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Vaudeville In Milwaukee

Langhorne Slim / April Smith and the Great Picture Show
Turner Hall
Milwaukee, WI
Jan. 26, 2010
April Smith and the Great Picture Show
April Smith and the Great Picture Show
Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim

Story and photos by Gypsy Davey

Unpacking their steamer trunk first, April Smith and the Great Picture Show opened the evening at curtain's draw. Dapper and adorned in 1920's regalia, the band hit the stage fashioning one extraordinary tune after another. How anyone remained seated is beyond comprehension. April's odd Squirrel Nut Zipper-esque backbeats, with layered contemporary indie pop vibes, rounded out quite well to one rather pleasing musical conglomerate. Everyone was togged to the bricks, classy. The band's persona was in keeping with their respective roll, from the dour bass man to the jazzy cat tickling the skins, to the 3-piece suit ax slinger and his vicious chops, leaving the infectious canary April out in front to swing her thing. Bravo! Bravo!

Muzzle Of Bees were responsible for Langhorne Slim's appearance at Turner, after they had showed him the place a while back. During the sound check, Slim said, "Now I just hope some people show up."

The floorflushers hit the wood as soon as Langhorne made his way to center mic. Slim's take on alt-folk country pop, meanders and twists. At times harkening back to an early Neil Young, or maybe in lyric structure to the ever-experimenting Bob Dylan. For Slim, what isn't so avant-garde, however, is his ability to catch one in his melody. From the start, the place was jumping. The triple string of cuts from his self-titled record Langhorne Slim, "Hello Sunshine," "Worries," and "Diamonds and Gold" got the house groovin'. A brief glimpse of the current "Cinderella," from the Be Set Free release, and it's back to ST, with "Restless," where Slim thanked the crowd for singing along. Langhorne's back and forth banter with the audience was genuine and warm, and between songs quite regular. He met a lady in Boston, we were told, that had warned him he talked too much between songs. That lady he said, was Jeff Ratner, and then he rolled right into Be Set Free's "For A Little While," where the solo break was so multi-layered and textural, it still haunts me. The raucous "Say Yes" served for a nice climax before bringing things center stage for his first solo acoustic piece. Alone on stool-top he brought out the best with an intimate rendition of "I Love You, But Goodbye."

So, he asks, are you all happy that Favre isn't going to the Super Bowl? Through cheers, ever joking (or not?) he states, "That my Uncle." A few from When The Sun's Gone Down, the cut "Mary" get's the full treatment, after which banjo/piano player Davey Moore fingerpicks the hell out of the banjo solo during "Electric Love Letter." However, it was "I Love To Dance," that got everyone jacked up. During the chorus break, Langhorne said, "If you love someone, set them free, and if they don't come back," (Audience interjection...Fuck ╬em!). Through laughter of his own from that outcry, he finishes by saying, "You track their ass down!" and the song is finished by someone climbing on stage to sing the last line..."I love to dance!"

The first encore break featured Slim solo again for "Land Of Dreams," and "Back To The Wild," both featured on his latest release Be Set Free. The band rejoined the lead man for the remainder of the show bringing down the house by curtain's fall. Brilliant! Brilliant!

Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim
April Smith and the Great Picture Show
April Smith and the Great Picture Show
Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim
April Smith and the Great Picture Show
April Smith and the Great Picture Show
April Smith and the Great Picture Show
April Smith and the Great Picture Show
April Smith and the Great Picture Show
April Smith and the Great Picture Show
Langhorne Slim
Langhorne Slim

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