Slaid Cleaves

When your given name is Richard Slaid Cleaves and you cleave the Richard from it, you basically have no choice but to become a country singer. And seeing as Maine, the state where Cleaves was raised, isn't a haven for spurs and rawhide, a move to Austin in '91 was a key step toward fulfilling his destiny. While Cleaves' Austin contemporary, James McMurtry, holds down a standing midweek gig at the Continental Club, Cleaves frequently takes to the nearby Horseshoe Lounge, the setting for Sorrow & Smoke, a new live double-disc that one can only hope will be emulated verbatim at the Tractor, a venue which pairs as perfectly with Cleaves as rye does with ice. MIKE SEELY

Wed., Sept. 7, 8 p.m., 2011

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