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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Sept. 29: Singer/songwriter Slaid Cleaves

Concert to be held in Halling Recital Hall on campus.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music News Release, 9-9-2014

Mankato, Minn. – Singer/songwriter Slaid Cleaves will perform on Monday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 pm in the Elias J. Halling Recital Hall of the Earley Center for Performing Arts, 320 Maywood Ave. Cleaves will be joined on stage by Austin,Texas sideman Wayne “Chojo” Jacques on fiddle and mandolin.

Much like Hank Williams or Woody Guthrie, Slaid juxtaposes tales of working class woes. When Slaid Cleaves wrote the title track for his new album ‘Still Fighting The War,’ he had a specific subject in mind. Inspired by a Pulitzer-winning series of photos on an Iraq War veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he sought to address the plight of those returning from war and struggling to readjust to society. But as the album progressed, the phrase “still fighting the war” began to take on a broader meaning.

“In the past, when I would start writing a new batch of songs a theme would emerge early on. My process this time was just to write as many good songs as I could, not concerning myself with how they all fit together,” he says. “But when I began to settle on the songs and the sequence of the album a theme of perseverance through hard times revealed itself. It runs through the album, as it carries into all of our lives. The recession’s over, but these aren’t exactly happy days. We’re all still struggling, we all keep pushing along.”

Called “one of the finest songwriters from Texas” by the New York Times, Slaid knows a thing or two himself about perseverance. It’s been 23 years since he first moved from his home state of Maine to Austin, Texas, where he started his career playing open mics and barbeque joints around town before earning international acclaim for his “powerfully direct” songwriting style by National Public Radio.

The concert is co-sponsored by KMSU-The Maverick and the Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series with assistance from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Concert admission is $15; $13 for students with a valid MavCard. Discount tickets are available online for University students. Advance purchase is strongly encouraged. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to

For more information, call the Performance Series office, 507-389-5549.

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