Ever since The White Stripes (QRO live review) and The Black Keys (QRO album review) ‘brought blues back’ (did it ever leave?), lots of indie folk have been playing in the style, to the extent that now there’s a new crop of artists, such as Gary Clark Jr. (QRO photos) ‘bringing blues back’ – again. But Langhorne, Pennsylvania’s Langhorne Slim isn’t new to the game, and he does the more moving gospel-blues quite well in his latest, The Way We Move.
Like most of Slim’s work, his upbeat side is his stronger one, exemplified on Move by some great romp-stomps, such as the hootenanny titular opener, following “Bad Luck”, banjo-picking “Great Divide” & “Found My Heart”, and more. Not that Slim can’t do sad or sweet (like “Salvation” and “Just a Dream”, respectively), but the good times are always more fun than the bad times. Yet he is even able to exceed in sorrow with the elegy “Song For Sid”, and after the rather Conor Oberst (QRO live review)-y heart-on-sleeve storytelling “Coffee Cups”, Slim does some better storytelling in gospel-blues with closer “Past Lives”.
At this point in his career, Langhorne Slim may never break out the way Jack White (QRO album review), Dan Auerbach (QRO album review), or Gary Clark Jr. have, but he doesn’t need to ‘bring blues back’ – it never left, and Slim channels its spirit and more.
MP3 Stream: “Past Lives“