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No Angel Knows

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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.

Customer Reviews

Dance around Slaid's fire!! hot!

Slaid rules!! This is one of his first albums and it is sweet and straight forward. Great music and lyrics (and not all polished up like his latest albums). Slaid is so good live!!! So go to his web site, find where he is playing, and GO see him live (His wife will have CD's at the show so buy from the source)!!

really good

Very impressive folk album. It's right up there with Paul Simon and other folk greats. Nice work Slaid I love listening to your music. Favorite song: Dance around the Fire- Very catchy chorus, the lyrics are good, great singing. Least Favorite: Wrecking Ball- good lyrics actually but it's just got a slow pace and not much change in the singing pitch


Slaid is the greatest, relatively undiscovered artist out there. "Dance Around the Fire" and "Don't Tell Me" are gems.


Born: June 9, 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...
Full Bio
No Angel Knows, Slaid Cleaves
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Customer Ratings