Todd Snider

Live: Near Truths and Hotel Rooms

If you’ve ever witnessed one of this singer-songwriter’s shows, chances are good that this more-than-75-minute live collection will bring you back to that hilarious night. Snider’s inherent ability to wield beautiful songs amid a flurry of jokes and stories works alarmingly well. As evidenced on the album’s opener, “Tension,” Snider has grown leaps and bounds since his early career on MCA. Now a few albums deep with John Prine’s boutique label, Oh Boy, the obligatory live album was bound to surface. Unlike most live efforts, this mobile recording displays Snider’s warmth and sensitivity as well as his humorous, nonsensical side. One listen to “Easy Money” or “Talking Seattle Grunge Rock Blues” should make fans of both John Gorka and Darryl Purpose gleam with delight. Funny stuff.