Owing to his relentless touring schedule and reasonable ticket prices, Todd Snider can be seen by virtually anyone who wants to see him. 

For those who have not – or for those who want to relive the experience – there’s Live: Return of the Storyteller. A sort of sequel to 2011’s Live: The Storyteller, which featured a full band, Return finds Snider, solo and acoustic, back on the post-lockdown concert trail and putting the experience through listeners’ speakers. 

He almost did it on 2019’s Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3. But that was a studio record and a good audience is essential to a Todd Snider show. With the magic of editing, the audience is fully engaged throughout; there’s no ebb, only flow. 

Accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, harmonica and jokes, Snider is an all-around entertainer and this album puts the listener in a choice seat right in his or her listening room. 

Bookended with “Big Finish” and “Opening Statement” – with the latter coming first – Return of the Storyteller culls 27 stories and songs that span 1994’s Songs for the Daily Planet (“Alright Guy”) through 2021’s First Agnostic Church of Hope and Wonder (“Sail On, My Friend”). The stories, too, cover Snider’s life as a troubadour as he talks – riffs, actually – about taking acid with Hard Working Americans, witnessing Col. Bruce Hampton’s storybook death, walking off stage two songs in when a fan kept yelling for “Freebird” and lying about how well he knew John Prine. 

You might not have been there. But after experiencing Return of the Storyteller, you’ll believe you were.