Larkin Poe talks about Elvis

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sweetest punch
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Larkin Poe talks about Elvis

Postby sweetest punch » Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:16 pm ... ceb07.html

Larkin Poe ready to 'wing it 'with Costello

The marquee outside the Rococo Theatre has for months advertised Elvis Costello's sold-out show as a solo event, and its aim is pretty true. But concertgoers can expect a visit to the stage from sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell during Costello's set.

Then who knows what'll happen.

The Lovells, who together make up the opening act Larkin Poe, said they, too, likely won't know for sure what Costello has in mind until the day of the show.

"It'll be like 2 p.m. before an 8 p.m. show, and he'll email us two MP3s and be, like, 'Hey, we should play these tonight. Learn these,'" said Rebecca, 23. "And then we do them that night."

While this method of collaboration between a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and an up-and-coming duo might sound nerve-wracking for the up-and-coming side of the partnership, the Lovells dig it this way.

Raised by parents who valued Bach and Beethoven (mom) and classic rock (dad), the Lovells took to music at early ages. Megan, now 25, first gave the violin a try 20 years ago. About a week after that, Rebecca, then 3, got her hands on one. Their oldest sister, Jessica, was in on these preschool jam sessions, too.

"Our mom was a saint to have gone through multiple children playing violin," Megan said. "'Cause it's like one of the most obnoxious sounds on the planet."

The three quickly graduated from the owl talon-on-chalkboard stage of their music education. For years they played together as the Lovell Sisters before Jessica decided to focus on college and family.

Then came Larkin Poe, where the two younger sisters bring lifetimes of musicianship to their band. Rebecca takes lead vocal, guitar, mandolin and violin duties. Megan plays lap steel and dobro guitars. Drums, piano, hand claps and more play key roles in Larkin Poe's roots rock sound where some songs lean very heavily on roots and others more so on the rock. (Go listen to "Don't" on for a rock offering of Larkin Poe's. There's more of the interview online, too.)

The two released their first full-length album, "Kin," last year, and it takes a few tracks at most to figure out Costello's attraction to the band. (They'll have copies of "Kin" on vinyl with them for sale at the Rococo.) Here's an edited Q&A with Rebecca and Megan that gets into how they came to meet, tour and record with Costello. Take it away, Rebecca.

Rebecca: So we first met Elvis Costello close to five or six years ago at a really amazing festival in North Carolina called MerleFest. And there was like this big all-star jam thing and we were booked at the festival on some little piddling stage, and Elvis was on as a headliner.

So we were all onstage, and we ended up sidling alongside Elvis and singing harmonies to him on this gospel song, being very bold. I think, were we to do that now, we would be understanding the implications. Then we were just 16, 17 -- just kids. Havin' fun! Getting up and harmonizing. I think he took a liking to our energy and what we were kind of putting out in terms of harmonies and general musicality.

He's been an incredible supporter of us through the years, going beyond and above what would even be considered polite. He's had us out as an opening band for gigs. He's had us on two or three tours now as his support band. We've managed to come into his circle when he's been doing a lot more solo tours, just Elvis Costello tour stuff -- him and his 16 guitars and piano out on the road. And so Megan and I have been able to get onstage with him and act as his band during his show, which we feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have that kind of an experience. It's mind-boggling. It's mind-blowing.

GZ: Can you tell me how you ended up playing with the New Basement Tapes? (That's a supergroup featuring Costello and Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons and plenty more. They all recorded music based off unearthed Bob Dylan lyrics with producer T Bone Burnett at the helm.)

Rebecca: Oh yeah! We recorded our first full-length record, the "Kin" record, out in Los Angeles, in February of last year. So while we were out in Los Angeles making that record, we heard through the grapevine that Elvis Costello was in town working on a project. And we didn't know what the project was. So we just sent Elvis a message, "Hey we heard you're in town, would love to see you, yada yada yada."

And he wrote back and said: "Hey girls! I'm glad you're here. I didn't know. We're at Capitol Records, and we're making this project." And he listed off the names of the people who were involved in the project, and our jaws kind of dropped.

And he said: "Hey you should definitely come into the studio. We'd love to have you sing some vocals and play some solos. We're almost done recording but we'd love to have some fresh blood. Come on over."

And we, of course, jumped at the chance and ended up recording vocals on two or three tracks that made the record. There's a mandolin solo of mine that made the record. It was just an all-around unbelievable day.

GZ: I watched the video of "Six Months in Kansas City" on YouTube, and it shows this studio room filled with talent play the song and then it kind of fades off right at the end of the song. What was the next minute like in there?

Megan: I'll tell you what it was like. They rehearsed it one time. They ran through it once. Nobody's played it before, except for the person who wrote (the music), Elvis. Then they said, "OK, let's record it." And so we recorded that version. And they were, like, "OK, we're done." That's it. That's all.

Rebecca: Then everyone piled out of their respective booths and went into the control room and listened to it. And there's mistakes in it. When you listen to the track there's like some false starts and stuff. And everyone listened to it and was, like, "That's got the vibe. All right we're good."

GZ: I've seen you all have covered a song or two of his on your YouTube page. What song of yours would you want Costello to cover of yours?

Both: Oooh.

GZ: Think it through. I have my own guess.

Megan: I think I have mine.

Rebecca: What's yours?

Megan: I would love for him to sing the song, "Overachiever."

Rebecca: Ooh, that's gonna be mine too.

GZ: I wrote down a pick to see if either of you said it, and I was completely wrong.

Rebecca: What was the pick?

GZ: I was gonna go with "Jesse."

Megan: That was actually my second choice

GZ: Uh-huh.

