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Slaid Cleaves: Powerfully Direct

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Slaid Cleaves.

Maine-raised, Texas-based singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves wasn't always a full-time musician. Cleaves started playing music as a teenager, inspired by artists like Bruce Springsteen and Johnny Cash. During the early '90s, Cleaves released several cassettes of his music, quickly building a local fanbase in Portland, Maine. To pay the bills and continue his music career, though, Cleaves took odd jobs as, among other things, an ice-cream truck driver and a pharmaceutical company's test patient.

Cleaves rose to national prominence in 1997 upon the release of his national debut, No Angel Knows, and achieved success with the release of subsequent albums. His latest effort, Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away, finds Cleaves in familiar, pop-tinted Americana territory, with string arrangements supplementing his direct songwriting.

Copyright NPR 2016.

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