Langhorne Slim When the Sun’s Gone Down

[Narnack; 2005]

Styles: neo-bluegrass, folk
Others: Devendra Banhart, Loretta Lynn, Red Hunter

Self-fashioned troubadours are surely in fashion, and Langhorne Slim is another to add to the mix. Refreshingly, though, Mr. Slim is not afraid of a couple things that many of the other guitar-wielding aching hearts seem to shy away from: tempo and authenticity. Some of the songs on his debut, When the Sun's Gone Down, are barn burning hootenannies. The pace is past and the instrumentation is crowded with the strums of multiple guitars and banjos. Especially in the first few tracks, the pace seems too quick, and the proceedings too crowded. As things thin out with a few ballads, though, the album seems to fall into place nicely. "Drowning" and "I Ain't Proud" are especially memorable songs that show off Slim's voice and melodic ability. Beginning with "By the Time the Sun's Gone Down" and lasting until the album's conclusion, the record is especially realized, with vocal choruses, harmonicas, and bass solos, and piano flourishes all sensibly placed. As mentioned, Slim is also relatively unafraid of being authentic. He doesn't need to hide behind psychedelic experiments or even any type of gimmicky personae. Coming from Brooklyn, this is especially notable. It doesn't necessarily mean he's done homework on being authentic, but suggests a natural ability as a showman and sincere individual. From the range of musicians on the record, you get the feeling Slim may have a lot of friends who enjoy getting together and singing some songs. On a Saturday night, I can't say that that's a place I'd mind being.

1. In The Midnight
2. Set Em Up
3. Mary
4. Sisterhood
5. Electric Love Letter, The
6. And If It's True
7. Hanshaw Shuffle (Drunken Horse)
8. Drowning
9. I Ain't Proud
10. Loretta Lee Jones
11. By The Time The Sun's Gone Down
12. Hope And Fullfillment
13. I Will
14. Checking Out
15. I Love To Dance

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