Every roots fan copes both with the crippling demand for tradition and the venomous contempt for familiarity. Slaid Cleaves puts a cork in both. With a sound driven by exactly the kind of band you'd expect Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams' old guitarist and producer) to assemble, Cleaves confidently treads familiar ground with songs about sinners prayers and drunken boxers with busted-up hands. But the real gifts are the leaps of originality on songs like "Horses and Divorces." And when Cleaves rocks about life boiling down to "skin and wishbones" on the title track, there's suddenly a metaphor in the world that even coyotes can get behind. Cleaves is the answer for those troubled fans who want something classic and roomy but who also just gotta have that new-car smell.