1) You're big on records. Imagine a kid listening to a Josh Ritter record; the kid thinks, "Man, I really dig this stuff, I wonder what else is out there like this?" And then the kid goes to the record store and finds some Leonard Cohen and Townes. What are some of the records you hope your own albums would lead people to? Some of the connections are obvious ... but what about the others?

willis alan ramsey, billy joe shaver,

country joe mcdonald, jerry jeff walker

jim croce, arlo Guthrie, john prine, kris kristofferson ...

2) You've had quite a long career (I remember learning some of your tunes on the guitar back in college after seeing your gig on Austin City Limits). What kind of perspective do you have as an older, wiser man? To follow that up, if you could go back to the kid making Songs for the Daily Planet, what is the one piece of advice you would give him?

1. wear brighter colors

2. stay low

3. dont put all your weight

on one foot during the show

(that rhymes marge

and you know it rhymes)

4. dont believe that anybody is dead

until you have gnawed on their skulls

with your very own teeth

3) I have this impression of you writing lyrics to songs first, and then coming up with chord progressions to go with the stories ... How does your songwriting go down?

last night, two third world drug abusers,

dressed as hotel employees,

forced there way into my room

ransacked it

did all my drugs

ate my dinner


im telling you,

if security precautions are not beefed up on this front desk

will seek safer accommodations

its a pretty sad day

when this song writer has to travel heavily armed to breakfast


what a breakfast it is

two eggs, bacon, toast, hash browns, juice

have you got two tens for a five?

two fives for a nickel?

can you tell me how to get to arkabutla?

or can you get there from here?

ive often wondered how different my life would have turned out

had my name been loose moose.....

or horse fly

todd feels like a long name to drag up the songwriter hill

at least for my bread

so in the morning before anybody in town is up

i feed the birds, the ones i respect anyway,

make a little coffee

read the paper

and then the magic happens


this morning i sawed a woman in half

it was a bloody mess.....

(that could have horrible implications)

but as we work the kinks out

and hone in on the right assistant

i think were gonna have a nice trick for the show

maybe a show stopper

as for the songwriting

i usually do that at lunch

or some other time

4) What's it like being back on a major label?

ive never once in my life asked burt my manager

how sales were?

what my fee for the night is? what label im on?

im a gypsy and its against my religion to care

about almost anything

for my money i signed with bob

then he took a different gig

and richie took his place

also there is a guy named adam who does a ton for me

i enjoy the company quite a bit

people say this is a business and you gotta be smart about it

and watch your back and have something to fall back on

and understand your contracts and control your destiny

and take the bull by the horns and never let them see you sweat,

and go for it and do it and be it



im just so sick of it

it's destroying my country

it's costing us the war we started

its exploded into pre touchdown endzone dances, pre race victory laps,

and lap dancing crack seminars

we have no problem finding people today

who can say with confidence

"i am the next american idol"

we have championship cancer

and we aint won it or done it

til we won it or done it

on television

empty the warehouse

and refill it

with bigger and better

for a quicker fifteen minutes

of sad fame

and or feigned accomplishment

show me one thing man kind has done?

one thing?



same world we found.....

and were still stumped

its an upsetment to me


my dream is to go to college and major in history

5) You often tackle deep topics; and you are able to get the audience to buy into what you are singing about because of your wry sense of humor. How important do you think it is to have humor in your music? Who are some of the comedians you look up to?

ok ....he said wife is first, then bob dylan, bill hicks, bob and tom, hunter thompson, mick jagger, mitch hedberg and mark twain

the comedians i have met seem to be deeper and darker

and more seriously in tune with a point

than alot of singers are......

i hope someday to use my wifes art and mine..

mixing all the tricks we got

into something nobody knows what to call.


6) Devil You Know has been cited as being a protest album. What are your

thoughts on this?

if i knew how to do it

i think i would protest

the war on terror

the war on drugs

the war on the impoverished

and the war on homosexuality

cuz all of them upset me personally

for reasons that i cant prove

are wise

or dumb


my main theory on singers who protest and or save the wolves or whatever

is that it can be pretty annoying

what i would call a "folk nazi"

and i dont wanna be one of those


i also dont want to be the kinda guy

whose afraid to repeat an opinion i rhymed

just cuz it might offend somebody

and or cost me a buck

i can borrow a buck...


somewhere in the middle there

i try to put something together for a record


i have alot of respect for people

and am very aware that im getting to share my opinions

cuz they rhyme

and not cuz there smart

i dont think that this world has proven

that it has knowledge in it.


mans at the bottom of the food chain

for my dough anyway

and not that i would protest that


im fine with that

but as a member of a species

i dont feel smart enough

to make a protest record

7) What do you think of the new Dylan record? What other current records are you listening to?

holy fuck me running with scissors

wake the kids,

phone the neigbors

katy bar the door

no more calls

we have a winner

shut her down earl

shes pumping mudd




8) You've managed to make a living playing music; does that ever blow you away? It seems like such a use 'em up, spit 'em out industry; yet you've been able to solidify your place as a folk-music legend.

i think this is a kind question

and i appreciate the compliment you snuck into it

some times i think of the world were in together

and wish there was a god for sure

or a heaven for sure

that i could go picket

and or protest

but when i think about the life i personally

have been allowed to enjoy

i am filled with thanks towards the idea of a higher power

by any name

and as much as my biggest hope in life is that there is a place after this

where the circle remains unbroken

and that ill have done whatever it takes

to be part of that circle

if its nothing at all after this

im still thankful to god

so thankful

that i dont even care if he or she or it exists

and as homer simpson always says

as hes about to die

"ive had a good run"

9) How's the reception of the new album on the road? Are people digging on it, or is everyone yelling for "All Right Guy" or "Beer Run?"

people seem to be into it

already know the words

and ive also been lucky that

there hasnt ever been


one song

everyone yells for

its always a bunch of people yelling a bunch of different songs

ive been pretty lucky with the people

who just yell for beer run and alright guy all night too


they never seem to get good seats

so i cant hear them

10. Regarding the last question, a lot of people know your songs, but don't know you. Thoughts?

im a household name at my house