In a completely unpublicized and hush-hush way, Slaid Cleaves recorded a live record at the Horseshoe Lounge last night (April 20, 2010). Well, it might turn into a live record. All the elements were there.
-Slaid and Michael O'Connor played a whole slew of his greatest hits.
-There was a gent there recording the whole thing to an Alesis 8-track recorder.
-A bunch of people somehow got word of the show and brought their friends (I'd estimate the crowd at around a hundred folks).
-The crowd was very quiet, enthusiastic and appreciative (which if you've been to the 'Shoe, you know is not the case. Ever.)
-Slaid hedged his bets after the first warm-up song saying that they were recording and if the recording turned out well, it might make it onto a cd. He didn't say the words "Live CD" so I reckon it could end up as filler at the end of a studio record. Then again, he didn't not say "Live CD" so who the hell knows?
-Slaid also encouraged folks to play shuffleboard and pool (but not the jukebox). I can only presume this encouragement was geared towards capturing some of the ambiance that drives the character of the Horseshoe.
I have loved Slaid's music for a long long time and honestly wonder why it took so long to have a run at making Live 'Down At The Horseshoe Lounge' happen (or whatever the name ends up being if at all). I'm glad it happened when it did and glad I was able to be there. I hope Team Slaid are able to get something usable from last night. And if they didn't, maybe they'll try again sometime soon.
Slaid has a penchant for taking his time in between studio records with new original material [Broke Down in 2000, Wishbones in 2004 and Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away in 2009]. I mention that only because a live cd would help fill some of the gap between the last album and the next in the same way that Unsung did in 2006 [sidebar: damn, seems to me like it was more recent than 2006].
In digging through my own Slaid archives, I found two live recordings of "Horseshoe Lounge" five-and-a-half years apart that I've included below. The first of which is from Little Brother's in Columbus, OH amazingly / coincidentally six years to the day from yesterday's show. The other is from the Cactus Cafe this past December. [Download the mp3s from the links below]
2004.04.20 - Little Brothers - Columbus, OH
2009.12.10 - The Cactus Cafe - Austin, TX