Larkin Poe, “Spring” an EP
It’s going to be difficult for me not to get overly effusive with praise for Larkin Poe’s 1st CD. This work may not make many “Best” of the year lists, but it has become my favorite. I’ve listened to it almost daily since I picked it up at Merlefest a month ago. It’s been a decade or more since a recording hit me this way.
Feel like I went to a played out mine that lets tourists pan the slag for slivers. The Hope diamond didn’t appear suddenly, but I did find a 2 Karat gem of extraordinary color and clarity. It’s value inestimable for the way it brightens my day. Listening to “Spring” puts me in a very good mood.
Having lost sister Jessica to marriage and college, Rebecca and Megan Lovell reinvented themselves as Larkin Poe. The bands name taken from their great , great , (great ? ) grandfather. His own story during the War Between the States is interesting itself. While featuring mandolin and dobro, this is not Bluegrass. Electric guitar, bass and drums don’t make it Rock ‘n Roll. Un-pop like melodies and arrangements don’t make it Jazz. I-tunes calls it Folk, but that isn’t it either. Take a bit of all of this and stir it up. In lesser hands it might be chaos. Larkin Poe turn it into a very smooth, well crafted piece of work. It’s unique. Independently recorded, it’s sounds a lot bigger than the budget must have been.
Some are going to throw this into the pop-country category with Ms. Swift but I think that would be a mistake. Granted, the songs are written from the perspective of young women in their late teens. Comparison ends there. And while my jaded soul may find some of the lyrics innocent, they appeal to a side of me that remembers what it was like to be young and idealistic again. I get a sense that Rebecca and Megan are wise beyond their years. A lot of truth in what they write.
The arrangements are intricate. Everything fits and the band “gets” it. Noone’s trying to come up with a formula for being pop stars. Nooone overplays it. It’s about the songs, and the pleasure of making something beautiful for it’s own sake.
Rebecca won the Merlefest mandolin competetion a few years back I believe. Megan has a style of her own on dobro. Her slightly overdriven lap-steel outro to “The Principle of Silver Lining” from “Spring” is brilliant. Daniel Kimbro and Mike Seal lend a jazzy feel on Bass and Guitar. Chad Melton’s drumming sounds orchestral on “We Intertwine”. And the Vocals!! Rebecca can sound songbird sweet, and growl, at the same time. Add Megans sweet harmonies and the whole is even greater than the sum of it’s formidable parts.
I hope enough people love it as much as I so that we not only get a soon to be released “Summer” EP , but “Fall and ” Winter ” also.
Aailable at I-tunes and Amazon
You can test drive “Spring” at http://www.larkinpoe.com/