Outside of Philadelphia I was born and raised, and in the playground I spent quite a few of my younger days. At the time I had a preference for brunettes but years pass and we change. When my tendencies turned toward blondes I began to hear the call of the big rotten apple and at eighteen, away I went. Gone were the lonely, sweaty summer nights of PA. The crickets were still cricken’ but not in my ears. I was in New York and I was looking for action. Some crave love, some seek danger but I was on the hunt for open mics and not to brag—I found ‘em. In a section of the city once referred to as alphabet on the lower east side there lurks a lot of white guys with acoustic guitars. This minor mass of songsters would meet one, two and sometimes three times a week in the back of bars, smoking, drinking and sharing with each other our newest creations. It was there that I met some good friends and came of age beginning to play my own shows and tour.
It is a special time for Langhorne Slim as he is so proud to announce and present Be Set Free, his mighty third album being released by Kemado Records. One of the most endearing and standout qualities of Slim’s live shows is the sureness that one is always entering a genuine gospel-like musical experience full of little miracles. Be Set Free has captured this charisma and spirit -the “hold your heart” moments and “raise a drink” dance vibes shine throughout with lush string arrangements and the fine sonic talents of drummer Malachi DeLorenzo, new bassist Jeff Ratner and new keyboard/banjo player David Moore. Langhorne’s stronger than ever vocals lead the journey blending his poetry through the beautiful chaos and bearing a wisdom that reflects a broken heart battling the perils of true hope.
Be Set Free is Langhorne’s most cinematic and cohesive effort to date. Slim has truly reached a point of light where these songs come from wide-eyed maturity and mastered craft.
Gut wrenching lyrics and gorgeous merry melodies-it would be easy to categorize it as folk, but this time-it’s much more complex than just that slice of pie. Sweet hallelujah choruses bleed throughout tracks like “Land Of Dreams” and “Say Yes” and turn to the darkness of blues filled “I Love You, But Goodbye”.
Be Set Free was produced by Chris Funk (member of Decemberists) who also played various instruments on the record in Portland, OR. The album also features several guest musicians including Sam Kassirer (from Josh Ritter’s band), Erika Wennerstrom (from Heartless Bastards) and Laura Veirs. The album was mixed by Tucker Martine who has recently worked with greats like Sufjan Stevens and R.E.M.
Needless to say ’tis been a non stop journey of excitement for Langhorne Slim. Since March 2008, the band have headlined over 150 shows and played major festivals such as Lollapalooza, Bumbershoot, Austin City Limits Festival, Newport Folk Fest, Sunset Junction, Pickathon, Rhythm and Roots, and SXSW. The band garnered heavy acclaim for their performance of “Restless” on the David Letterman show and were WXPN’s artist of the month. This spring, the band will be touring the US and Europe including a US tour with the Drive-By Truckers in April.
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