Langhorne Slim & The Law – Rules of the road warriors
Some people are gifted. Born with certain traits, attributes, and talents, certain individuals are meant for greatness. Enter: Langhorne Slim. The 31-year-old Pennsylvania native flawlessly blends folk, punk and country with a pop-sensibility that so many strive for.
“I was born with a burning desire to get my freak on,” says Langhorne Slim. “Music was and is the one that makes me feel free and at peace. It was born in me.”
Born Sean Scolnick in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, he has been releasing music under the moniker Langhorne Slim since his 1999 album Slim Pickens. The self-taught guitarist has been writing and recording emotionally raw acoustic songs with unbridled soul ever since. Slim garnered much attention after touring with bands like Cake, The Avett Brothers, Josh Ritter, and an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2008.
Now, with eight studio records under his belt and a road-tested band, Langhorne Slim and The Law have been wowing audiences from coast to coast, celebrating the release of their newest record, The Way We Move.
The record represents a departure for Langhorne, physical and otherwise. He writes of the loss of his grandfather on “Song For Sid,” where he is stripped bare and howling, “Where do the great ones go when they’re gone?” He also struggles with the ending of a relationship that lasted five years, and his recent move from his home in Portland, Oregon. He has been living on the road full time ever since.
“I have a storage unit in Portland and some incredible friends around the country,” says Langhorne. “I have lost any interest in being still for too long or having my own bed.” Langhorne and the Law have been working hard and making the road their home with relentless touring. “That will change someday,” he adds. “But for now, the road is home.”
To record The Way We Move, Langhorne and the band spent some time in the summer of 2011 in rural Texas demoing songs and experimenting musically. Their sound comes from a love of all kinds of music, ranging from The Misfits to Wu Tang Clan to Jimmie Rodgers.
Langhorne’s band is comprised of bassist Jeff Ratner, drummer Malachi DeLorenzo and banjo player and keyboardist David Moore. “I have the best band in the business though their secrets I won’t tell,” jokes Langhorne.
Ratner joined around the time of 2009′s release Be Set Free, and brought his long time band mate Moore along with him. According to the band’s official website, Ratner and Moore have played together in some fifteen bands together.
The band has grown strong and cohesive after several tours together and after making appearances at Bonnaroo and the Newport Folk Music Festival. The band “We are a band and a family now,” says Langhorne. “We understand each other musically and as brothers. We are having fun!”
After demoing songs in Texas, the band relocated to Old Soul Studios in Catskill, NY to record The Way We Move. The 100-year-old house was redone as a studio where they set up found the band recording 26 songs in just four days. The raw feel of The Way We Move comes from the recording process. Most tracks were done live instead of constantly overdubbing and re-recording portions of songs to be pieced back together. Moore recorded his banjo parts in an old coatroom, while the piano was set up in the living room of the house. Even Langhorne Slim’s vocals were recorded live.
“We found a rural retreat in Old Soul (Studios),” says Langhorne. The property is owned and operated by co-producer Kenny Siegal. “The house It’s a big beautiful old house…I felt very comfortable there and recording live…was one of the best things our band has done.”
Langhorne describes The Law as a live band first and foremost. They thrive off of a dirty, raw and rock’n’roll attitude. “There is beauty in the filth my friends,” adds Langhorne.
And bringing the new record to life on the road has been something special. Langhorne Slim & The Law’s shows have been amazing. “It feels like the first time around, only better and more fun,” says Langhorne. “We came to Bellingham once before with our homeboy Rocky Votolato. We expect to bring the rock, throw it down, and dance all over your fine town!”
Langhorne Slim & The Law play The Wild Buffalo on July 31. For more information, visit langhorneslim.com.