Eight Gigs: Slaid Cleaves

Sat., July 16, 7 p.m., Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub, $25-$30

Austin-based singer-songwriter Slaid Cleaves is far from just another underrated musician who mines the lyrical themes of blue-collar workers. Though it’s helpful to name-check James McMurtry, Steve Earle and Bruce Springsteen, Cleaves stands firmly on his own. He’s been less politically heavy-handed and slightly inconspicuous during his 20-year career. Once you’ve listened to Cleaves weave a story or two, you begin to appreciate the depth and honesty of his songwriting. He’s absorbed country and traditional folk styles into his own melodic approach to Americana. 2708 J Street, http://slaidcleaves.com.