Veteran songwriter Sean Scolnick, aka Langhorne Slim, says people are looking to get messy. “People want to dance,” he says. “People want to be freaks.” The Nashville-based musician feels this goes a long way to explain the recent chart-topping revival of “roots” music like The Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons. “People want to strip things back,” Slim concludes.
Lazily, Langhorne Slim and his band, The Law, could be lumped together with the banjo-and-suspenders crowd (although Slim’s been nibbling at the edges of fame longer than many other bands in the neo-Americana scene). What sets the singer apart is his Joe Cocker-inflected singing voice and shades of R&B — particularly with the big Memphis-style horns of “Fire” from his 2012 release The Way We Move.
“Otis Redding is my favorite singer,” Slim says. “It’s the first music that touched my heart and soul. The soul of the band is in tune with this style of music.” But there’s plenty for folk and acoustic music fans (new and old) to like on The Way We Move; “Salvation” is a gentle and lilting banjo number. The opening track — sharing the album title and featuring a killer bari-sax hook — is a rollicking, infectious and fun little ditty that will make you want to skip arm in arm with your best friend down the nearest dusty dirt road.
Langhorne Slim & The Law plays with Jonny Fritz and Nathan Reich 9 pm Saturday, Oct. 12, at WOW Hall; $12 adv., $15 door.