Friday, July 8, 2011
– When Slaid Cleaves moved from Portland, Maine, to Austin in late 1991, he landed on South Lamar Boulevard, a few blocks from the Horseshoe Lounge. But as he points out on his new live album, "It was many years of drivin' by before I worked up the courage to come in through the door."
In 2000, Slaid wound up releasing Horseshoe Lounge, an ode to the 46-year-old beer joint, on his breakout CD "Broke Down. "
Now, he's releasing his first live album - a double disc, "Sorrow & Smoke: Live at the Horseshoe Lounge," on Music Road Records on Sept. 6.
When he first contemplated a live album, Clevaes turned to the collection of performance recordings he's acquired during his decades of touring. But he couldn't bring himself to sort through it all, and decided to do fresh versions.
"I thought, 'How can I make a live record special?'" he said. 'Well, it has to be in a special place.'"
"The give and take, this sort of conversation I have with the audience," he said, adding, "I also wanted to give an honest depiction of what my show is like these days."
Unlike his Gurf Morlix-produced studio albums, "Sorrow & Smoke" is a more stripped-down, mostly acoustic affair. South Texas Walk of Fame guitarist Michael O'Connor twangs acoustic lead guitar, while accordionist/trumpeter/harmonica player Oliver Steck plays also.