Music » Critics' Picks

Slaid Cleaves

7 p.m. Thursday, May 15. Lucas School House, 1220 Allen Avenue

by

comment

Slaid Cleaves is known as a "songwriter's songwriter," which is usually a polite way of saying "he can't sing." But there's no need for decorum with the Maine-born, Texas-based troubadour: For all of his command of song craft, Cleaves would still be working as a pharmaceutical guinea pig were it not for his warm, gently burred tenor. He phrases like a grifter trying to croon his low-down past away — and writes like he knows he never will. When his new folkie peers see angels over every other barista's shoulder, Cleaves sees through sentiment. "I've been chasing grace but grace ain't so easily found," he sings on "One Good Year," just one of many subtle, momentary stays against the dark side of his heart. That heart doesn't bleed easily — but when it does, it bleeds true.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.