JPR Live Session: Langhorne Slim
Slim's new album Strawberry Mansion references the neighborhood where both of his grandfathers lived. It's a collection of tunes that help remind us that we're all part of what he calls a collective 'Mighty Soul.' He joined us from his home in Nashville to play a few tunes from the record.
Growing up in Langhorne, Philadelphia (a suburb of Philadelphia), Slim got really into traditional blues, country, and folk music in his late teens and early 20s. He studied music engineering in college. The opportunity arose following a meeting with professor Joe Ferry, in which they discovered their shared love of older styles of music.
Years of touring and performing led to a lengthy struggle with addiction, with what Slim refers to as "no attempt at sobriety." Seven years ago he kicked the habit, largely on his own without professional help or a developed support system. It wouldn't last. Anxiety over multiple aspects of life led to a prescription, which led to overuse and several years of a terrible addition to pills.
He's now left that behind with the help of a structured rehabilitation program and supportive friends, and the creative drought that plagued him for the last few years has disappeared. What then followed was a global pandemic and a Nashville tornado that ripped through his neighborhood. So too did the songs. A lot of them. 18 songs made the new album, with a handful more available digitally.
On Strawberry Mansion, Slim dives into the aftermath of his years-long struggle with addiction, his mental health, and his memories of home. He played us a few tunes from the new album.