A living testament to the power of slacker insouciance and a well-packed bowl of weed, Todd Snider is hard not to like — mostly because he sings his mind, tunefully and good-naturedly, through the haze of homegrown and hippy sweetness. He was lucky to bypass jam band pandering and came of age in the '90s in Nashville, where he settled down to the rewarding work of songwriting. He's penned minor country rock hits ("Alright Guy"), life-affirming suicide notes ("Sunshine") and epic social commentary ("Ballad of the Kingsmen"). On 2009's The Excitement Plan, he levels his wit on music biz shenanigans, legendary LSD-laced baseball games and doomed wars. Heading into middle age, Snider remains the most prolific and unpretentious of smart-ass songwriters.