The supportive crowd quickly took their places on the stage platform and closely packed the surrounding areas. Being in such close proximity to the band, the crowd assumed responsibilities of a support cast of veteran “War Eagles”.
Together they did a fifteen song set of old and new material including encores that didn’t take much prompting. On the song “Checking Out” the audience weighed in with / I’m going home, I’m coming home / that’s where I’m going / building momentum. During “Restless” the crowd/ band did their best. Langhorne as band leader reprimanded us like a loving parent. Smiling he said, “You got to learn the song”
Crammed together, and in it together, Mr. Slim still found space for his convoluted antics. He strutted with his guitar in the confined space, made priceless facial expressions and sang on a drum set to maximize his voice level. Malachi subdued his usual drumming intensity and picked it up only for effect. Paul lent support on bass playing some fine solo interludes. With little room to breath, they never missed a beat.
Tonight sealed my belief in this band’s ability to connect with an audience. They have heart, authenticity, talent and a love for music performance that sets them apart from other bands. Whether they are opening for the Pogues at Irving Plaza or playing acoustically at the Rockstar Bar, Langhorne Slim knows how to deliver.
This curated night of music at the Rock Star Bar, happens rarely in the music scene today. The nights mix of eclectic music styles created an atmosphere that celebrates diversity of genre. In between acts music tracks set a mood with songs by Hank Williams III, Musical Youth, Mongo Joy and a few awesome recordings of the one-man band Abner Jay.
The night started off colorfully with a cover band that did a fine job channeling Janis Joplin. Janis appeared in the form of man extravagantly dressed to replicate. This was the only band not part of the original line up, but was a fun opening.
Jazz duo Tyler Miller vocalist and guitar player and trumpeter Dan Blanketchip played jazz standards. We were treated to tunes like “Saint James Infirmary”, "Dinah" and "Honeysuckle Rose". They exchanged duties throughout the set. The trumpet playing was pristine while Tyler played guitar with ease and dexterity. His vocals were perfect.
The mood switched gears as the stylish Honne Wells stepped up to the platform and slowly sat with guitar in hand. He steps, picks, slides, whistles and sings with a voice that has never seen the light of day. He brings reverence and humor channeling a slice of Americana with a refreshing new twist.
The time was right for the upbeat original folk styling of Hop Along Queen Ansleis. Her fans gravitated towards her as she began her set with “Spinach Water” holding a small touring guitar. She glowed and emanated joy as her powerful voice reached a range of high octaves with ease and veracity. Her set was a mix of favorites from her 2005 debut “Freshman Year” and new tunes soon to be recorded. She sang an outstanding cover of Hank Williams “I’m so Lonesome I Could Cry”. It rang with originality and was so beautifully arranged I almost didn’t recognize it. She is a captivating performer ready for a wider audience.
The crowd was not prepared for the Charm City Drug Band, but thoroughly embraced their NY debut performance. This Baltimore collective assembled their instruments on site. Finding at the bar anything that can be banged, rubbed or hammered. The night’s set up was a plastic bin, metal piping, wooden dowels, a metal urn and discarded refrigerated shelving that was propped up against the back wall of the platform. The improvisational clatter beat and surged organically creating a beguiling sound. The audience was perked with interest. As the players went into overdrive, so did the PA.
The PA failure lead to a delightful accident that propelled Langhorne Slim's impromptu acoustic session. The melding of great musicians was no accident. They were a sampling of one person’s eclectic and passionate taste, and in my opinion a masterful night of music.
04 /19 / 07 Rock Star Bar line up curated by: Marlon Ziello
Related articles by Obsession Collection: Langhorne Slim
Hop Along Queen Ansleis
|Rock Star Bar 04 /19/ 2007|