Album: Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3
. . .
The reason Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3 is called what it’s called is because it was the third recording session that Snider had done at the late Johnny Cash’s studio. The first two were with his band, Hard Working Americans, and by all accounts — by which I mean the extensive liner notes for the album (which I’m reading right now on Discogs — they both went well enough to have released a third Hard Working Americans album, but Snider wasn’t feeling the band thing at the time, so in a Neil Young / Bruce Springsteen move, he re-recorded a few of the songs as acoustic songs.
One of those songs was the gorgeous “Just Like Overnight,” which is about how everything changes, somehow, opening with a scene from his — and my, for that matter — youth.
Chain smoking cigarettes on the airplane
You were waiting right there at my gate
We had to pull off the highway just to find a payphone
When that line was busy though, you know we just a-had to wait
Of course, none of that stuff happens now, but on the lovely chorus, Snider wonders how it happened.
Seems like day after day
Goes by like nothing is ever gon’ change
But just like overnight
It’s like it ain’t never gon’ be same
Hitting what you’re aiming for
Forgetting what you missed
All we seem to know for sure now
Is how we can’t go on like this
Day after day
It’s just like overnight
Day after day
It’s just like overnight
For the most part, “Just Like Overnight” is Snider, his acoustic guitar, and a harmonica. Because you gotta have a harmonica on a song like this. It’s the law. However, in what might be a nod to the original band arrangement, there is a phalanx of overdubbed Sniders singing harmonies on “It’s just like overnight,” and it is as striking as it is lovely. A reminder that while he chose to do this song acoustically, he could also choose to add strategic overdubs.
We’ve been killing our time here now forever
Since way back before all this so-called reality
Hell, I remember when you used to have to walk all the way over
Just to turn the channel on that goddamn TV
I’m trying to remember exactly when TV remotes came into my life. I think it was the 1970s, at Craig from across the street’s house where I first encountered a TV remote. Which seemed suspicious at first, especially there were only five or six stations we could actually get in Fresno. Though my dad sprung for a mondo TV antenna that was attached to a rotator on top of the TV so we could swirl the mondo antenna around at . . . where we thought the transmitters were, I guess?
In this way, we could get some Bakersfield channels, and I remember that their NBC channel was 23 while ours was 24 and their CBS was 29 while ours was 30 (though at some point, Channel 30 & Channel 47 switched network affiliations in the same way the minor league baseball teams do). And while getting the Bakersfield channels were cool and all, they basically broadcast the same stuff as the Fresno channels, so the only thing I really remember was seeing commercials for Shakey’s pizza, which we didn’t have in Fresno.
One more the liner notes for Cash Cabin Sessions, Vol. 3 told us was that Snider also recorded a couple of covers for b-sides: “I’d Like To Teach the World to Sing,” sure, “Free Bird,” why not? and a slow version of “It’s The End of The World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” that everybody loved so much it almost made the album. Apparently, he stuck them both on a 7″ single that only had 2000 copies. Of course.
“Just Like Overnight” Official Music Video
“Just Like Overnight” Live in Nashville, 2019
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