Langhorne Slim is a working-man's folk artist. He's charismatic and talkative, willing to dish on everything from modern music promotion to Charles Mingus biographies. While lots of a conversation with Boise Weekly made it into an article that will be in our Dec. 16 issue, check what was left on the cutting room floor.
Boise Weekly: You’ve been making music for over a decade now. Were you always musically inclined?
Langhorne Slim: Is it that long already? Jesus. It’s gotta be getting close to that though, yeah.
I’d like to think I was always musically inclined. I was always extremely moved by music from my first memories. My grandparents used to take my brother and I to Broadway musicals or just off-Broadway musicals and stuff like that. They loved that kind of music and jazz music and there was always music in the house. My dad loved classic rock—so it was always with me.
How about your writing style? Do you write the lyrics first, then the melodies, or what?
Well I’m interested in an experiment to change up what I tend to do. I think it would be good for me to write lyrics first. But much more common for me is that the music will come to me, and I try very hard to put the words together. For whatever reason, the way that my brains works, or wherever music comes from, it’s the melody that comes somewhat, almost easily. The arrangement of the melody after the initial melody I think of, the arrangement of it and the lyrics are a bit trickier for me together. Not all the time—sometimes it hits you all at once and feels almost like it’s not your song, like you didn’t even write it. More times than not, for me, it’s not that easy. It definitely takes some work.
Are you a vinyl guy, or do you like the iPod approach?
I’m pretty slow with technology, not because I’m against it or like a purist necessarily. My girlfriend got me an iPod for the holidays some years ago and it’s basically become hers because she knows how to use it. And its better that way, because I just have like the same five things on there.
I love records and CDs, I even still listen to some of my old cassettes. So I’m more of a record, CD, cassette guy. There’s nothing like blasting a record player or even a good CD player.
How about government? How do you feel about politics?
I’m interested in hopefully seeing it change, and our future being a bit brighter than the bullshit that’s going on now—what I would consider to be bullshit. We’re stuck in a bit of limbo with both sides having a constant pissing contest and I think nothing really can get done that way. I’m frustrated and often saddened by our political state in our country.
It still is a great country, I don’t mean to say that. I’d love to see some serious changes. It’s too limiting, and I don’t think it’s good for us. No matter what your politics are I just don’t think it’s good for anybody. Maybe it comes down where it’s good for somebody, but ... for me and the people in my family and friends, I wish it were different.
Langhorne Slim, the Pied Piper of Pennsylvania, supplants the flute for the guitar. He and his band The War Eagles play the Linen Building on Wed., Dec. 15.