Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Slaid Cleaves “Still Fighting the War” Album Review

Slaid is a guy who I always should have been more into, but for some reason I just never caught on. My loss. He has a crisp voice with a charming tinge of twang every few words. He sings with a relaxed tenor, you can hear and feel each and every word. Its folky, with hint of rock and country. Clean country is what I would lump it in as and damn, I like it that way.

 Listening further, its’ really quite a political record. Songs about people with a struggle, due to whatever force they may be dealing with (war, the economy, whatever). With doses of Springsteen and the delivery of Prine and Clark, its just great writing. The songwriter presents his songs in such an unpretentious way that even if you didn’t like what he was saying, you are sure going to enjoy listening to it anyway. He is a true songwriter and has whatever “it” is that so many of us strive for when we put ink to paper and flesh to steel to pick out a new tune.

The title track hits hard in a real way. There’s a thousand other war hero stories out, but the candid delivery and tone of this tune helps you relate to the character, even if you really can’t relate to the personal experiences of a man home from war. That’s an impressive accomplishment.

While the entire record is rock solid, 'Texas Love Song' is another tune that I find myself going back to multiple times to hear again. It’s kind of fun, but in a serious kind of way. The play on words make you do a “damn, I should have thought of that”, as do so many of the songs on this record.

There is really just something that I completely and totally dig about the way Cleaves constructs and performs his songs. He sings with such a level and calmed tone that I really just ease into each and every tune on the album. This record is a great listen to any fan old or new of this guy. And trust me, one listen and you will be a fan.

Check out Slaid Cleaves online at

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