Langhorne Slim's Folk-Rock Live Wire
Langhorne Slim and his band The War Eagles mix folk and blues with reckless punk-rock energy. Now touring with a new self-titled album, the singer-songwriter, along with band members Paul Defiglia on upright bass and drummer Malachai DeLorenzo, performed from Nashville and spoke with Weekend Edition Saturday's John Ydstie.
Born Sean Scolnick, Langhorne Slim renamed himself after his hometown in Pennsylvania. "I was patiently waiting for somebody to give me a nickname that I thought suited me," he says. "The truth of it is, when I was young, I really wanted to be a black blues singer, and it's taken me up to 27 [years] to realize that's not gonna happen for me. I just thought it just sounded cool and sort of fit in the tradition of the music I was listening to at the time."
Originally signed to V2 Records, Slim put out the EP Engine in 2006 and planned a full-length album to follow. But when V2 shut down, the singer decided to release the disc through a smaller label.
Though the recording industry remains in flux, Slim says he still finds confidence to keep going. "I think what you learn is you got to have belief in what you're doing, and the ups don't get you too up and the downs don't get you too down," he says. "You just continue to do what you're doing because you love to do it."
"What will never go away," he adds, "is that there are always gonna be people out there who want to come to shows, and that's something that the record business isn't going to affect one way or the other. "
It's the live shows, rather than writing or recording, that Slim says he's drawn to the most. "Certainly the most natural for me is performing in front of an audience," he says. "The other stuff has taken more effort and more time to try to get good at."
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