Every once in a while you stumble across a band that blows your mind from the very first listen. Georgia duo, Larkin Poe, did that for me when they took the stage at Nashville’s 12th and Porter. Their infectious mix of blues rock and wildly energetic charisma shines through from the first note of their anit-Georgia Peach anthem, Trouble In Mind. But, it’s in a live setting that the music from their new album Reskinned bursts forth in a shower of reverberating power. From the breckneck drumming to the resounding slide guitar, every moment of their music is tinged in a fantastical light that culminates with explosive force.
From their frustration with sibling squabbles on the rambling Stubborn Love to the aggressive and convincingly stadium-sized, Don’t — they’re point of view rattles your senses. Another highlight was the ridiculously addictive cover of Black Betty, a live track that made the audience fall almost immediately under their spell. Sisters Megan and Rebecca take turns on vocals, effortlessly harmonizing with one another, while providing the audience with an urgent dynamic that is equal parts engaging and mysterious. They have IT, whatever IT means to you, it’s tenfold in their presence on stage.
Their sound, much like the band itself, has evolved from a folk/bluegrass trio of sisters to a duo with a major rock and roll aesthetic. Of their transition, Megan said, “It seems like we’ve been in transition our whole career. The whole time we were playing bluegrass music our dad was playing us rock and roll records and we grew up listening to such great rock music. We always knew that we wanted to do something a little edgier and harder than roots.”
That innate thirst for rock is embedded into every melodic turn, electric flourish, and resonant vocal. But the stories they tell remain the shining star of every track. As talented songwriters, telling a story and taking their audience on a journey of the heart remains their most important goal. In fact, Rebecca’s advice for aspiring musicians is the importance of learning to write.
“Above and beyond just writing a song, it’s really important to put words to your feelings, to sit in solitude and journal. Take the time to tool around in your brain, make yourself define it. So much of the big shadows on the wall that cause us fear in our lives, if you can put words to them and describe them, then they cease to be those shadows.”
One thing is certain, Larkin Poe have defined their shadows and thrust them into the bright lights of stages across the country. And people love it.
You can read more of my interview with Larkin Poe at Tomato Sass — where they discuss how they overcome sexism in the industry and their most important advice for young artists looking to make a career of their art.