Spin the Bottlecap
On the cover of his 2004 album Wishbones, Slaid Cleaves stands at the foot of a rough-hewn staircase down which I have frequently stumbled (and shhh, even drunkenly fumbled), in the wee hours. But the photograph, taken at a tiny Austin speakeasy with no sign on the door, was a nostalgia-inducing discovery only after I’d purchased the album. My musical taste runs a gamut but leans toward Americana, one hallmark of which is lyrically adroit songwriting — a skill that Slaid has in spades and piles. December 17 would be a great time to take a listen for yourself: he’ll be playing at Dan’s Silverleaf, in nearby Denton.
If the promise from a seasoned folk music fan of a quality Friday evening show by a talented musician doesn’t tempt you, I’ll appeal to your social-climbing trendster side: Slaid’s been lauded by the New York Times, the BBC, Rolling Stone, the Boston Herald, and our own Dallas Observer. Catch him now while he’s the Next Big Thing, because once he really hits, you won’t get to casually drop into cocktail conversation how you caught him “years ago” at an intimate show in a Texas bar just dripping with authenticity . (see also: Ryan Adams, Los Lonely Boys, Pat Green)
At the least, check out Slaid’s website: he’s a fine writer of prose and shorts, too.