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.
In my other life, I am perpetually late, but not when it comes to going to see live music. So Wednesday night, sitting at the Pink Pony listening to the Clash on the jukebox and savoring my last taste of creme brulee, I was finished stalling. So I ventured around the corner to the Mercury Lounge for Langhorne Slim’s sold-out show. Defiantly too early!
One benefit, I watched the arrival of a slew of important people on a guest list to see the band J. Roddy Watson and the Business. All saying, “I’m on the List.” The back room was filled with about thirty people. The young man on the piano, with his support players on guitar, bass, and drums, was about to give the show of a lifetime, regardless of the statuesque audience. I’ve been to only one other “tryout,” and they are a bit awkward.
J. Roddy, with curly long locks, has a great voice and magnetic delivery of southern rip-roaring rock and roll. I’ve never seen anyone literally hump a piano. I wasn’t sure if the piano stool would slip under him or if the piano would slide across the stage from all the pounding and movement. Leon Russell on meth comes to mind! It was uproariously loud and resurrected the sound of classic rockn’ roll in the highest order. Dated, who cares. Oh soo good!
I was there to socialize and see Langhorne Slim but decided to make a commitment to see Hoots and Hellmouth’s very enjoyable set. The trio of Sean (guitar), Andrew (Mandolin), and Rob (guitar) with the addition of stand-up bass and Bob Beach, a fierce harmonica player.
The set up of two wooden platforms in lieu of percussion offered a muffled stomp beat that worked nicely with the acoustic instruments. Authenticity abounds. Their instruments resonated while the gospelesque roots rock, soulful vocals, and rich harmonies rose to create a surround-sound effect. Hoots and Hellmouth's unpredictable styling provide a marvelous listening juxtaposition with acoustics that are both soft and furious. And when they come on strong, their flowing hair head-bangs to the rhythm, building a joyful experience to watch and hear!
The lounge was packed for Langhorne Slim and the War Eagles with friends, fans, and those that helped along the way. The long-awaited release had finally arrived. We were all there, including five pals from Bermuda who flew in for the night to wish them well on their first headlining tour across the US.
The set began with Langhorne saying, “I promised myself I wouldn't cry.” This show was a tender affair with guitar tuning incidents and some sweet slim banter. The crowd ate it up and smiled, sweated, danced, sang along, clapped, and stomped to the love fest sendoff.
They worked the crowd up and slowed things down. When Langhorne sang Hummingbird unaccompanied, the crowd enjoyed silence with each heartfelt word. “We Love The Animals” was quite a rollicking affair. I had only heard the acoustic version recently uploaded by Crackerfarm on YouTube. The long set left the audience in a sweaty, smiling frenzy and slim invited some of the audience to join them on stage for a grand finale.
As the War Eagles left the stage, the last song of the night, “Rebel Side of Heaven,” was a bait and switch that worked its magic on the crowd, and was delivered with Slim, guitar in hand, and no mic. During the instrumental, he shyly smiled and said, “here’s my solo, guys.” And then, without the usual soulful swagger, he wittily and sweetly sang the closing line. / We ain’t going to hell / well we’re going to the rebel side of heaven /.
And heaven it was, maybe Slim didn’t cry, but many had tears of joy, including me. A night to savor!
Slim singing "Hummingbird" @ The Mercury Lounge
"Rebel Side of Heaven," directed by Crackerfarm
My review of Self Titled
Langhorne’s signature voice is sweet but on this recording the rough edges reek with soulful timber. It is no surprise that his inspirational music hero is Otis Redding. Bringing this inspiration to fruition is Slims hard guitar pickn’, the duo The War Eagles Paul Defiglia on stand-up bass, Malichi DeLorenzo on drums, with guest player Sam Kassirer on Wurlitzer, piano and accordion. The tuba and trombone are bonus entries.
Combined, create a soulful hoedown, rollicking folk raucous, swaggerific bluesy folkabilly and fierce exhilarating mix. DeLorenzo’s drumming is kick-ass good, his acute timing accelerates to take you higher. Creative treatments by the production efforts of Malachi Delorenzo and Sam Kassirer lend distinct detailing to the sound, like in the song “Sometimes” a distant sequence of noises descend and artful clapping ensues, or the choral ooh ooh's in “Hello Sunshine”. This band is tight and the added textures, sparkle.
