Todd Snider is 'clown prince' of East Nashville

The volatile and impulsive acts of a young man have mellowed (a little), and Snider is a bit more mature and comfortable in his current home in East Nashville, an area that has become an enclave for many performers.

Snider, whose new Don Was-produced album is called "The Excitement Plan," took some time to chat while on the road to Colorado's Telluride Festival.

Q: How is life in East Nashville, and how do you get along with the industry folks on the other side of the river?

A: I love it. I'm the "clown prince of the neighborhood." Our lack of ambition ties us together, as we like to work on our art but don't worry about what happens to it later. I have no problem with Music Row. They have always been really nice to me. I never really got involved in the business aspect of music. I have an accountant, and I don't even see my own bills. As long as we can afford to go fishing when we want, I never care about it.

Q: How did you get the opportunity to write and record with Loretta Lynn, who co-wrote and sings on "Don't Tempt Me"?

A: I know her daughters pretty well, and they expose her to lots of different types of music. They told me she thought I was cute and liked my songs. Loretta was planning a new record with John Carter Cash and she had a "wish list" of songwriters she wanted to work with and I was on it. We wrote three songs together, and two are for her album. She's so down to earth and tells a lot of jokes.

Q: There is a big size difference between the crowd at Bonnaroo and the crowd at Eddie's Attic. How are your performances affected by the size of the audience?

A: Well, the cheering is a lot louder at the big shows. It's always fun to play, even for one person. Personally the only difference I see in myself is the way I talk. At club shows I usually talk in a normal voice, but at the big gigs I sound more like Dan Aykroyd doing his "announcer" voice. Most fans know I like to talk about my songs, but some nights I talk to the audience, and some nights the audience talks to me. I don't like it too much if someone is just trying to get attention.

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