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Langhorne Slim at the 400 Bar: Free to Love Me, Love You

11 Sep

Sold at the 400 bar Wednesday night, Langhorne Slim quickly tops my list of “Acts I Would Rather See Perform Than Ryan Adams”. Without the self-serious temperament of the Cardinals frontman, Langhorne’s country sneer was leavened by his wholly light attitude; self-assurance mixed with self-deprecation. The fact that he can cut a mean rug, whipping around on his little pins and stomp it out just sweetens the deal.

It’s not all just dancing and smiles though, the music itself is moving. The paroxysms of Langhorne’s country-picked guitar coupled with seamless vocal switches between folk sweet, country grave, tender falsetto lift worn love stories and plain poetry from engaging to sublime. Coupled with the War Eagles, Paul Defiglia on bass and Malachi DeLorenzo on drums, they formed an unstoppable whirlwind with Defiglia’s muscular solos and DeLorenzo’s sensitive yet ebullient combination of brushes and bass kicks. There is a wonder in the coming together of incongruence and contradiction, manifesting itself all around, in Defiglia’s Texas-shaped bling, the tattoo reading “you are alive” on his left bicep, DeLorenzo unabashedly coming out from the greenroom smoking a cigarette.

The confidence of the live show could not be doubted, nor could the excitement of the audience. People in attendance chattered about all the other times they had seen him, the blue-collar boys in hockey caps hooted out song requests whilst the alt-country hipsters kept their bulgy eyes fixed on stage. Their excitement paid off in rapport; everyone broke down in laughter when Langhorne crooned “I need your lovin’ so bad”, took a dramatic pause and some scallywag responded “Yoo-hoo”. Unable to contain himself, Slim went on a tangent about his grandparents, and then back to playing, giggling. Ryan Adams would have stalked off.

Langhorne Slim official MySpace here.

Download free mp3s:
Rebel Side of Heaven
Daytrotter session here.
Photos by Alexa Jones

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