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Slaid Cleaves

The music of Austin-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Slaid Cleaves is rooted in country and traditional folk songs, but it is unusual enough to have held interest in a sea of singer/songwriters across the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. While he released a handful of recordings during the early '90s, he gained significant notice with No Angel Knows, which was released on Rounder's Philo subsidiary in 1997. Joined by former Lucinda Williams guitarist Gurf Morlix, Cleaves combined his passion for folk songs, blues, and traditional country music into an amalgamation of styles known as Americana. Not surprisingly, the album rode high into the charts at Americana-formatted radio stations around the U.S. and Canada in 1997. The release set the tone for the rest of his career.

Prior to entering the music industry, Cleaves majored in English and philosophy at Tufts University in his native New England, and began playing music in garage rock bands while still in high school. While in college, he learned guitar, and later spent a summer in Ireland. He began busking on the streets in Cork, and that was the turning point when he decided to become a folksinger. At Tufts, he developed his guitar skills and studied the music of Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen. He recalled that he had listened to the music of Guthrie, Carl Perkins, and Hank Williams as a child, so he went back into his parents' attic to discover a treasure trove of albums.

After many years in Portland, Maine, he sought new mountains to climb, and found some of them after moving to Austin, Texas, in 1992. Despite the echelon of great singer/songwriters like Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Lucinda Williams, Robert Earl Keen, Guy Clark, and Joe Ely all centered around the Austin scene, Cleaves was able to make a name for himself there. In 1995, he recorded an independent album for Rock Bottom Records entitled Life's Other Side. In 1996, he began his collaboration with Morlix, who liked Cleaves' demo tape and ended up serving as producer for 1997's No Angel Knows.

During the following decade, Cleaves released Broke Down (2000) and Wishbones (2004) prior to switching to Rounder proper for Unsung (2006). After signing with Jimmy LaFave and Kelcy Warren's Music Road label, he issued Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away (2009, featuring liner notes from fan Stephen King), the two-disc Sorrow & Smoke: Live at the Horseshoe Lounge (2011), and Still Fighting the War (2013). The title song of the latter album was inspired by Craig F. Walker's Pulitzer-winning photo essay regarding a soldier's postwar civilian life. ~ Richard Skelly, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Without Her / Every Sunrise (Songwriting Demo) (Single)

Comments

Really enjoyed this! Please make more music!
Love his sound and his ability to write and sing music that makes you see every word. His voice has a timeless quality being neither young nor old.
kathyholli50
I just got thru reading the wonderful book Seabiscuit by Laura Hillebrand and so this song was especially good to hear. I recommend this book to everyone who likes this song!!
Speechless this guy is amazing
Love this artist down to earth real down home love it my type of music
His name sounds like a landscaper, or lawn mower, his voice is not quite as rough sounding, I can handle this.
I saw him live a couple weeks back. Lot of fun.
I just now heard him for the first time! Wow! I am so excited to discover more.
star_elf
I'm glad I discovered him! He's really talented!
Texas Country IS!
lannymac12
The best songs and such a moving voice! I have some real early Slaid when he played more rock n roll, pretty good too!
I'm a proud Kentucky boy who loves Chris Knight.. but the Texas storytellers are taking me by storm. I know why they have the rep that they do!!
One more reason I live in Austin.
Nice sound!
Sounds like Ryan Adams to me . . .
:)
wkingrey2
I'm trying to figure out who Slaid was in a previous life - My guess is he is the reincarnatio n of Woody Guthrie.
Truth. Beauty. Epic.
iike slaid a lot too-despite the fact that he's not a native texan, he had the great good sense to go there!
Hey , I keep finding new music that I love, and It's all from Texas.... am I a Misplaced texan ? Awesome tunes !
jcb0021
Good times at the Carousel! Stella was a great waitress...
He gives you thoughtful quality songs with no filler, great live performer
btlbuilding
First saw Slaid at Kerrville Folk Festival In 2006, man was I hooked this guy is very talented with lots of soul. Two thumbs up Slaid!
gregpati
Amazing as usual!
He is total greatness
Seraphimlanc e
The bio here is missing the fact that he sounds so similar to Loudon Wainwright that it isn't possible for him not be an influence.

I love Louden, and this guy's voice and the way he writes his music reminds me so much of him that I'll have to listen to more of his stuff.
He reminds me of Shake Russell; wish we could add Shake to Pandora's box.
Another great Austin Texas musician!!
sevensisters 6 8
One of my favorite musicians of all time...what an amazing story teller.
He's even better live .... especially in small intimate setting like Good Folks in Fayetteville Arkansas.
another reason Texas has the best music.
I've never heard of him and I love him, his voice is so relaxing.... i tend to listen to more female artists at this point but I love Slaid and will continue to listen to him....is why I love Pandora thank you for exposing me to great music and getting me away from the mainstream.. . . i f i hear taylor swift one more time i may go crazy!!
Slaid is one of my faves deserves a bigger audience
dark and sultry, love it
fantastic artist well known on the texas music scene glad to see he is finally getting known outside
Wonderful Artist!
i'd never hear of him either. or alot of great music for that matter. thanx pandora
love this music
ahhhh, great singer and artist. Never heard of him before. Thanks Pandora
rickkuk
like him a lot .have'nt heard a song yet that i wanted to skip
Slaid is the best. What a great way to hear him too!
Good work.
i like his sound!!!!!!! ! ! !
first time i have heard him, i really like what i hear. gonna have to move back to austin.
rcampbell
Very nice feel, accoustic and relaxing without sacrificing musical complexity. I really enjoyed listening to this.

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