Interview: With Larkin Poe – Bringing The Blues Back, With Playlist Inside

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by Patrick O’Hagan

Larkin Poe
Larkin Poe

Musical trends on the pop stations ebb and flow; but the foundations of blues and rock have been left untouched throughout time. While there may not be a great number of current bands and artists holding true that framework, there are a handful that are steadfast in preserving and furthering the presence of American Roots and Blues music. Larkin Poe is one of those modern day torchbearers.

Born in Knoxville and raised in Georgia, Megan and Rebecca Lovell are a couple of southern belles with a tendency to rock out. The self-proclaimed Georgia peaches have a strong foundation rooted in southern music and culture that is evident throughout their work.

The sisters share a strong bond and love of music that has manifested itself into a blues-rock outfit named Larkin Poe. The band’s name is actually in homage to their family lineage. When the two were deciding on a band name, Rebecca recounts, “picking a band name is hugely difficult… the fact that we are sisters is huge to us, and a huge part of our story and our message. To be able to have a family name was important to us… and picking our great-great-great-great grandfather’s name felt like the right thing to do.”

The icing on the cake was that, “he is a cousin of Edgar Allen Poe, so we thought that was a cool backstory,” said Megan.

Neither Megan nor Rebecca is new to music making or the stage. Both girls started playing classical violin and piano at around three and four years old. Rebecca recalls that it was that early-age training and regimen, thanks to their mother, that “instilled the language of music in us.” Their father helped with the southern rock influence, but that didn’t show itself in full force until relatively recently.

Before Larkin Poe, they performed in a bluegrass group with another sister, under the title The Lovell Sisters. Coincidently, The Lovell Sisters’ first public appearance was in Chattanooga at the Signal Mountain Opry. From there Megan says they toured extensively for “probably five or six years,” playing 200 dates a year and even being featured on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion.

With the departure of their sister, Megan and Rebecca continued to develop their sound and branding, and Larkin Poe was born. For the last two years they’ve called Nashville home, moving to the Music City while also still maintaining claim to their Georgia roots as well. Larkin Poe’s most recent release, the appropriately named Peach pays homage to the music and the rearing that has propelled them to their current state of musicianship and artistry.

The entirely self-produced album has been met with warm critical acclaim. Rebecca’s strong lead vocals and guitar work pair perfectly with Megan’s mean lap steel guitar riffs on the record, which features a mix of originals and classic covers.

While discussing the making of the album, Megan admitted, “I don’t really know if we decided ahead of time if that was going to happen, but I think once we got in there we just said ‘wait, we’re going to just do everything.’”

The creative partnership flowed naturally between the sisters as it has for years. “It was really freeing to just be the two of us, because we do really share a mind when it comes to music.,” said Rebecca. “That’s one great strength of being siblings in a band… I’m really proud of this record and it’s my favorite that we ever made.”

The group closed out 2017 with two “hometown” shows, one in Atlanta and one in Nashville.  “It was a great wrap-up to 2017,” said Megan, who said the shows were a highlight of their year. ““We sold the most tickets as a headliner we ever have” at the Atlanta show. And that feat comes as Larkin Poe just recently got off the road with a stint of opening gigs with classic rock icon Bob Seger.

“The last twelve months have brought a great clarity to Larkin Poe,“ said Rebecca.

The two agree to continue along that path and “make music that makes people happy.”

The vinyl release of Peach will be later this month, and the group is excited to have a busy upcoming year on the road. They say we can expect to see a lot of touring this year and several festival stops. Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival just announced their billing this week, which will include the rocking sisters known as Larkin Poe.  Be on the lookout for more big things to come.



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