The bowing of the stand-up bass is innovatively accented on the first track “Spinning Compass” and zydeco style accordion accompanies the sing-along conclusion. The wit and philosophical leanings kills in “Rebel Side Of Heaven” / though we have sinned / we ain’t going to hell / we’re going to the rebel side of heaven /. The tuba blows as bass accents, the trombones short repetitive styling, humming chord progression of the Wurlitzer, banging piano keys and vocals that relish the sentiment expressed with a giant wink. “She’s Gone” starts with a cool cooing sound. Midway the clink and clank percussion breaks up the song and the soulful screaming, bluesy keys and incredible drumming bring on the great chorus / she’s gone / I’m staying / I’m nobody /. I need to come up for air and then comes Colette….
Colette, Shit this song rules. Slims voice is the best I’ve ever heard it. Slow and steady it slowly comes on. / All I wanted was a song and a close friend / we stepped into the light and took pictures of each other / some are in black and white / the others in color / . Then it steps up with a soulful exuberance / Here she comes! / Here she comes! / Here she comes! / with accordion right on queue. Expressing new love and the breathless moment of anticipation, wow even I want to see Colette.
The slow and soulful “Diamonds and Gold” is my new mantra. / You can have all the diamonds / you can have all the gold / but someday your still going to get old / you got to learn to get happy along the way /. “Tipping Point” is rootsy folky and rollicking with fast paced zany rappin’, guitar pluckin’ hard-ass stand-up and amazing shuffle drumming. / I got so hung up / I said HI_DE _HO / the tipping point / the tipping point / WOWWW…. In keeping with folk styling “Oh Honey” is aligned with the best folk standards focusing on guitar, bass and vocals. / We must walk alone sometimes but oh honey / won’t you let me be / I just love it!
Ending slow and softly with “Hummingbird”. / I’ve been leaning on you without reason or truth / I’m leaving my demons / and the first one I’m leaving is you /. Well love can pull you through but sometimes you got to go it alone.
Yes I am a fan, but I also have ears that hear and a heart that still can be moved. I’m in love with this collection of songs, they make me happy along the way, and that is a basic necessity.
I've seen this group eight times live. Press labels and read more about the hardest working band around!!!!
View headlining tour dates on: Langhorne Slim MySpace
Shot by Andrew David Watson freelance filmmaker
The band Langhorne Slim is a rockin folk/blues/rock/outfit that has been wowing crowds across the US and Europe with their exuberant stage presence and rollicking sound. Stirring audiences to stomp, clap, dance, and sing along in a frenzy of glee.
Langhorne Slim has now found a home with the label Kemado Records and will unleash a self-titled full-length album with bonus tracks on April 29th, 2008. The recordings reflect the live rip-roaring high-spirited feel and acoustic gems that warm the heart.
For other articles about Langhorne Slim (press labels).
Visit their myspace page to listen to two great new tracks.
"Rebel Side of Heaven" and "Diamonds and Gold"
Langhorne Slim myspace Page
Photo credit : the great Crackerfarm
Drink Up Buttercup @ the Cake Shop 1/19/08 Saturday night. You know what I'll be doing!! If you can't catch them tomorrow, they are doing a residency at Piano's during February, on Tuesdays!
Drink up Buttercup myspace
Peasant AKA Damien Derose Coffee Shop Series: Starting on January 29th with a creative acoustic lineup at the Cake Shop: Chris Archibald of the band Illinois doing a solo stint, Peasant, and Ben Thornewill of Jukebox the Ghost.
I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be.
Check Peasant's myspace for a complete schedule.
Jukebox the Ghost myspace
Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned the new Release The Thing About Time
Looking forward to seeing them again!!
Nice words from My Old Kentucky Blog
The threesome of guitar and vocals (Langhorne), stand-up bass (Paul Defiglio), and drums (Malachi DeLorenzo) became a foursome with Sam Kassirer on a Rhodes piano. Kassirer rounded out the sound, and stylistically he was right on queue. What sets Langhorne Slim apart from other groups is their great musicianship and affable camaraderie. They are a brotherhood of soul, grit, hard work, and passion. They bring that ethic to every show.
