Slaid Cleaves


Slaid Cleaves, one of the finest Texas singer-songwriters, said of his latest release, Unsung: “When picking songs for this project, I never bothered to learn any song unless it put a catch in my throat or a tear in my eye.” Unsung is a collection of moving Americana tunes by singer-songwriters other than Cleaves, tunes he feels deserve more recognition than they have gotten. Some artists represented were heard at an open mic, or opened for Cleaves, or just boldly sent him an mp3 to listen to—as in the case of 22-year-old JJ Baron, whose “Song for June,” written the day after June Carter died, is just plain lovely. Karen Poston, whose poignant song “Lydia” is the stand-out on Cleaves’ stunning Broke Down CD, is featured again, this time with her touching “Flowered Dresses”: “She stopped dreamin’ her dream and started dreamin’ his / Traded in her childhood / She wore flowered dresses for him / Rolled her hair and scrubbed her freckled skin / On a chance that they were goin’ out tonight.”