CD Broke Down [Slaid Cleaves] (CD 146901),
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Broke Down [Slaid Cleaves]
1. Broke Down
2. One Good Year
3. Horseshoe Lounge
4. Cold and Lonely
5. Breakfast in Hell
6. Bring It On
8. This Morning I Am Born Again
9. Key Chain
10. I Feel the Blues Moving In
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 1225
Cool Beans!; Gurf Morlix
Personnel includes: Slaid Cleaves (vocals, acoustic guitar); Gurf Morlix (acoustic, electric & lap steel guitars, mandolin, Magnus organ, 6-string bass, bongos, background vocals); Ian McLagan (Hammond B-3 organ); Ivan Brown
(bass, background vocals); Mark Cousins (drums).
Recorded at Rootball, Austin, Texas. Includes liner notes by Steve Brooks.
Personnel: Slaid Cleaves (vocals, acoustic guitar); Gurf Morlix (electric guitar, lap steel guitar, mandolin, strings, organ); Ivan Browne (acoustic bass, upright bass, background vocals); Chris Searles (drums, tambourine); Darcie Deaville (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Gurf Morlix.
Liner Note Authors: Ray Wylie Hubbard; Steve Brooks.
Recording information: Rootball, Austin, TX; Rootball; Austin, TX.
Photographer: Will Van Overbeek.
Austin-based singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves writes about losers. Sherry, in the title song of his second album, Broke Down, abandons a "love grown cold" with "Billy" in favor of a pretty boy who treats her even worse. The narrator of "Cold and Lonely" reflects on his lost children and wife. "I lost my wife, I lost my home / Quit my job, and set out alone," notes the singer of "Key Chain," while Sandy Gray in "Breakfast in Hell" loses his life in a logjam and the title character of "Lydia" (written by Karen Poston), remembers the husband and son lost in a mine collapse. Needless to say, Broke Down is not the cheeriest of albums, though Cleaves usually employs some religious imagery and pledges on which to build some hope by song's end. Still, it seems odd that he has included a song with lyrics by Woody Guthrie that he has set to music, "This Morning I Am Born Again." After all, it was Guthrie who once wrote, "I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. ... I am out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood." His lyric is a typical example of his flinty defiance and stubborn optimism, but it stands in stark contrast to the rest of this album, and one can't help wondering what he would have thought about being in the company of these lose-lose propositions. ~ William Ruhlmann
Entertainment Weekly (2/4/00, p.73) - "The sparse, roots-country sound...precisely mirrors the foresaken lives and godforsaken landscapes of his songs....He spins [the songs and tales] well..." - Rating: B
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Philo CDPH 1225
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