Singer Songwriter Slaid Cleaves

Singer Songwriter Slaid Cleaves Performs at Arts Barn (Video)

Singer Songwriter Slaid Cleaves

Singer Songwriter Slaid Cleaves

The Singer Songwriter Concert Series presented by O’Hair Salon + Spa brings Slaid Cleaves to the Arts Barn with local musician Tony Denikos. Join Cleaves at 3 p.m. on Feb. 22 for a discussion of his music at the Kentlands Mansion and then at 7:30 p.m. for the concert at the Arts Barn.

Cleaves is a songwriter from Austin, Texas. He grew up in Maine and has been performing and writing songs for 20 years. His latest albumn Still Fighting the War was released this past summer. “I started Still Fighting the War four years ago and originally each verse was a separate character,” Cleaves explains. “Each verse was about getting swindled. One was about the economy, one was about a returning veteran, one was about a broken-up couple. It was too cumbersome, so I focused in on the soldier. The key that made it all work came as I was talking to my friend and occasional co-writer, Ron Coy. A troubled Vietnam vet buddy of his had recently passed away. Ron said, ‘All this time, it was like he was still fighting the war.’ I knew instantly that was the perfect way to summarize the song.”

Cleaves delivers equal measures of hope and resignation throughout this 2013 release as life lessons slide subtly through side doors. “Normally when I start writing a new batch, a theme starts to emerge after three or four songs,” says Cleaves, who built an unlikely success story from scratch after moving to Austin, Texas, from Maine two decades ago. “This time around I thought, I’m just gonna write where the muse takes me and each song will be its own thing. So I ended up with a CD that has a bit more variety on it compared to my previous releases. Half the songs are about struggle and perseverance and half are all over the place, some tongue-in-cheek stuff, a gospel song, a Texas pride song.”

Slaid Cleaves performing “Still Fighting the War”

Tickets for the workshop and concert can be purchased by calling 301.258.6394 or at the door. Admission for each concert is $28 for city of Gaithersburg residents/ $30 for non-residents. Admission for each concert and workshop combined is $48 for city of Gaithersburg residents/ $50 for non-residents.

Attendees are invited to come early and enjoy the Arts Barn Patrons Lounge. Open one hour before each concert, the lounge offers bistro seating, mood-setting music and refreshments, including beer and wine.

The Singer Songwriter Series includes six concerts and workshops this year. This is the last concert in the series. For more information on the whole series please visit “Singer Songwriter Concert Series Returns to Arts Barn” post.


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