Bruce Springsteen’s vivid, character-study snapshots are palpable in the songs of Texas troubadour Slaid Cleves, who even named his high school garage band the Magic Rats in honor of a line from the Boss’s “Jungle Land.” But over the years Bruce has been only one of several laudable influences on the Maine-raised tunesmith. Cleves, who makes an enticingly intimate stop at MaMA (Marbletown Multi-Arts) in Stone Ridge this Saturday, also counts Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Tom Petty, and Tom Waits among his heroes.
Raised in Maine, Cleves busked a bit in Ireland before returning to his home state. His band the Moxie Men made strong waves on the Portland rock scene in the early ’90s, but eventually his acoustic side won out and he beat it down to the singer-songwriter center of Austin. Cleves’s 10th and newest album is 2013’s critically applauded Still Fighting the War (Rounder-Philo Records).
This is the title track:
Slaid Cleves will perform at MaMA (Marbletown Multi-Arts) in Stone Ridge, New York, on May 16 at 8pm. Tickets are $25. For further information, call (845) 687-4143 or visit www.cceconcerts.com.