The Texan has created some wonderful songs through his career. He often captures the sadness of life while also showing a good sense of humor. Rolling Stone says that the songs on the new album “reinforce Cleaves’ reputation as a master storyteller, one influenced not by the shine of pop-culture but by the dirt of real life.”
Ghost on the Car Radio includes the song “Drunken Barber’s Hand,” which Cleaves co-wrote with Rod Picott. The singer in the song has seen a lot of the world, having had good and bad fortune: “I’ve drowned in the pull of young love / Known the high and the hurt.” But at the end, he knows there is something wrong with the world.
I don’t need to read the papers,
Or the tea leaves to understand,
That this world’s been shaved,
By a drunken barber’s hand.
The pessimism and the drunken barber reference connects to the political situation of the world. Rolling Stone has noted the song alludes to W.B. Yeats’ “The Second Coming” (“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”).
Below is the video for “Drunken Barber’s Hand.”
Another song on the album is “Primer Gray.” Here, Cleaves performs the song at Southgate House Revival in Newport, Kentucky on October 18, 2016.
Ghost on The Car Radio hits the Internet on June 23, 2017.
What is your favorite Slaid Cleaves song? Leave your two cents in the comments.
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