24 July 2024 • 23:30

Keler gunea

 © Eric Ryan Anderson

Rebecca Lovell (vocals, guitars, banjo, violin, piano), Megan Lovell (backing vocals, lap steel, dobro), Tarka Layman (bass), Ben Satterlee (drums)

Born in north Georgia, sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell began studying classical music, violin and piano from a very young age, until they discovered bluegrass and redirected their studies to what we could call American roots music. Shortly afterwards, in 2004, they joined their sister Jessica to form an acoustic band, The Lovell Sisters, going on to release two albums and give concerts until Jessica decided to abandon music in 2009. It was at that time, in early 2010, that the other two Lovell siblings, Rebecca and Megan, created Larkin Poe, taking its name from their great-great-great-great-grandfather, a cousin of Edgar Alan Poe.

Larkin Poe’s early years saw the release of EPs, performing live and collaborating widely until bringing out their first studio album, Kin (2014), opening the doors to success with Elvis Costello among their mentors and taking them to play at Glastonbury. They were nominated for the Blues Foundation Best Emerging Artist Award for Peach (2017). Their third work, Venom & Faith (2018) took them to number 1 on the Billboard blues chart and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Meanwhile, the numerous and highly personal covers uploaded to their YouTube channel racked up millions of views. This was precisely the source of their sixth album, Kindred Spirits (2020), on which they play raw and pared back versions of covers alongside their own numbers. They have now released a total of 7 albums, the last of which Blood Harmony (2022), continues to explore the musical roots of their southern inheritance, with emphasis on their native Georgia, having earned them the Grammy in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category.

The multi-instrumentalist Lovell sisters are the heirs of US southern and roots music, but their sound, although largely loyal to their roots, is fresh and earnest, packed with strength and vitality. Powerful guitars, hard riffs, the ubiquitous lap steel guitar, Rebecca’s perfect voice, Megan on the backing vocals, the variety of moods and registers… Their music reflects myriad influences ranging from bluegrass to rock, southern rock to heavy metal, blues to country, reminding us of groups like The Allman Brothers Band, ZZ Top, Lynard Skynyrd y Tedeschi Truks Band, but with an endless list of widely varying influences: Jack White, Rolling Stones, Black Sabath, The Black Keys, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley, Paul Simon, Emmylou Harris, The Black Crowes, The Band…