SLAID CLEAVES Ghost on the Car Ra­dio

Candy House Me­dia/ Proper Records

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS -

Slaid Cleaves’s bi­og­ra­phy is short and pithy: “Grew up in Maine. Lives in Texas. Writes songs. Makes records. Trav­els around. Tries to be good.” His work, how­ever, is more expressive. This is his first al­bum since the ex­cel­lent Still Fight­ing the War in 2013 and once again he hits all the right notes in these un­der­stated, like­able tales of life on the mar­gins where peo­ple are all “scrap­ping for the dough-re-mi” (Take Home Pay), where big busi­ness rules (Lit­tle Guys), where time is run­ning out (Junk­yard, Al­ready Gone), old age is call­ing (The Old Guard, If I Had a Heart) and where the world is go­ing to hell in a hand­bas­ket (Drunken Bar­bers’ Hand). Cleaves crafts these 12 sto­ries with care and com­pas­sion; some might de­scribe his char­ac­ters as losers but he gives them dig­nity and voice and a bunch of great tunes to boot. slaid­ JOE BREEN

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