[COUNTRY] Yet another artist saved from the clutches of total obscurity by the Americana fold, Austin-based Slaid Cleaves is an under-appreciated gem. His dark character sketches and plain-stated approach to songwriting is a shoe-in for listeners that want unabashed honesty in their country music, however bleak. On his latest, Ghost on the Car Radio, he continues to inhabit the stories of folks trapped by circumstance and/or uninterested in the flimsy direction that mainstream American culture is barreling toward. The musical soundtrack sometimes rocks a little, but tends to simmer, letting the inherent pathos run the show. Throughout, a weary wisdom comes into focus, which suggests that despite the politics, these quietly miserable American souls might have a good handle on what’s wrong with our picture. Cleaves comes to Sportsmen’s Tavern on Sunday, May 20 for an afternoon gig at 4pm.