Call it Folk, Call it Rock... Just don't call Langhorne Slim old timey | Sound Stories & Interviews | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

Call it Folk, Call it Rock... Just don't call Langhorne Slim old timey 

Black and White, yes. But not old timey.Langhorne Slim is in North Carolina gearing up for a friend's wedding and he's telling me about the

Black and White, yes. But not old timey.Langhorne Slim is in North Carolina gearing up for a friend's wedding and he's telling me about the iPod that his girlfriend gave him for Christmas. But he's not talking about the new Radiohead he just dumped onto the device - like a whole lot of new iPod owners probably did in the wake of the holidays - he's telling me about all the Lee Hazlewood tracks he loaded up.

Hazlewood, the iconic country music rebel who died of cancer just this past summer, isn't who I'd expected Langhorne Slim - one of the most promising young songwriters playing today - to be listening to. Then again, after a few more listens to Langhorne's tunes, it makes sense.

Like a host of other male musicians his age, the 27-year-old Langhorne (real name Sean Scolnick, but I think I'll stick with Langhorne - just sounds cooler) plays a brand of mostly acoustic, but often-rocking music that's most easily, or perhaps lazily, classified as "folk" - or some people even go as far to call it "freak folk." But Langhorne doesn't really know what that's supposed to mean.

"I read an interview with Louis Armstrong one time and they asked him what folk music was. He said, 'well if you're not playing it for a horse, then it's folk music, it's for the folks,'" Langhorne explains, then adds,

"I play music for the people and if that's a definition of folk music, then sure, I guess I play folk."

Langhorne's music is gorgeous in the fact that it's both simple and stylistically dynamic in the same breath - songs like "In the Midnight" are gritty Americana on the surface, yet deeply technical when you scoop out Langhorne's quick-picking guitar from the mix of the upright bass and drums of his band, the War Eagles. In the end, his sound has some joyous old timey flavors - but Langhorne is less than enthusiastic when I call him old timey.

"I would rather not be called old timey. I'd rather be thought of as modern, because I'm making music right now," he says.

But he has a good point, he's not some crusty old twanger trying to summon the ghost of Hank Williams. Along with other songwriters like Josh Ritter and groups like Bend frequenters the Avett Brothers, Langhorne bends the idea of Americana and wraps it around a rock and roll core. Langhorne says rock was a big part of his upbringing.

"I was as drawn to harder rock bands as I was to Hank Williams or Dylan," he says, citing bands like Nirvana and Butthole Surfers as youthful favorites.

In many ways, the rock/folk/Americana twist that Langhorne and his colleagues are cultivating is very much a new genre and one that seems to be picking up popularity by the day - and the same could be said of Langhorne. The artist snagged a coveted spot on the Bonnaroo music festival last summer, played a rousing set at Portland's Pickathon, and has a new record dropping this spring.

And while Langhorne is a guy who music critics are drooling over and gets about 500 plays a day on his MySpace Music page (that's a lot), he's playing in Bend at McMenamins Old St. Francis School on Wednesday the 23rd for free. That's not a bad deal, and get it while you can, because a ticket to see this guy is probably going to cost you down the road.

Langhorne Slim

7pm Wednesday, January 23. McMenamins Old St. Francis School. 700 NW Bond St., 382-5174. All ages. Free!

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Triple Whammy

    Triple Whammy

    Eric Leadbetter helps bring joy to the music scene, food industry and hospital workers with the St. Charles Meal Mission
    • Jun 1, 2020
  • Life in the 'Badlands' ▶ [with video]

    Life in the 'Badlands' ▶ [with video]

    Casey Parnell's debut solo album is set to the background of nature
    • Jul 29, 2020
Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Summer Sunday Nights: Brent Alan & His Funky Friends

Summer Sunday Nights: Brent Alan & His Funky Friends - Sisters Saloon & Ranch Grill

Sun., Sept. 26, 6-9 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in Sound Stories & Interviews

More by The Source Staff

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2021 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation