Album Review: Hard Working Americans - Self Titled

Written by Preston Barnes: Live & Listen Contributing Writer

Gritty, no frills, honest rock and roll. That's what you get from Hard Working Americans on their self-titled debut album. Spearheaded by singer, Todd Snider, Hard Working Americans is a collaboration of many talented and familiar faces from other notable acts, such as bassist Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), guitarist Neal Casal (Chris Robinson Brotherhood), Duane Trucks (Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret.) and keyboardist Chad Staehly (Great American Taxi).

Hard Working Americans, produced by Snider and Schools, and mastered by legendary mixologist, John Keane, is a fitting depiction of five musicians from different musical backgrounds, ages, and experiences, getting together to make one hell of a cover album. Yes, every song is a cover, spun and sent through the musical collective of these five minds, and spat out on a canvas of rock and roll glory. From the undulating and rollicking rhythm of the "Mountain Song" (Jeffers/Kane/Locke) to the straight forward rendition of Hayes Carll's "Stomp and Holler," Hard Working Americans provides the listener with a multitude of foot stomping, roots rock numbers. No cover album would be complete without a few tributes to some otherwise well known acts. A rendition of Drivin N Cryin's "Straight to Hell" is sure to spark your interest with Snider's passion-filled vocals. Then as a testament to the range of artists covered on the album, HWA pays homage to one of America's great singer songwriters, Randy Newman, with their version of "Mr. President, Have Pity on the Working Man." And despite its recent formation, Hard Working Americans (italicize) displays how dynamically effective and tight this mix of musicians became in a short time. Songs such as "Down to the Well" (Gordon/Linden), "I Don't Have a Gun" (Kimbrough/Womack), and a personal favorite, "Run a Mile" (Herron/Meade), are a testament to this notion.


After wrapping up their first major U.S. Tour last year, many fans of the group were pleased to hear that filmmaker Justin Kreutzmann documented the making of their debut album as well as footage from their first and sold out show in Boulder, Colorado. The film was dubbed, “The First Waltz”, and aside from the live performances, the personal interviews with each member and behind the scenes footage make this rockumentary a must see for any fan of the music. Most of the members have now resumed their day jobs with their respective groups as they gear up for upcoming summer tours. However, the supergroup will resurface again in August with a slew of shows guaranteed to satisfy your rock and roll appetite. Check out Hard Working Americans Tour Dates for more information on the Hard Working Americans upcoming tour.

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