Larkin Poe: A Band You’ve Got To See Live REVIEW+PHOTOS: LARKIN POE @ HOTEL CAFE 10/24/17
Hollywood, CA- Last year, I got a heads up from a fellow Blurred Culture contributor that I needed to keep an eye on a sister duo that was then on tour backing Elvis Costello: Larkin Poe. Larkin Poe are Rebecca (lead vocals and guitar) and Megan Lovell (harmony vocals and lap steel guitar) … and they blew me away with their Southern, roots rockin’ performance at the Hotel Cafe last month. I knew that these sister were talented, but I was honestly taken aback by their lively and … I don’t know how else to say it … badass performance in Los Angeles.
I knew they could play. After all, I’d been following their social media accounts “liking” any impromptu clips of them performing that the algorithm gods displayed on my cell phone screen.
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But what I didn’t realize was how their musical ability, and the music of their latest album “Peaches”, would translate on a stage. It translates phenomenally.
“Peaches” was an album that the sisters decided to record as a result of all of the online fan support from their devoted following. It’s an equal mix of classic blues covers and Larkin Poe originals. It’s a terrifically clean album, sharply produced and polished, and really highlights the direction that the sisters are embarking on. My only criticism was that perhaps it was maybe a little too clean and polished, perhaps lacking just a taaaad bit of grit that I love in my Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters records. But, their live show? It blew all of the expectations I had- very high expectations- out of the water.
Let me start with Rebecca. She is one hell of a front-woman. She’s got an undeniable, charismatic southern charm about while she performs that equal parts sass and graciousness. While her hair swishes side to side as she’s shredding the guitar, or as she beautifully wails or growls (yes, growls can be beautiful) out familiar blues themes into the mic, she’s got a permanent grin on her face that makes you want to smile and jam along with her.
Her sister Megan’s work on the lap steel guitar was glorious to see and hear in person. Her work on that instrument sounded exquisite, and there’s something about a lap steel guitar live- especially the way she plays it, getting lost in almost every chord she slides- that really brings out the grit in the blues chords that I love. Though Rebecca gets most of the shine as a featured vocalist, Megan’s voice is equally impressive, blending perfectly with her sister’s voice on harmonies.
The band has a handful of gigs scheduled for the rest of this year and start of the next. If you’re in any of the six locations (San Fransisco, Atlanta, Nashville, New Orlean, Miami or Pokolbin, Australia), I highly recommend to you catch them live. I’m pretty sure it will blow your own expectations out of the water as well.
Derrick K. Lee is a music attorney, blogger, concert photographer and co-owner of Blurred Culture. He goes to a lot of shows and sometimes he writes good. Music is his boo.
All photos are edited with iPhoto. Lightroom edits can be made upon request. For prints and/or approvals for special uses of any photo taken by Derrick, please contact him directly.