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When The Sun's Gone Down

Langhorne Slim
When The Sun's Gone Down

Langhorne Slim is a young man who plays music that is most often associated with old guys. He was born in the 80s but musically sounds like he finds the most inspiration from rockabilly and roots music in general. He hoots, he hollers, and dangit if it doesn't make you want to stomp your foot a little bit and maybe even air-banjo a little bit. There's plenty of finger-picking on When The Sun's Gone Down, and with fifteen tracks running about thirty-five minutes in length, he keeps things moving quickly.

"In The Midnight" opens the release and very well might be the best and most infectious track on the entire release as Slim spits out playful lyrics and a background chorus adds some deft punctuation as banjos and guitars duel. "Set Em Up" takes some of the same elements and turns them into another two-minute blast of fun as handclaps, squeals of organ, tambourine slaps, and even more infectious banjo gallop along to a swift conclusion. "Mary" blends some lapsteel into the mix as Slim sings lovestruck vocals (that verge on being downright silly at times) that break into falsetto, yet the whole thing comes off with nary a hitch as the exotic sounds and smile-inducing lyrics blend together into one slightly-woozy singalong.

I'll be honest in saying that I don't listen to this style of music a great deal, but with this debut release, Langhorne Slim has created something that kicks me back to the days that I was spinning The Asylum Street Spankers and having a blast with their rowdy backporch stomps and quick wit. Even when Slim slows it down, as on "Drowning," the album rarely drags, as the album always remembers to keep brevity in mind. Only a single track runs over four minutes long, and the instrumentation is varied and dynamic while Slim's expressive vocals recall those of Gordon Gano (The Violent Femmes). A totally fun debut from a talented young artist.

Rating: 7.25