building between Snider and his fans.

But the songs are only half of what makes the connection so compelling.

Acting as palate cleansers and putty, the stories between numbers offer colorful glimpses into Snider’s interior life. Whether he’s talking about being mistaken for a homeless guy in a nice hotel, searching for a song in the woods while tripping or the poetry of one of his heroes dying on stage, his spoken interludes are delivered with both meandering charm and deadly comic timing.

Snider credits an unlikely source of inspiration for both. “The comedian Richard Lewis is a friend and a mentor, and we talk almost every day,” Snider says. “We met about six or seven years ago through a drummer who’s a mutual friend, and really hit it off. I feel like since I’ve known him, my storytelling has evolved. I don’t know that I’ve gotten better, but a lot of the ways I approach my shows is from learning things from Richard. Especially this idea of being able to go on and on without just going on and on. To ramble without getting boring.”

Snider is also mindful about not repeating himself when he’s returning to a familiar venue, which can add a tightrope quality to his performances. “On this record, when I left Nashville, I didn’t know what I was going to say,” he admits. “I just knew that it couldn’t be the same shit that I’ve said.  I was going to have to have some new stories to tell. That’s how it’s been for years. Then one night, I’ll get up there and open my mouth and something new comes out. And then I’ll just kept telling it and refining it. It happens under pressure.”

The timing of Live: Return of the Storyteller’s release has extra resonance in our post-pandemic era. Snider says, “I’m glad I recorded the tour last year, because that was the sound of the country getting to see live music again. It was unique and it won’t happen again. Everyone just hugs at the start of a concert – you can tell that they’re glad to see each other, and then they get more excited than they used to be about just being out and seeing music. I’m sure that it will go back to normal, but it hasn’t yet.”

While the album captures what Snider laughingly calls his “second tour – because I went out on the road in ’94 and never went home until the pandemic” – it acts as both a summing up of a thirty-year career and a look ahead.

“I always think that being a recording artist isn’t something that I’ve thrived at,” he says. “I have fun with it and try all different kinds of music and try to learn more and more, but the only reason I get to do it is because of the main thing I do – which is travel around by myself and sing and tell stories. That thing works. Since I was twenty, that thing has worked. People come to see me do it and I love to do it.”

The American Troubadour Tour with Nicki Bluhm

The American Troubadour Tour with Nicki Bluhm Image

ABOUT NICKI BLUHM

A San Franciscan now calling Tennessee home, Nicki Bluhm possesses a modern, clear-eyed perspective that grabs the heart and keeps you holding on to every word.

Bluhm’s music career began in the Cow Hollow area of San Francisco, where she recorded two solo albums and co-founded Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers. The band wrote and performed their own music and recorded covers nostalgic to their childhoods, including the Hall and Oates classic “I Can’t Go For That.” After gaining widespread attention for their “Van Sessions” on YouTube, they toured internationally and recorded two albums as a band.

The band’s meteoric ascent into the public eye had its obvious blessings, but it came with challenges as well, particularly for Bluhm’s creative process. Says Bluhm, “It’s been confusing learning how to move away from defining success in an algorithmic way; how many clicks and likes and views you can get. These past few years have been a process of trying to articulate my authentic voice, which has taken a lot of self-reflection, vulnerability, and to be honest, therapy.” In 2017 Bluhm made the decision to leave California to forge a career as a solo artist in Nashville. Her ensuing solo album, To Rise You Gotta Fall (2018), plumbed the depths of hard goodbyes and hopeful beginnings. Produced by Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell, Margo Price, Calexico) and recorded in the legendary Sam Phillips Recording Services in Memphis, the album exhibited a natural blending of Tennessee sound and Bluhm’s West Coast roots, which she jokes as being her ‘CaliMemphis’ sound.

In 2020, Bluhm embarked on creating her new album with Los Angeles producer Jesse Noah Wilson. Releasing in June of 2022, Avondale Drive is a masterful exploration of what it means to be fully yourself, rather than a vessel for the expectations of others. “This album is a lot about building trust back in myself. Finding my own inner compass and aligning it to my authentic self,” she says. “When you go through a lot of trauma, divorce, estrangement… you learn that you don’t have to repeat the patterns of the past or continue to identify with the old story.”

