SORROW & SMOKE: LIVE AT THE HORSESHOE LOUNGE
OUT SEPTEMBER 6
20 years after his migration to Austin, Texas, Slaid Cleaves is set to release his first live album — a double disc, titled Sorrow & Smoke: Live at the Horseshoe Lounge, on Music Road Records on September 6, 2011.
Unlike his beautifully realized, 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 with Slaid at "the Shoe" while accordionist/trumpeter/harmonica player Oliver Steck keeps the crowd on their toes.
When he first contemplated a live album, Slaid turned to the massive collection of performance recordings he's acquired during his decades as a wandering troubadour, traveling from stage to stage and entrancing audiences with tales of lost souls. 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?'" Slaid explains. 'Well, it has to be in a special place.'" It makes perfect sense; so many of his songs reference watering holes anyway. Sorrow & Smoke fully conveys the spirit of an intimate yet jovial crowd: Clinking beer bottles. Laughter. Sing-alongs. Good-natured heckling. "The give and take, this sort of conversation I have with the audience," he says. And of course, the self-deprecating humor that leavens the singer’s stories of people struggling to make sense of their lives.
"That's a big part of the show and I wanted to capture that as much as possible," he says, adding, "I also wanted to give an honest depiction of what my show is like these days."
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