CD Wishbones [Slaid Cleaves] (CD 149209),
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Wishbones [Slaid Cleaves]
2. Road Too Long
3. Drinkin' Days
4. Sinner's Prayer
5. Tiger Tom Dixon's Blues
7. Quick as Dreams
9. Hearts Break
11. New Year's Day
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 711238
Personnel: Slaid Cleaves (vocals, acoustic guitar, persussion); Gurf Morlix (acoustic & electric guitars, bass, background vocals); Charles Arthur (electric guitar); Jeff Plankerhorn (dobro, background vocals); Ian "Mac" McLagan (Hammond B-3 organ); Ivan Brown (bass); Rick Richards (drums, percussion); Eliza Gilkyson, Kristen Anderson, Karen Cleaves, Anita Coy, Brende Fuller, Mike Jasper, Susan Maxey, Mark Viator (background vocals).
Recorded at Rootball Studios, Austin, Texas. Includes liner notes by Mike Jasper.
Personnel: Slaid Cleaves (vocals, acoustic guitar, percussion); Gurf Morlix (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, baritone guitar, background vocals); Charles Arthur (electric guitar); Jeff Plankenhorn (dobro, background vocals); Billy Bright (mandolin); Darcie Deaville, Eleanor Whitmore (fiddle); Brian Standefer (cello); Ivan Browne (upright bass); Rick Richards (drums, percussion); Susan Maxey, Eliza Gilkyson, Karen Cleaves, Anita Coy, Kristen Anderson, Mike Jasper, Brende Fuller, Mark Viator (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Gurf Morlix.
Liner Note Author: Mike Jasper.
Recording information: Rootball, Austin, TX.
Photographer: Sarah Bork Hamilton.
Slaid Cleaves seems to have found his singer/songwriter niche recording for Philo. Broke Down, which received a warm critical reception in 2000, was filled with detailed stories of broken down lives on the edge of survival (physically as well as emotionally). Although 2004's Wishbones sounds more hopeful, the tone of the material follows the mood of the earlier album. In "Drinkin' Days," the narrator expresses regret at his wild and rowdy days, but when it comes right down to it, his life is still filled with trouble; even when a contrite loser offers a "Sinner's Prayer," there's no redemption in sight. Cleaves doesn't really get into his forte -- story-songs -- until "Tiger Tom Dixon's Blues," the fifth cut. Tales of boxers and racetracks, unfulfilled promises, and old men remembering their younger days make up Wishbones list of desperate tales. The production's a nice a mix of acoustic-electro elements with the occasional varied touch -- like the fiddle on "Below" -- to keep things interesting. Cleaves made an effort to get outside the usual singer/songwriter material by writing about other people's lives. On Wishbones, he is in good voice, and his fans will probably find several worthy songs on Wishbones. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
Uncut (5/04, p.99) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[W]hat he does, he does admirably: frayed-at-the-seams country-folk the slender side of Steve Earle, Springsteen blues without the pomp."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.118) - 3 stars out of 5 - "[He] hits his stride very nicely with this collection of rootsy alt country barroom tunes."
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