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Visions of an icon: Dreams about Johnny Cash inspired Todd Snider’s latest album

Songwriter Todd Snider is touring in support if his album “Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3.” (Courtesy of Stacie Huckeba)

Todd Snider is on a mission to have fun.

After some lows, the singer-songwriter is back in form with his latest album, “Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3.”

“I’m having a lot of fun,” he says in a recent phone interview. “I’ve been enjoying the last few years since my divorce. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and this album pushed me. I also got to play a lot of the new songs on Johnny Cash’s guitar. That’s been the fun part of it.”

Snider is known for his blend of Americana, alt-country and folk.

He made his debut with 1994’s “Songs for the Daily Planet.” He has released 18 albums since then/ “Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3” was released this year.

Snider will bring his tour to the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Friday, Nov. 1. He will be joined on tour by Dean Alexander, who is making his New Mexico debut.

After having many lucid dreams about the late country music icon Johnny Cash, Snider decided to record the album.

The 12-track project, recorded at the historic Cash Cabin Studio, features background vocals by Jason Isbell and Snider playing every instrument on the record.

With the new album, Snider was looking for a change.

His previous albums were full of hymns and rock songs.

“I was tired of those,” he says. “I love this job, and the worst days of this job are the problems I prayed for. I took a break and started making up songs. This was the break I needed.”

Snider mentions he had been listening to Woody Guthrie’s Library of Congress recordings, then crossed the room to the turntable and put the needle down on a record.

“Woody Guthrie sometimes gets me reset on why you do a song, instead of how,” Snider says of the man who has long been a touchstone for him. “When I was young, there was something about him that made me want to do it. So once or twice a year, I’ll go back to him, I’ll go back to the source.”

Snider continues to write songs while he’s on tour.

He has five new ones, and some are making a way into the set list.

“The older I get, the less I am concerned about what others think,” the 53-year-old musician says. “It all feels natural for me. Writing songs is what I’m addicted to. It doesn’t cost me any money, and I won’t get in trouble. At some point, I will have 150 new songs. I’m hoping to shut up at some point.”

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