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Wishbones


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Wishbones
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Audio CD, March 9, 2004
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Frequently Bought Together

Wishbones + Broke Down + Unsung
Price for all three: $40.86

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Philo / Umgd
  • ASIN: B0001GOHK2
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,608 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Wishbone
2. Road to Long
3. Drinkin' Days
4. Sinner's Prayer
5. Tiger Tom Dixon's Blues
6. Below
7. Quick as a Dream
8. Horses and Divorces
9. Hearts Break
10. Borderline
11. New Year's Day

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

With his third album since transplanting his music from his native Maine to Austin, Slaid Cleaves now draws as much from country and blues roots, with a touch of classic-rock Springsteen, as he does from the troubadour tradition. His tales of losers and dreamers, of hard luck and life's tough lessons, benefit here from the musical muscle of a band that includes producer Gurf Morlix on bass and guitar, veteran keyboardist Ian McLagan, drummer Rick Richards, and guitarist Charles Arthur, who channels the sinuous inspiration of Otis Rush on the bluesy "Sinner's Prayer." Other highlights include the tuneful title track (written with Ray Wylie Hubbard), the barroom brawling "Drinkin' Days," the taut wisdom of "Hearts Break," and the affirmation of "New Year's Day." In the four years since his previous release, Cleaves has grown into a writer who is more than the sum of his influences, and a musical artist who is no longer content to let the lyric carry the whole load. --Don McLeese

Customer Reviews

I quickly found that it was the CD that I played the most.
Amazon Customer
This excellently produced album contains a string of first-class songs, each of which is full of warmth and wisdom.
6XERVANTES
Sure glad I didn't hear this album first, or I'd not have bothered with his quite good others.
Jay Ruben

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Slaid Cleaves is a great talent. His songs are sad but somehow when he sings them they come out beautiful and moving rather than depressing. I bought my first CD of his after hearing a live performance about 3 years ago. I quickly found that it was the CD that I played the most. 3 years later, I still play that CD and all his others more than any in my collection. He is also a great live performer. I have added Wishbones to my Slaid "playlist" on my computer (after legitimately purchasing it) and can tell that it will wear as well as the previous CD's.

BTW, the reviewer above (a music fan) who gave the CD one star and wrote the scathing review, wrote almost the same words in a review of a previous CD, "Broke Down" (You can read it for yourself if you go to the "Broke Down" reviews). It seems a bit fishy that "A music fan" bought and reviewed this CD after saying that the previous CD was a waste of plastic. While everyone has the right to his/her opinion, I am guessing this person has a personal problem with Slaid (jealousy maybe????) or maybe with Rounder Records. I wouldn't put much stock in it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By 6XERVANTES on April 16, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Slaid Cleaves is quite definitely the best American singer-songwriter I've come across in recent years. This excellently produced album contains a string of first-class songs, each of which is full of warmth and wisdom. The first time I read about Slaid Cleaves was on the BBC music page, where the melancholy beauty and the wisdom of his songs are justly celebrated. Take, for example, 'Drinking days' or 'Borderline' - songs that go straight to the heart. A record to listen to many times over. Slaid's voice is the perfect instrument for these ballads, that reveal something that has become so rare in contemporary popular music - thoughtfulness and sensitivity. In other words, this guy observes -and strives to understand- people and their everyday problems and tragedies, shaping songs of elegant lyrics and haunting melodies.
As a German who's been in love with various styles of American music for a long time, in fact most of his life, this record is further evidence of an ability of sensitive and intelligent American songwriters that is totally unparallelled in German, French or British popular music: the ability to combine realistic, heartfelt poetry with beautiful melodies,
simply stating the truth, without imposing cheap solutions on
the listener or getting sarcastic.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By medicinemusic on August 31, 2004
Format: Audio CD
No huge surprises in Wishbones, "if it ain't broke don't fix it". So expect, top notch instrumentation (big iron strings and sliding steel abound ) and equally slick production and performance, emotional weight and clever wordplay, stories of the hard road, American fables, and lovelorn vinaigrettes.In his own words from the title track "this is real life no reality show" . The gritty Cleaves is again in cahoots with Austin production mentor and buddy Gurf Morlix, but this time he is really utilising Gurfs considerable guitaring skills to maximum effect. This album is a bit rockier with more band arrangements than the award winning 2000 release Broke Down. Cleaves says, with obvious pride, of Wishbones "The instrumentation becomes more a part of the story instead of the background to the story." It certainly feels comfortable on the ears to this listener, and I can see why Cleaves is comfortable with the arrangements to the extent he indicates.

The only complaint I can imagine from his legion of fans will be "why so long"? Slaid Cleaves is at his best when he is telling "beginning middle and end" stories and Wishbones, if anything, has even more story songs than Broke Down. He has a lazy affability and a deceptively well-honed ability to introduce characters, lay settings, communicate emotions and conduct a journey through verse long adventures, with either comforting or confronting choruses, to the inevitable moral filled conclusion and all in 3 minutes. Slaid is as good as it gets at this, and what is even better, from the point of view of an ardent gig goer, the hard working Cleaves ( whos musical trail started busking in Cork in the mid 80's where he was a student ) can still be found touring 10 months of the year and will in any given year be at a venue near you.
Read more ›
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Slaid Cleaves is one great relatively unknown singer/songwriter. Every cut on "Wishbones" is terrific, and each song is interesting musically and lyrically. So much better than anything being played on most radio stations. If you've never heard Slaid before, this CD or "Broke Down" released in 2000 are good starts. I can't think of a better Cd to take a chance on. You'll be hooked in no time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By OkieRambler on April 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I don't know, maybe I'm getting old, but Slaid's "Quick As A Dream" brings me to tears. As tragic as the story of the young jockey's death is, that isn't what makes me well up. I think it has more to do with the focus on the small details that make life precious. And thank you, Slaid, for the chorus. I can see the little old man in his room sharing his keepsake with his visitor, his eyes sparkling as he remembers that "sixty years ago I rode for the Diamond team, sailing by eight feet high on horses quick as dreams."
The rest of "Wishbones" is also fine and excellently paced. For example, "Quick As a Dream" is followed immediately by a comic rounder's tale that reminds me of Tom T. Hall's "Faster Horses" and why I started liking so-called "country" music in the first place. It also reminds me of why I don't listen to much country radio, you just won't hear the "good stuff" there. I put "Wishbone" the same class with Rodney Crowell's "Houston Kid" and Mary Gauthier's "Filth and Fire." All three are albums that aren't necessary pretty or perfect, but always beautiful.
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