Slaid Cleaves Karen Cleaves

A Slaid Cleaves concert is set for 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, at Stone Mountain Arts Center, 695 Dugway Road in Brownfield.

Hailing from Maine originally, this now Austin songwriter might as well have been born in the lone star state. He’s got the Austin-style songwriting reminiscent of Joe Ely or Townes Van Zandt, but a style and sound all his own.

Cleaves started playing music in local garage bands as a teenager, then went off to Tufts University to major in English and philosophy. During his junior year abroad in Ireland, he honed his guitar and vocal skills and, in his free time became a busker — a street singer, playing the songs of his favorite musicians such as Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash and Bruce Springsteen, He also began to write some of his own songs.

After college, Cleaves became part of the Portland music scene where he quickly built a local fanbase, both as a solo act and with his band The Moxie Men. His acoustic career took off after he moved to Austin, Texas, in 1991, and he rose to national prominence in 1997 upon the release of his national debut, “No Angel Knows.”

The characters in Cleaves’ songs live in unglamorous reality. They work dead-end jobs, they run out of money, they grow old, they hold on to each other (or not), and they die. With an eye for the beauty in everyday life, he tells their stories, bringing a bit of empathy to their uncaring world.

Tickets cost $30.

For tickets, or more information, visit


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