Langhorne Slim worked up the hometown crowd @ Bell House in Brooklyn. They hung on every word, yelp, utterance, and soulful vocal. The songs from Be Set Free sounded so fresh. The new band lineup spiced up songs with additional keyboard, banjo, and saxophone. They set the house on fire with “Cinderella” and “For a Little While” and brushed us with a warm breeze with slower songs.
The ballads were amazing, and it was so nice when Slim was alone on stage, and the audience was with him all the way. This is not an intimate venue, so it was striking that he could have a conversation between songs.
Slim thanked the audience, who gave it back in spades. It is rare to see love and music working their magic. Langhorne Slim has a relationship with his audience, and it’s a good one.
Langhore Slim's Be Set Free has broken the glass ceiling reaching beyond the novelty beloved by fans to a wider audience. This is one side of Langhorne Slim. It is the studio side. Langhorne Slim is an incredibly raw live band. Be Set Free, produced by Chris Funk (The Decemberists) changes it up, adding variety with new instrumental treatments. I would call it Langhorne Slim smooth but not lite.
Slim's songwriting and vocals are so versatile that they cross various genres. Be Set Free combines soul, folk, and symphonic rock with heart-stopping vocals that reach for the rafters. A cast of talented contributors plays a slew of instruments, piano, organ, brass, and strings.
The songs are simple and basic, like a conversation spiced with little truisms. It is Slim's vocal delivery that adds emphasis to broadening interpretation. There are many great catchy melodies, raucous Honky Tonk, and heart-tugging solid ballads.
“Be Set Free” is a ballad of significance with jewel-like slide guitar and expressive piano. The soft shaker is the heartbeat for “I Love You But Goodbye,” blending gorgeous cascading piano with Slim’s fervent vocals. Starting as a mild tempo and escalating to a full soulful throttle of impassioned intonation, “For a Little While” blends timing contrasts. It peaks when Malachi DeLorenzo's slow shuffle drumming evolves into a hardcore exuberance mixed with the exhilarating mayhem of mashed-up ingredients. “Cinderella” flirts with the listener, offering a soulful wink with the help of Honky Tonk swing and an enthusiastic boy chorus.
The sumptuous "Leaving My Love" uses symphonic swells interspersed with lovely vocal dialogue between Slim and Erica Wennerstrom (Heartless Bastards) The chorus of / I can't believe it / I'm leaving my love / intensifies like romantic longings. In the tradition of country confessionals, "So Glad I'm Coming Home" offers sincerity about going home in a sobered state and hoping to be welcomed back.
The album closes with "Boots Boy," an upbeat love affirmation, / I don't want just anybody / I want you / nobody but you /. Be Set Free is sweet and sultry and naturally uplifts the spirit, A high worth getting.
To say I was delighted to see Little Teeth is an understatement. The twosome of Sofia Bell and Dannie Murrie recently added Sean Real to their inner circle. Their original music is Folk as an art form played with a conviction of sensibility and spirit. Their all-out abandon of song structure focused on experimentation, strange but beguiling harmonies, and escalating emphasis on vocals, drumming, cello or banjo.
I was outside socializing when the band set up and was flabbergasted when I moved to the front to find the most intricate found object drum set de jour, including a small xylophone. Dani Murrie strapped on an assortment of shells and bells from ankle to knee.
During the set, they brought out some additional homemade contraptions. The traditional instruments were plucked and bowed with attitude adding to the disjointed samplings of sound that fried my brain from overdrive of the unexpected. The drummer Sean Real has a passion for playing. A joy to watch.
the music sounds like a much looser Coco Rosie or The Roaches scrabbled. They bring it on with guts, punk, and moxie. Halfway through their fifty-state tour, they stated, “We showered tonight.” Everyone cheered.
and if intrigued, this is an awesome video highlighting their musical point of view.