I owe a huge thank you to Ryan McKenzie ... we had the chance to visit the other day and the conversation turned to Texas music.
As we chatted about Guy Clark, Steve Earle and Townes Van Zandt, Ryan mentioned Slaid Cleaves. Cleaves, a native of Maine, but a Texan by choice for some 20 years, has been on my radar for a long time. So, after talking to Ryan, I Googled Cleaves and found that he's represented by the same management as Larry McMurtry, one of my favorites. (Here's the link to a story I did on McMurtry a while back.)
McMurtry covered Clark's COLD DOG SOUP on the tribute CD due to be released on Nov. 7. I got an advance copy of the 2-set gem ... some 30 artists recorded 22 tunes ... but it's McMurtry's cut that has stayed with me. It's the best thing I've heard all year.
Anyway, I have an inverview with Cleaves in about 30 minutes ... am really looking forward to talking to him about moving to Texas, working the coffee house circuit and how long it took him to learn how to yodel like he does on "Texas Top Hand" and "Rolling Stone from Texas," cuts from his new live 2-CD set, SORROW AND SMOKE.
Here's a video clip of him during a radio interview talking about and performing "Green Mountains and Me."
This guy is the real deal ... a performer who sings what he writes, travels all over the country - and Europe - and shares his special brand of Texas with anyone who will listen.
Watch your News-Telegram for my conversation with Cleaves ... and for a review of the new CD.
Thanks, again, Ryan, for reminding me how rich Texas music really is.
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