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No Angel Knows

Slaid Cleaves

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Album Review

Slaid Cleaves' 1997 album No Angel Knows was produced by Lucinda Williams' band guitarist Gurf Morlix and comes out of similar singer/songwriter territory. The acoustic-band feel that ran through Morlix's previous small label recordings with Maine band the Moxie Men combines with the Texas troubadour tradition to produce a sound resembling that of Peter Case, Darden Smith or Robert Earl Keen. A song from Cleaves' early days revisited, a co-write with childhood friend Rod Picott in "Wrecking Ball," and others capture small-town stories as well as Morlix's more famous employer. There's also a hint of Springsteen's passion for cars, rivers and bleak working-class lives on tracks such as "Last of the V-8's" or the defiant "Not Going Down." The fine production enhances a set every bit as good as Cleaves' 1992 Life's Other Side, which led to his receiving a Kerrville New Folk songwriter award, or the 1993 self-released For the Brave & Free which employed a host of Austin musicians. File under literate country-tinged folk-rock with a touch of swing.

Biography

Born: 09 June 1964 in Berwick, ME

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The music of Austin-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Slaid Cleaves is rooted in country and traditional folk songs, but it is unusual enough to have held interest in a sea of singer/songwriters across the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. While he released a handful of recordings during the early '90s, he gained significant notice with No Angel Knows, which was released on Rounder's Philo subsidiary in 1997. Joined by former Lucinda Williams guitarist Gurf Morlix, Cleaves combined his passion for folk...
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No Angel Knows, Slaid Cleaves
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