Langhorne Slim

Photo Credit: Joshua Black Wilkins

On the Thursday night before Newport Folk Fest started, my buddy Nick and I stumbled into a Langhorne show at the Newport Blues Cafe. I hadn’t been listening to alot of Langhorn at that time. But it only took a few songs to be reminded that Langhorne is a larger than life figure (especially on stage).

For this album, Langhorne pumps the brakes and take a breath. The album has a soulful, reflective feel to it. Ocean City (For May, Jack & Brother Joe) recounts a happy memory for Slim; when his brother and him spent time with his parents. The tuba adds to the wistful flavor to the tune. However, Private Property has a tired rueful feel; as the protagonist sings of getting busted for growing weed on his property.

The back half of the album sees my two favorites of the album. Alligator Girl buoyed by its New Orleans flavored piano and its gospel-tinged backing vocals. Zombie is probably the catchiest and bounciest of the tunes. The pedal steel winding around throughout the tune, never overpowering the proceedings.

Overall, Lost At Last Vol. 1 is my favorite Slim album since his s/t effort in 2008. I’m anxious to see how these tunes translate to a live setting. As a veteran of many Slim shows, I can’t imagine anything that leaves me wanting.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Langhorne Slim is here

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LanghorneSlim2017_Credit-Harvey_Robinson-color

Photo Credit: Harvey Robinson

I had a re-awakening of sorts with Langhorne Slim last year. I was walking down the street on my first night at Newport Folk Festival and came upon a live show by Slim. My friend Nick and I ducked in to catch the set. We had a grand ol’ time remembering how much of his heart pours into each and every set.

Lost At Last Vol. 1 will be released by the fine folks at Dualtone Records on 11/10. The upcoming Lost At Last Vol. 1 is the follow up to 2015’s The Spirit Moves (Dualtone) which The Guardian praised for its “forehead vein bulging, raw and raucous delivery.” Lost At Last Vol. 1 was produced by Kenny Siegal, Malachi DeLorenzo and Langhorne Slim and was recorded at Panoramic House Studio in Marin County, CA.

Our 2008 live session is here (Collette is the real standout)

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Langhorne Slim is here

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HearYa took last week off so I figured that we would jump back into things with an album that we neglected earlier in the year; Langhorne Slim & The Law’s The Way We Move. Langhorne’s backing band has now got a formal name, The Law – and with that, I found The Way Me Move to be Langhorne’s strongest release.

I felt their last effort, Be Set Free was geared a little too much towards being radio-ready. And while it was still good, it had lost a little bit of the edge and grit that made the prior efforts so strong, especially the self-titled release in 2008.

The Way Me Move is built around the same subjects that Langhorne (Sean Scolnick) has centered his prior efforts around – love, lost lost, breakups and it is every bit as personal as his prior albums. The third tune, Fire, is about losing the spark in a relationship. But instead of making the song a weepy, whiny affair, Fire is centered around a jaunty piano that uses horns to give it a massive kick in the pants. Absolutely brilliant.

Further along in the album comes the deeply personal Song For Sid, a tune about Scolnick’s late grandfather. It starts off stripped down and slowly builds with the chorus of ‘Where do the great ones go when they’re gone?’ The tune is a tearjerker. The lyrics, “I love that old man. I wrote him this song” gets me every time.

If you ever seen them live, you can attest that Langhorne is a bigger-than-life presence on stage. I mentioned earlier, you could easily shape Langhorne’s songs to be some radio-ready trifle, but thankfully that is not the case here. The album was produced by Kenny Siegal and Langhorne Slim & The Law at Old Soul Studios in Catskill, NY; and they did an amazing job of capturing the live spirit of their shows, which is no easy task. The video below of the title track shows the audience hopping on stage and that is quite common at their shows.

Langhorne had this to say about The Way We Move, “My goal for this record was to create something that we could stand by and be proud of for the rest of of our lives. To make music that is real, raw and beautiful.” Mission accomplished.

Langhorne Slim and The Law “Song For Sid” Live at KDHX 6/8/12 by KDHX

Langhorne Slim and The Law “Salvation” Live at KDHX 6/8/12 by KDHX

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Jason Isbell

Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit need to be witnessed in the South. I had seen Isbell with and without the 400 Unit in San Francisco before relocating, but the crowd wasn’t quite right and Isbell’s performance felt less genuine.  That was not the case last Friday night at The Earl in Atlanta. The ex-Drive-By Trucker from Muscle Shoals, Alabama took the stage to a packed house of Southerners hellbent on singing every line of every song.

The night also included Langhorne Slim, Jesse Sykes and Phil Wandscher, and Mimicking Birds as part of the Paste Magazine Tour. I attended with a college buddy and a few new friends, which included some boys from Tuscaloosa and two Barbecue bloggers. That’s right. They review Barbecue. Like much of the crowd, none were familiar with Langhorne Slim which was shocking to me. I’ve seen Slim at Lollapalooza and The Fox Theater in Atlanta, so I was surprised that he was opening for Isbell. I prefer to call it a co-headline. We missed the first two acts to enjoy some Terrapin Rye Pale Ale, but walked in as Langhorne took the stage.

