Story and photo by Max Lowe
I first met Langhorne on the Corner of Black and Main Street. He was heading for the Co-op pre show during his last visit to Bozeman in August 2012. A friend I was standing with on the sidewalk whispered into my ear, “Hey, I think that’s Langhorne Slim.”
I had no clue who he was, but with such a name it seemed appropriate to approach him immediately and ask if he was indeed the one and only Langhorne. He laughed and confirmed the query and, after a minute of banter, handed us a couple tickets to the show that evening. I had never heard his music before, but the promise of a show at the Filling Station and his sworn repute by my friend was enough to make me want to go. After that evening I was hooked.
When I heard he was playing in Bozeman again this last Wednesday, April 3, I had to get to the show. With the staunch confidence of a true artist, Langhorne Slim takes the stage in spirit and plays like he’s at a party with his best friends. His show at the Filler last week was just as good, if not better than when I saw him the first time, for since then, the band has released a new album called The Way We Move.
I’ve bragged of the Filler before, but the small roadside bar on North Rouse is one of my favorite venues. The homely bar’s walls are cluttered with old Montana license plates and relics of Montana’s history. Graffiti from years of loyal patrons creates a perfect setting for Langhorne’s antics.
The low stage at one side of the small room puts the band at eye level, building an intimate feel for the show. Langhorne Slim and The Law took full advantage of this and Langhorne strode into the crowd multiple times with guitar in hand to raucous cheers from onlookers. At the end of the set, Langhorne and his backup Banjoist took to the bar and played several songs amidst an adoring crowd, sealing the evening with a downy and grinning energy.
Langhorne Slim and The Law are an epitome example of spectacular mixed bag folk-gospel-punk fusion. They are an off the beaten path combination, but they own it with attitude.
Mixing banjo, electric keyboard and a boot stomping beat, they bring an old hat energy to a new music scene. Next time Langhorne and his band make it to Bozeman, be sure you’re there to witness the raucous.