Slaid Cleaves Review of Songs and Albums

Slaid Cleaves – Best Song of the Year

Growing up in Maine, Slaid Cleaves moved back to Texas where he writes songs, creates albums, and travels around. Living near the Horseshoe Lounge, he was missing the courage to walk into the legendary saloon.

Stories about the lounge and curiosity finally got the better of him. He wrote an ode to the beer joint and he released it on his CD entitled, “Break Out”. With the introduction of this album, Slaid went from an Austin singer and songwriter, hoping to get another gig at the local bar joint, playing open mics and playing a sound man at the Cactus Café to Americana chart-busting national touring performer. In 2001, Austin named Cleaves’ title track the Best Song of the Year.

Cleaves and childhood buddy Rod Picott wrote the title track which landed them the award. A true country man, the acoustic guitar performed ballads makes any heart soar and the upbeat traction of his other tracks makes you wonder why he hadn’t become a superstar years before.

New York Times dubbed Cleaves “One of the finest songwriters from Texas”, which sums it all up for his fans.

Sorrow & Smoke is a dream come true for the artist. It reinvents the sultry, sexy, acoustic guitar sounds of country-folk. Michael O’Connor, lead guitarist of legendary proportions sends the track of “the Shoe” into orbit and down again with a soft landing with Cleaves beautiful soft voice.

True to country form, the yodeling talents of Cleaves are heard in the Don Wasler tribute on the album. “Rolling Stone From Texas” and “Texas Top Hand” both lend hand in the creation of true respect of his mentor and hero, Wasler. A worthy wordsmith, Cleaves gives all he has in terms of emotion and delivery in his Sorrow & Smoke appropriately titled album. Cleaves falls into the category of poet and you can hear it come through with the words he weaves throughout each hit. He’s a worthy opponent to greats such as Willie Nelson, John Denver, with a touch of Kenney Chesney thrown in. His sounds, lyrics and voice should land him in a good position in the country music charts and on stage with the greats, as he collects another award in the Austin Music Award ceremonies or the Country Music Awards as well.

The experience one receives while listening to the captivating songs of Cleaves is one that intrigues the mind, soothes the soul, and is reminiscent of personal experiences. Travel down the pathway of memories with Slaid Cleaves – either with the acoustical guitar notes or the band back up rhythm that smoothes and rounds the perfect evening.

Slaid Cleaves creates an addiction with the only fix another album.



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