Hard Working Americans ‘The First Waltz’ (CD & DVD)

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Hard Working Americans
The First Waltz (CD & DVD)
Melvin Records
4.5 out of 5 stars

What Todd Snider sings, does and says in the opening few minutes of The Hard Working Americans’ DVD The First Waltz is one of the most patriotic American sentiments ever uttered, and is an injection straight into the veins of the Hard Working Americans’ music as well as their philosophy.

The DVD opens to a dark picture with a raggety but quiet singing of “The Star Spangled Banner” before Snider proclaims “I put together a good ‘un” and breaks the dark by firing up a joint. Snider then goes on to give a heart-warming, funny and brilliant soliloquy about his dream of America and how people of his kind think “Jerry Garcia is as important as Ben Franklin was,” how his dream of America has been stolen and about his plan to unite his hippie musical comrades to attempt to take it back. I’ll resist the temptation to quote the whole speech, but that is the greatest highlight of the film.

While the accompanying album is obviously the live tracks from Hard Working Americans’ debut show last year at the Boulder Theater the Justin Kreutzman (yes, that Kreutzman) film is a mix of the live show, and a collection of hilarious, insightful, behind-the-scenes look at the band’s formation, the recording of their debut LP, and most importantly the development of the band’s “universal mind,” in regards to music and philosophical ideals.

The members of the Hard Working Americans Snider, Dave Schools, Neal Casal, Duane Trucks, Chad Staehly and Jesse Aycock all have their other gigs, obviously, but that doesn’t mean that this “side-project” is an uninspired way to fill time between tours. This album and documentary serve to show that they all take what they do seriously, manage to have fun doing it, and are inspired and driven to make their art, working their asses off in the most American of ways.

The Hard Working Americans - The First Waltz

4.5/5
90%
Awesome

What Todd Snider sings, does and says in the opening few minutes of The Hard Working Americans’ DVD The First Waltz is one of the most patriotic American sentiments ever uttered, and is an injection straight into the veins of the Hard Working Americans’ music as well as their philosophy.

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