The Way We Move
By Al Kaufman
“Lord, release my wild soul,” Langhorne Slim pleads on the acoustic ballad “Wild Soul.” It is safe to say that the Lord has answered his prayers.
While his most recent home is Portland, Oregon, Slim and the band have spent the last two years as traveling troubadours, unleashing their rootsy rock energy for the grateful masses. The Way We Move does a good job of bottling that energy in a studio album. Songs such the title cut and “Two Crooked Hearts” have a loose, jangly feel that recalls jam band Widespread Panic. When not swirling things around on his piano, David Moore creates some fine finger picking on his banjo, such as on “On the Attack.” And his work on “Someday” will easily draw comparisons to the slow building sounds of Mumford and Sons.
But this is all about Langhorne Slim. His voice cracks, quakes and quivers with emotion, sometimes, such as on the emotionally charged ballad for his recently deceased grandfather, “Song for Sid,” sounding like Conor Oberst sans the whininess. There is a sweet earnestness to “Past Lives,” but mostly Slim just comes across like a man enjoying the hell out of what he does and giving it all he’s got. This is folk music in that it’s organic and music for regular folks, but in its intensity, restlessness, and passion, it is nothing but raw and inspired rock and roll.