Complimenting the raucous music is Slim’s phenomenal showmanship that stirred the crowd to enthusiastically stomp, shake, and smile. The last three songs were a bonus and part of an impromptu encore, that he started with a request to turn on the disco lights, which hung like artifacts from another era. The mood was established, and as the song progressed, members of the audience joined him on stage. Ending the set with the crowd pleaser “I love to Dance,” he said he should retire. The ravenous crowd was pleased he didn’t.
Langhorne Slims’ shows are always great, but headlining makes a difference. It is not too often that I see that kind of enthusiasm for music or have a night out that is so memorable.
The supportive crowd quickly took their places on the stage platform and closely packed the surrounding areas. Being close to the band, the crowd assumed the responsibilities of a supporting cast of veteran “War Eagles.”
Together they did a fifteen-song set of old and new material, including encores that didn’t take much prompting. In the song “Checking Out,” the audience weighed in with / I’m going home, I’m coming home / that’s where I’m going / building momentum. During “Restless,” the crowd/ band did their best. Langhorne, as a band leader, reprimanded us like a loving parent. Smiling, he said, “You got to learn the song.”
Crammed together and in it together, Mr. Slim still found space for his convoluted antics. He strutted with his guitar in the confined space, made priceless facial expressions, and sang on a drum set to maximize his voice level. Malachi subdued his usual drumming intensity and picked it up only for effect. Paul lent support on bass, playing some fine solo interludes. With little room to breathe, they never missed a beat.
Tonight sealed my belief in this band’s ability to connect with an audience. They have heart, authenticity, talent, and a love for music performance that sets them apart from other bands. Whether they are opening for the Pogues at Irving Plaza or playing acoustically at the Rockstar Bar, Langhorne Slim knows how to deliver.
This curated night of music at the Rock Star Bar rarely happens in the music scene today. The night's mix of eclectic music styles created an atmosphere that celebrates the diversity of the genre. In between acts, music tracks set a mood with songs by Hank Williams III, Musical Youth, Mongo Joy, and a few awesome recordings of the one-man band Abner Jay.
The night started colorfully with a cover band that did a fine job channeling Janis Joplin. Janis appeared in the form of a man extravagantly dressed to replicate. This was the only band not part of the original lineup but was a fun opening.
Jazz duo Tyler Miller, vocalist, guitar player, and trumpeter Dan Blanketchip played jazz standards. We were treated to tunes like “Saint James Infirmary,” "Dinah," and "Honeysuckle Rose." They exchanged duties throughout the set. The trumpet playing was pristine, while Tyler played guitar with ease and dexterity. His vocals were perfect.
The mood switched gears as the stylish Honne Wells stepped onto the platform and slowly sat with the guitar in hand. He steps, picks, slides, whistles, and sings with a voice that has never seen the light of day. He brings reverence and humor, channeling a slice of Americana with a refreshing new twist.
The time was right for the upbeat original folk styling of Hop Along Queen Ansleis. Her fans gravitated towards her as she began her set with “Spinach Water,” holding a small touring guitar. She glowed and emanated joy as her powerful voice reached a range of high octaves with ease and veracity. Her set was a mix of favorites from her 2005 debut, “Freshman Year,” and new tunes soon to be recorded. She sang an outstanding cover of Hank William's “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” It rang with originality and was so beautifully arranged I almost didn’t recognize it. She is a captivating performer ready for a wider audience.
The crowd was unprepared for the Charm City Drug Band but thoroughly embraced their NY debut performance. This Baltimore collective assembled its instruments on-site. Finding anything that can be banged, rubbed, or hammered at the bar. The night’s set up was a plastic bin, metal piping, wooden dowels, a metal urn, and discarded refrigerated shelving propped up against the back wall of the platform. The improvisational clatter beat and surged organically, creating a beguiling sound. The audience was perked with interest. As the players went into overdrive, so did the PA.
The PA failure led to a delightful accident that propelled Langhorne Slim's impromptu acoustic session. The melding of great musicians was no accident. They were a sampling of one person’s eclectic and passionate taste and, in my opinion, a masterful night of music.
04 /19 / 07 Rock Star Bar lineup curated by: Marlon Ziello
Related articles by Obsession Collection: Langhorne Slim
Hop Along Queen Ansleis
|Rock Star Bar 04 /19/ 2007|