Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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It really isn’t a secret that I’m a huge fan of Blues/Americana duo Larkin Poe. Georgia-based sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell have been in heavy rotation in my home for a number of years. For a variety of reasons, however, I had never been able to see them live until last week, when their tour in support of their latest release, Venom & Faith, hit The Bowery Ballroom in NYC.
I arrived with high expectations, and those expectations were not only met, they were exceeded. I am not exaggerating when I tell you there were multiple moments when I turned to the friends I was with and we had our mouths agape, completely speechless, only being able to motion to the stage as if to say, “Can you believe what we’re witnessing here?!?!”
Larkin Poe played for nearly 90 minutes, and the house stayed packed through their encore – a Robert Johnson cover the sisters had the crowd singing along to. Speaking of the crowd, it was extremely diverse, ranging in age from early 20s to late 60s, proving once again that music can be an ultimate connector of people.
Here are three reasons why you should be in that crowd when Larkin Poe comes to your area.
1. Three words – Epic. Guitar. Solos.
Megan can work magic with her slide guitar, and Rebecca can make her guitar sing, as well. During their set there were a number of times each took center stage to showcase their skills. There was even a nice back-and-forth at one point with Megan playing for a spell, and then Rebecca immediately following her with her own solo. It was clear they were having a blast, and the emotion was as infectious as their riffs.
2. They pay homage to the blues greats
Larkin Poe aren’t just Blues artists, they’re Blues scholars, which is why fantastic covers of songs originally by Robert Johnson, Son House, and Lead Belly – some of which can be heard on Larkin Poe’s Peach album – were peppered throughout their set.
The fact that songs like “Black Betty,” and “Preachin’ Blues,” which are nearly 100 years old, fit in so perfectly with Larkin Poe’s original work is a testament to how true they stay to their roots.
Also, it should be noted that Rebecca is an absolute powerhouse vocalist who does these songs justice in every way imaginable.
3. They really know how to put together a set
With four full length albums, two EPs, and a lengthly resume of classic covers, Larkin Poe have a lot of material to choose from when creating their live show. On the plus side, this means they’re in no danger of ever running out of material. However, this also means they have to choose to omit certain songs, and even albums, from their show.
For their set, Larkin Poe managed to find a way to seamlessly weave together selections from multiple albums, as well as fantastic covers, guitar solos, and a little bit of conversation with the crowd, in a way that represented where they are as artists today, while not neglecting their earlier work.
They didn’t necessarily play every song of theirs I love (they would’ve needed over two hours for that), but they didn’t have to, because they put together a set that blew me away, and was totally memorable.
They had a crowd of New Yorkers singing along to Robert Johnson on a random Monday in 2018. That kinda says it all, doesn’t it?
To find out when, and where, Larkin Poe will be performing next, check out their website for show dates.