Recorded in Bluhm’s home in East Nashville, and featuring the talents of luminaries like Oliver Wood, James Pennebaker, Jay Bellerose, Jen Condos, Erik Slick, Erin Rae, Karl Denson, A.J. Croce and more, Avondale Drive combines nostalgic country- rock with distinctly modern, sharp lyricism—an apt contrast for the process of studying one’s past in order to make a better future. Opening the album is “Learn to Love Myself,” about the self-reflection that comes when you don’t have a person around to distract you from your own flaws. “A friend and I joked about how when you revert to living alone you realize that a lot of your frustrations weren’t really about the other person, they were merely projections of our own insecurities.” The song’s 60s country-pop naiveté is perfectly tongue-in-cheek as Bluhm sings: “I guess I’ve perfected the art of placing the blame / it’s just so easy cursing your name.” A rousing chorus of “If I don’t have you / I guess I’ll have to learn to love myself” has all the perfect happy-sad contradiction of Leslie Gore insisting on crying at her own party.

Bluhm’s deft self-awareness is all the more apparent in “Love to Spare” which Bluhm co-wrote with songwriter A.J. Croce. “We came up with the line ‘I’ve got love to share but none to spare’ out of the sheer confusion of middle-aged dating and the idea that it’s OK to share love without giving it away.” The song’s easygoing manner and the friendly back-and-forth between Bluhm and Croce convey the comfort and sometimes humor in knowing your personal boundaries.

The heat is kicked up a notch for “Feel,” a juxtaposition of sentiments and time signatures. When Bluhm developed the song with producer Jesse Noah Wilson, Wilson said: “it was like two different songs…I thought they sounded cool as two totally different things working together.” That tension between the blues and funk, between frustration and knowing that ‘this too shall pass,’ is followed by the satisfying exhale of “Sweet Surrender” which aptly defines a crucial lesson in the human experience – ‘It takes a lifetime to learn who we are and you gotta earn every scar.”

“Writing songs is often a way for me to talk myself down when my ruminating mind won’t stop,” Bluhm says, “I have to remind myself that it’s important to sit with hard feelings, to know what I’m in control of and more importantly of what I’m not. To learn how to be comfortable within the discomfort. The songs I tend to write are typically what become the mantras I need to hear most.” Eric Slick plays the drums on this track, and the Wurlitzer piano adds to the song’s sepia-toned, lean-back- and-let-go sensibility.

Bluhm’s folk influences shine in “Juniper Woodsmoke,” where she looks back at her 10-year marriage to musician Tim Bluhm. The song begins as a 6/8 ballad as Bluhm recalls good memories. “Who says it’s a failure?” she sings, shifting into a sentimental waltz signature. A gorgeous fiddle solo played by James Pennebaker evokes a heartfelt goodbye. “Though we may never ever settle the score,” Bluhm sings, “It don’t matter / ‘Cause it won’t be what it was before.”

The second half of the album shifts more to the present day, bringing in texture and fresh energy. “Friends (How To Do It),” a duet with Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers), is an amusing shake of the head at the follies of dating in the modern world, while “Mother’s Daughter” is a rallying cry for survivors of harassment and sexual assault. “How long till you believe her?” Bluhm wonders. “She is a woman / She is her mother’s daughter / only getting stronger.” “Fool’s Gold” is a stylistic nod to the theatrical sonic landscape of Ennio Morricone as it laments the many false promises and ulterior motives women navigate through in the male-dominated recording industry.

The final two tracks of Avondale Drive are reminiscent of the beginnings and endings in Bluhm’s previous album, but there is a distinctly new, mature perspective. “Leaving Me (Is the Loving Thing to Do)” is a heart-wrenching ballad about the moment of realization that a relationship is over. “Speaking the truth and hearing the truth isn’t easy, but it’s better than prolonging the inevitable,” Bluhm says. “At the end of a relationship, sometimes the truth is the only scrap of kindness we have left to offer.” Finally, Bluhm looks ahead with high hopes in “Wheels Rolling,” a windows-down, hit-the-gas banger. “This song really goes back to the overarching theme of trusting yourself, trusting the universe and trusting it’ll all work out as it should. Calling off the war with what IS.”

Following appearances and collaborations with artists such as Phil Lesh, Dawes, The Band of Heathens, Little Feat, and The Infamous Stringdusters, Bluhm’s creative confidence is well won, and her authentic voice and songwriting is all the more apparent on Avondale Drive.