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Slaid Cleaves - Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away
CD Review by Jud Conway on 5/1/2009   

Itís been nearly five years since singer/songwriter Slaid Cleaves released the critically-acclaimed Wishbones (2004), the follow up to his breakthrough disc, 2000ís well-received Broke Down. Longstanding fans of the New England-born, Texas-based singer/songwriter will be excited to learn that he has joined the roster of fellow songwriter Jimmy LaFaveís co-op label Music Row Records and has delivered arguably his strongest collection of original songs to date. Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away showcases Cleaves masterful talent as a songwriter of depth and detail.

With famed producer Gurf Morlix once again at the helm and cohorts like longtime co-writers Adam Carroll and Rod Picott on board, Cleaves presents eleven new tracks that prominently feature his trademark vocal drawl and include a number of evocative, descriptive well-written story/songs, all complimented with a tasteful backing of predominantly acoustic Americana/folk instrumentation.

Highlights include the radio-friendly opener "Cry," the vividly descriptive "Hard to Believe," and the hard-times-call-for-desperate-measures saga, "Black T-shirt." Taken as a whole, Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away should put to rest any lingering doubt that Slaid Cleaves walks the same fields and mines the same veins as veteran contemporaries like Guy Clark and Jerry Jeff Walker.

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