Langhorne Slim is a performer and every night he earns it. He’s like a gospel preacher on stage. You’ll find him standing on amps, then dropping down to his knees, then bouncing up to toss off his fedora. Shit, at one point he was in the crowd singing with his arms around fans. Even with his dramatic stage presence, Malachi Delorenzo (drums) and David Moore (keys, banjo) damn near stole the show. I continued to hear comments around me like “More banjo!” or “Holy shit, are you watching that drummer?” It was an incredible set that ended too quickly. It’s safe to say that Langhorne Slim found many new fans in Atlanta.

Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit (plus a bottle of Jack Daniels) took the stage next. If I didn’t know better, I’d be ecstatic to catch Isbell on the last night of a tour with a big bottle of liquor. Unfortunately, I saw him at Slims in San Francisco when he walked off stage with a sore throat after four songs. I was sitting with a bitter taste in my mouth until he opened with “Decoration Day,” one of my favorite DBT songs. That’s all it really took to get us back in good graces.

The rest of the set was surprisingly dominated by DBT material, including Outfit, Goddamn Lonely Love (video), and Never Gonna Change (video), which included a cover of Hendrix’s Stone Free. It works because Isbell is an amazing guitarist. Isbell and 400 then played some of their original material including two of my favs, Dress Blues (video) and In A Razor Town (video).  They also gave us a taste of two new tracks from their upcoming album, one I captured on video here, and the other seemed to be titled “Alabama Pines.” It was fantastic and had the crowd buzzing between songs.

The night ended with a crowd pleasing rendition of Otis Redding’s (Sittin On) The Dock of The Bay and, much like Langhorne’s set, the only downside of the performance was its brevity. The show ended at midnight with no encore and the crowd, just getting warmed up, just sort of stood there staring at one another for a few minutes. I had a long drive to the burbs, so it suited me just fine. I’m now anxiously awaiting Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit’s next album. My early read is that it’ll be more gritty than the first two albums and will appeal more to the DBT-Isbell devotees.

Langhorne Slim at The Earl

Jason Isbell – Dress Blues

Langhorne Slim – I Love You, But Goodbye

Jesse Sykes and Phil Wandscher – In The Summertime

The Mimicking Birds – The Loop

Video: Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit – (Sittin On) The Dock Of The Bay (Live at The Earl in Atlanta, 10/28/2010)

Video: Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit – In a Razor Town (Live at The Earl in Atlanta, 10/28/2010)

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Langhorne Slim gives away Say Yes [new mp3]

December 3, 2009

I reviewed Be Set Free not too long ago and Langhorne Slim and Kemado Records have kindly offered a second free download from the album. For you fellow southerners (still feels odd that I’m in the south now), catch him live with The Avett Brothers: 12/31—Asheville Civic Center with the Avett Brothers—Asheville, North Carolina 1/1—Fox […]

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Langhorne Slim – Be Set Free [Album Review]

October 13, 2009

Langhorne Slim is another in a great lineup of fall releases that includes American music from Port O’Brien, The Avett Brothers and Lucero. Be Set Free was released on September 29th and the single “I Love You, But Goodbye” was offered a month earlier and proved to be a good sample for what the album […]

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Travelers Insurance Commercial Song = Langhorne Slim [Bands + Brands]

October 10, 2009

Travelers Insurance released a new commercial yesterday that features the song “Worries” by Langhorne Slim. You can find the song on Langhorne’s self-titled album that was released in 2008. The same song was featured in our live session with Langhorne Slim. Here are those downloads: Exclusive: Langhorne Silm – Hummingbird Exclusive: Langhorne Slim – Cut […]

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Langhorne Slim releases new mp3, I Love You But Goodbye

August 25, 2009

Langhorne Slim just released a track from his upcoming release, Be Set Free. The song is “I Love You But Goodbye” and the album will be released on September 29th via Kemado Records. If the song is representative of the rest of the album, we’re in for something special. Langhorne Slim – I Love You […]

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Top 50 Albums of 2008 [Picks 1-10]

December 19, 2008

The best part of doing these year end lists is rediscovering every album we loved in 2008. While we chose Blitzen Trapper as the best album of the year, it may as well be a three-way tie. How do you choose between Blitzen Trapper, Fleet Foxes and The Black Keys? Hopefully y’all liked our choices. […]

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New Video: See Langhorne Slim’s wood on “Restless” video

September 3, 2008

Langhorne Slim just released a video for “Restless,” one of my favorite tracks from his self-titled album. He’s sporting huge wood. [youtube]ElwMp0qK1xc[/youtube] Here’s the album version and our live studio version of the song: Langhorne Slim – Restless Langhorne Slim – Restless (from the HearYa Live Session) Tweet

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