Slaid Cleaves is an American singer-songwriter born in Washington, D.C. and raised in South Berwick, Maine and Round Pond, Maine, United States. An alumnus of Tufts University, where he majored in English and philosophy, Cleaves lives in Austin, Texas.
His full name is Richard Slaid Cleaves, but Slaid is the name that he has used his entire life.
Cleaves is a full-time touring musician, but like most musicians has held many day jobs: janitor, warehouse rat, ice cream truck driver, rope-tow operator, film developer, groundskeeper, meter reader, and pizza delivery driver. He was even a human guinea pig. He was paid to be a subject in drug studies by a pharmaceutical company.
Cleaves's musical roots extend back prior to his days playing in a high school "garage band" with his childhood friend Rod Picott. The two shared a love of music, especially Bruce Springsteen and named their band The Magic Rats, after a character in Springsteen's song "Jungleland."
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