Editors' pick

Langhorne Slim

Singer-Songwriters
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Editorial Review

David Malitz reviewed a May 2008 Langhorne Slim performance for The Washington Post:

"Don't be scared by the slow songs; don't be scared by the fast songs," up-and-coming folkie Langhorne Slim told the Iota crowd early in his performance on Thursday night. An unsolicited comment like that can only mean one thing -- we should probably be scared of one of those types of songs. In this case it was the slow ones, which weren't scary or bad, just ordinary. At least that's how they sounded compared with the rollicking, hard-charging numbers that accounted for half of the set and were, well, extraordinary, showing Slim to be another young talent giving the folk genre a serious shot in the arm.

It was a rare and invigorating treat when the raspy-voiced 27-year-old attacked his acoustic guitar with rapid strumming, stand-up bass player Paul Defiglia found a propulsive groove and drummer Malachi DeLorenzo bashed away with abandon on songs like "In the Midnight" and "We Love the Animals." Like Josh Ritter and the Avett Brothers, Slim is a folk singer who is young enough to have lived through the alternative rock explosion, and the best of his songs have a ragged, infectious energy but still retain an organic, down-home feel.

Slim's solo moments as a vulnerable singer-songwriter weren't as exciting but served to showcase his broad appeal, which also included being quite the gracious host and entertaining showman. He told the enthusiastic onlookers they were "sexy [expletives]" and did chin-ups on a beam that hung over the stage. But winning over the crowd with gimmicks was unnecessary; his talent was more than enough.