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Respected Austin songwriter Slaid Cleaves to make Lethbridge debut

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You might not know the name Slaid Cleaves, but Fred Eaglesmith and Stephen King know him and speak highly of him. You should too.Slaid Cleaves comes to the Geomatic Attic this week. Photo by Karen Cleaves

The Maine raised, Austin based singer songwriter’s bio is short, sweet and succinct — “Grew up in Maine. Lives in Texas. Writes songs. Makes Records. Travels around. Tries to be good,” but there is a lot more to him  than that, as you will see when he makes his Lethbridge debut at the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 27.

“I’ll be meeting my  friend Michael O’Connor, who is a fantastic player and touring Canada for a week with him. So it will be a duo show. I’ll be performing songs from all the records I have recorded over the past 12 years or so,” said Cleaves, taking a little time off before his latest tour, back home in Maine.

“I’ll be singing a lot of sad songs and telling a few funny stories in between them, so people don’t slit their throats,” he laughed adding it is  good to be back in Maine for a little while.
“It’s really hard to tell when I’m on tour and when I’m not, because I’m always touring. I leave Austin in about July and don’t get back there until November,” he said adding he enjoys spending time at his cabin  in Maine while visiting realtives in between playing shows.

“I usually like to spend Winter and Spring in Austin,” he continued adding a new CD is a long way off. His latest CD, “Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away,” was released in 2009.


Cleaves learned a lot touring with Fred Eaglesmith in the early days.

“I was very fortunate to  have toured with him when he was breaking out. He had Ralph (Schipper) on bass, and Willie P Bennett and Washboard Hank. I learned a lot about performing and songwriting by watching him work. It had a bog effect on me and helped me develop as a performer,” he praised adding meeting Stephen Kind was also fortuitous.

 “He heard  the music from my “Wishbones” album in 2004 on satellite radio and must have liked it because he showed up at a gig one day and graciously offered  to write the liner notes for my next CD,” Cleaves continued adding he jumped at the opportunity and  only got to meet King the one time.

Cleaves approaches songwriting from the persepctive of storytelling and his English major background.
“Generally I’m always lookinging for an interesting line or turn of phrase and writing them down. I write about stories that have have happened to people I know, just stories I think will be interesting to the larger population,” he noted adding he is still a long way from recording  a new record.

“I’m still in the process of collecting these fragments,” he said adding even so, he got peices of a song  from one of his friends and  finished it so he may be playing that on this leg of the tour.
The show begins at 8 p.m. at the Geomatic Attic, Oct. 27. Tickets are $25 for members, $27.50 for non-members and $30 at the door.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Monday, 25 October 2010 08:44 )  
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