Put on your blue lipstick and I'll put on my Venus boots,
It's raining in Northampton, but it might as well be the moon.
Langhorne Slim with Ha Ha Tonka rocked The Iron Horse on July 19th, 2010.
The audience reaction of this under the radar artist needs to be heard:
"The world is not large enough for Langhorne Slim. The way that he treats his audience and his music with such respect, he's going to be around for a long time."
"...drove an hour and a half to see him because I heard his song on the radio and somehow I knew he'd be great ... and he was!"
"What genre is he? Bluegrass? Rock? Folk? Gospel? His music is folk and country with a rock edge, but something in his lyrics are like gospel." "He's not like anyone else I've ever heard."
"Smart- so clever, and the way he worked the audience was really great."
Langhorne Slim and his band held back nothing as they lead this show with songs from their new album, "Be Set Free" while mixing in some earlier works from his self titled album "Langhorne Slim" and "When the Sun Came Down". There were also a few tunes from his War Eagles days for the veteran fans. Amazing show. And we all got to watch his signature hat fly around the stage, the perfect barometer for the luscious intensity of the night.
"Be Set Free" bellowed to open and set the tone for the night. Up tempo for "Cinderella" and on to the dreamy "Colette". "Say Yes" grabbed folks from their seats as Langhorne, the mentor of the freak out dance, encouraged all from word one to join him. By the end of this night, most were up, stomping, shouting, fast foot pounding.
Langhorne leaps, loses his hat, kicks it back onto his head, (almost). Like a rockabilly Spiderman, he virtually climbed sideways up the walls of the Iron Horse stage, all the while, playing his guitar, cueing his band and the sound technicians to get the perfect mix of tunes for our enjoyment. A brilliant showman and a very hard working band.
Give this man a bigger stage.
Langhorne is a story teller, and from what I've read about him, has come from a generation of story tellers. He followed the sweet and romantic "Electric Love Letter" with a funny and humbling story about being a boy in his neighbor's sandbox and falling for the lovely, "Clover." He is brooding, vulnerable, strong.
"Somebody say yeah !" "Mary/Cut It Down," banjo, fiddle, country jamming, Langhorne's flying his hat again. Rockin.
And there are blues. Deep sultry blues. "I Need Your Lovin."
"Restless," "Worries" I've known these well on recordings, but played live they are stunning. Langhorne knows pain, and he knows that we know pain, so he shares his bare experience with us. In these moments we stop dead in our tracks, love, loss, searching for our souls. "I Love You, But Goodbye." Riveting.
Someone on You Tube posted that if asked who their best friend is, they say, "Langhorne Slim."
It is Langhorne's love for music that envelops us, carries us to a place that is so familiar. He reached out to all edges of the room with contagious energy, acceptance, hope and straightforward rockin guitar. His voice, unlike that I've ever heard.
I am not a musician, but the song arrangements and the lyrics together work in such a way that there is a foundational melody, yet the unique phrasing and careful use of refrain without too much repetition keeps you on the top edge of the song. This position as a listener, I think, allows Langhorne's ballads to have something new to offer with every visit. There is always more to discover on this journey. The yearning continues after the song has ended.
Superb guitar on "Take My Hand/Tonight We'll Be Fine." He extends the ending and pauses ... smiles " ... you ... "
And then there is the magnificently talented, hard working energy touting, band. Jeff Ratner on the bass, Sam Kassiner on fiddle, David Moore on keyboard, aka 'Jaws", and Malachi DeLorenzo on drums. They were non-stop, relentlessly jamming all night long. More importantly, they took the pulse of the audience and moved with us throughout the transitional moods of the songs, Langhorne's stories and the audience feedback. The experience was seemless, among the various textures in the music and commentary, it all came together for a great time.
During "Hello Sunshine" Langhorne jumped into the crowd, back and forth with his anthems and we shouted along. Followed my soul forgiving favorite, "Rebel Side of Heaven." "Back to the Wild" started acoustic and was confident and present. Langhorne is a sage, he answers the questions we didn't even know that we had in our minds.
"We Love the Animals" seems to be a fun throw in that turns up in videos and shows. We love it, know all the words, where are the downloads for this catchy gem ?
Langhorne, "I won't hold it against you if you freak out and dance ... " "Honey Pie" "In The Land of Dreams"
"More fiddle!" He shouted throughout the night.
"And If It's True" crowd is stomping, yelling, "It's True, It's True !!" There was a James Brown vibe with the back and forth energy that this man creates.
The last song was "Boots Boy." and he introduced the band throughout the night. An encore of "In the Midnight" and "I Love to Dance" followed, during which time a lady in the audience sneezed and Langhorne stopped to say "God Bless You." By the end of this show, the triad interactions between Langhorne, the band and the audience were so fluid, that the band got cues from the audience in bridging the song. Let it flow ... We can be set free.
- Be Set Free
- Say Yes
- Electric Love Letter
- Mary/Cut It Down
- I Need Your Lovin
- I Love You, But Goodbye
- Take My Hand
- Hello Sunshine
- Rebel Side of Heaven
- Back to the Wild
- We Love the Animals
- Honey Pie
- In The Land of Dreams
- And If It's True
- Boots Boy
- In The Midnight
- I Love To Dance