Larkin Poe are two sisters, Megan and Rebecca Lovell, who know a thing or two about writing excellent songs. They have released five EPs, all of which not only highlight their song-writing prowess, but also show an innate understanding of various genres, glorious vocals and a mastery of their instruments. To see Rebecca sing and Megan play the dobro is a very special experience – and that is why we are so excited about seeing them play again later this month. The girls are in the middle of a European tour and we are lucky that our friends at Union Music Store have managed to persuade them to come our way for a third time! If you get a chance to see them play live we would highly recommend it – if not all of the EPs are worth a listen. It is a true honour to to introduce you to Larkin Poe,
Hello Larkin Poe, how are you keeping?
Mid-way through a two month tour, I would say we’re doing very well – spirits are high and we’re happy to be in the UK!
We have been following the youtube tour diary but still cannot keep up with all your travels! Where are you at the moment?
At this moment, we are in our trusty van driving from Northampton to Oxford for a rehearsal show with Fairport Convention. We are so excited to be performing at Cropredy this coming weekend and today’s events are getting us into the Cropredy spirit!
What has been the favourite place you’ve visited this summer?
We have been touring solid for two straight months, so we have gotten the opportunity to visit a lot of amazing places… it’s really hard to choose a favorite! One of the most memorable days of the tour so far was in Lucerne, Switzerland. We performed at the Blue Balls Festival in the evening, but during the afternoon we got to swim in Lake Lucerne… Wonderfully refreshing.
…..and how about the musical highlight of your travels?
At the beginning of last month, we played a show in Hannover, Germany at The Blues Garage. The energy in the room was electric and I think everyone had an unforgettable evening.
For the uninitiated where is home and how did Larkin Poe start?
Home is Atlanta, GA. We two sisters started playing classical violin and piano at a very young age and throughout our childhood and teenage years, music became a bigger and bigger part of our lives. After attending a bluegrass festival in our mid-teens, we picked up mandolin and dobro and started playing bluegrass music as a band called The Lovell Sisters, which included our eldest sister, Jessica. The Lovell Sisters toured internationally for five years before Jessica decided to leave the group and move on to new things. We started writing songs, Megan picked up the lap steel, and at the beginning of 2010, Larkin Poe released its first album.
Having seen you play together, the strong bond between you is obvious – are there not any Oasis/Gallagher sibling bust ups when touring for so long?
The strong bond that is apparent when we’re performing isn’t just for looks – we are very, very close as sisters and are lucky to be best of friends. Of course we have small spats when we’re on the road, it would be impossible not to, but we stay away from “bust ups”… We’re a unified team (we like to think we’re soul extensions of one another), so we usually don’t have too much to argue about.
You are coming to play in Lewes soon – do you have fond memories of the town?
This will be our second time coming to play in Lewes and we are definitely looking forward to it. We have fond memories of walking through town, visiting the farmer’s market at the bridge, having lunch at La Porte’s, and of course, getting to hang out at The Union Music Store with Jamie & Stevie Freeman!
Do you write songs together? How does the process work in Larkin Poe?
Before Larkin Poe, we hadn’t really written much of our own material. But with our four seasons concept albums, we decided we wanted every song to be original and kicked our songwriting into high gear. We write both together and separately, but in the end, every song must get a stamp of approval by each of us and is arranged together with the whole band.
The dobro is unique instrument – how did Megan discover it and how much practice did it take to become such a virtuoso? Is Rebecca allowed to play it as well
When we were taking lessons on acoustic instruments, I tried banjo, mandolin, and guitar, but they never really clicked with me. Then I saw the dobro being played and my heart was stolen. When we began Larkin Poe, I also picked up the electrified lapsteel to match a more rocking sound… I love my dobro and lapsteel dearly, but Rebecca is always welcome to play them anytime she wants.
The video for ‘Play On’ is stunning – where are you? Was it fun to make?
Thank you! We made the video for ‘Play On’ in Stongfjorden, which is a beautiful small town on the west coast of Norway. We had a film crew out to film our show there, which you can view on the live dvd included with our newest album ‘Thick As Thieves’, and while we had the afternoon off we figured, “Why not? Let’s just film a music video while this film crew is here”. It was fun and relaxed filming; very casual. But we think it turned out extremely well and it has had nearly 80,000 views on YouTube!
‘This Girl’ is our current favourite Larkin Poe tune – what can you tell us about the story behind this song?
I (this is Megan speaking) wrote ‘This Girl’ after my mom and I had been talking about relationships and how important it is to treat the other person gently and with respect in a relationship. This doesn’t only apply to romantic relationships, but friendships and sibling relationships as well. The only way to be happy through hardships, this is especially meaningful to Rebecca and I on long, rough tours, is to remember that everyone has their fragile moments and to try to be kind through difficult times. I think that’s what ‘This Girl’ is trying to say; value the person you’re with.
When can we expect the next recorded output?
As soon as we get home from this tour (which will be at the beginning of September) we have plans to get into the studio to start work on our first full-length album. We’ve got piles of new songs that we’ve written and we’re impatient for people to hear them… so, ideally, as soon as possible. We hope that people will keep checking our website for updates regarding the new project.
What tunes have been keeping you going on the tour bus?
As always, Jeff Buckley’s album Grace has been on repeat; additionally, the new album from Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan. This past spring, we had the opportunity to record on the forthcoming album from Barnsley’s own, Katriona Gilmore & Jamie Roberts. The new album is called The Innocent Left, and is due out in October… but we received a pre-release copy (lucky us!) and have been playing it nonstop in our van.
I’ve seen a clip of you doing an excellent ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ cover – will you be doing anything like this at Lewes?
We’ll be drawing from a wide range of material for our show in Lewes; people should prepare for almost anything!
Any other odd covers used for sound checks?
Currently, Bon Iver’s “Perth” is a favorite for sound check… but the guys in our band – Rick Lollar (electric guitar), Chad Melton (drums), & Robby Handley (bass) – can play just about anything, so we’re always kept guessing as to what we will be jamming on.
You have been playing numerous festivals – if you were organizing your own, which 5 bands would you choose to play?
Darrell Scott, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Mark Knopfler, Alison Krauss & Punch Brothers.
Regular blog readers will also be pleased to hear that one of our other someofitistrue faves, House of Hats, will be supporting Larkin Poe at their Lewes date.
Thanks go to Megan & Rebecca for being so generous with their time, and to Stevie for her support.
just found this and had to share…..