Rebecca: I could totally hear him doing that.

GZ: I could see him delving into the mood in that song, if that makes any sense.

Rebecca: I do believe that was his favorite song off the record.

Megan: He had mentioned that as the one he thought was well-written, particularly well-written.

GZ: So that's where me and Elvis collide I guess.

Rebecca: That's the name of your memoir.

GZ: When I first heard he was coming here as a solo performer, I imagined piano accompaniment, acoustic, maybe all his quieter stuff. Then I found some cellphone clips from a solo tour last year. And that's not the case. He rocked. You all rocked.

Rebecca: He pulls out all the stops.

Megan: Yeah, he really gives the audience their money's worth, and he plays to exhaustion every night, which has been pretty inspirational for us to see. To see somebody of that caliber, after all of these years, he still wants to go on stage and give it his all.

Rebecca: And push himself outside of his own comfort zone. Like we'll be on stage with him, and instead of just playing bass and playing an arrangement how he played it a couple of times before, he'll just go on tangents and trust us and expect us to follow -- even though it could be an absolute train wreck. I think that as an artist is hard to do, because there's pressure when you get on stage to want to deliver a good show and have it be all hunky-dory and tidy and nice, and not have any glaring mistakes.

But I think one of the reasons that we do especially love making music with Elvis Costello is that it's so spontaneous, and it's very free, and very freeing as an artist to get on stage and kind of wing it and go for it. And if you fail, you fail. And oftentimes you don't, and that's great.

GZ: The reward of walking the tightrope.

Rebecca: Precisely.
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Re: Larkin Poe talks about Elvis

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:06 pm ... on-6908726

Larkin Poe on Siblings, Elvis Costello, and Improvisation

Tegan and Sara assure the world that "Everything Is Awesome" while Atlanta sister duo Larkin Poe reminds us how important it is to "Play On." Going by these two pairs, it's clear that the future is looking rad for singing siblings.

Both girls are set to open up for the great Elvis Costello Wednesday night at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Not even 26-years old yet, Rebecca and Megan Lovell embrace spontaneity and, according to their online bio, have even called their musical choices "schizophrenic."

Adept at a number of instruments, the two are sure to keep listeners on their toes. We chatted with the indie pop two about musical improvisation, being related to Edgar Allan Poe, and the problem with touring with your sister.

New Times: How did you find out you guys were related to Edgar Allan Poe?

Rebecca Lovell: We are very distantly, but we named the band after our great, great, great, great grandpa “Larkin Haskew Poe.” We kind of found out when reading his writing in our teens. We loved how dark and mysterious it was.

Megan Lovell: We started the band in our mid teens and started researching our ancestry. Luckily, we has an amazing genealogist to help us out.

How does it feel to be opening up with Elvis Costello?

Rebecca: We has heard him five years ago at an Americana fest called Merlefest [in North Carolina] … He was headlining the fest, and we were playing on a really, itty bitty stage. He loves to sing harmonies and has two younger brothers singing… It was a family harmony. Over the years he had us open with him, and he’s generally a class act and is terrific.

When you open, you are on stage with him as well?

Meg: Yeah!

Rebecca: It’s an all-star jam when they mash people together. Whoever has the opportunity to play at fest can jump on the stage and sing. That’s the beauty of Americana – there’s the opportunity to improvise and make the music spur of the moment.

So do you use a lot of spontaneity and improvisation during your performances?

Rebecca: Yeah, I think that being able to be proficient on an instrument and having a song memorized is so important to being a well rounded musicians. Megan plays fly guitar and plays incredibly well, and when we play with Elvis, she plays a long solo. That’s unusual in this day and age… the level of proficiency is important to us as musicians.

Megan: That helps us not only play with Elvis Costello and all the other people, but at our own show. We like to have a level of improvisation that keeps us on our toes. For instance, we leave a part of our show open ended. Having that level of uncertainty night after night keeps you fresh and new. I will play a solo and the band doesn’t know when I’m done – they don’t know if it’s a 30 second solo or longer, so they have to wait on me and feel what I’m doing.

Rebecca: It’s less about the set list and more about feeling the song than playing the same rhythm and song every night. That just gets boring! To live on the edge of the night, to live in uncertainty makes it so compelling – it’s like a train wreck, you could mess up and people keep watching because its captivating! You can’t look away.

What are all the instruments you know how to play?

Megan: Classical violin, piano, dabbled in banjo, and dobro and then fly, and lap field.

Rebecca: I’m a jack of all trades – I started on classical violin then piano then banjo. I was an obsessive banjo player [also played acoustic guitar, mandolin and electric guitar]. I did some cello. Someday in my life, I want to learn to play. It’s my dream instrument…I’m not very good now.

What are some of the instruments you want to play?

Meg: I want to play pedal field. It’s expensive, so if anyone wants to get me one, let me know.

Rebecca: I want to own a baritone guitar.

What is it like touring with siblings? Do you guys ever get sick of each other?

Rebecca: Touring with a sibling is one of the best and worst things possible. As sisters, we experienced so much together and seen so many cool things together, it’s so special. I don’t know how many people experience that bond. It’s all wonderful, but it is hard. It’s hard touring with people [in general] whether or not they are family. It baffles other people that we do this. We’ve been doing this for ten years [been touring since Meg was 16, Rebecca was 15]. We were babies!

Do you guys have any other siblings?

Meg: We have an older sister [Jessica] that used to play when we were in our root acoustic phase and have a 12-year old brother [Thomas].

Why did you stop touring with your other sister?

Rebecca: If it’s hard to tour with two sisters, its hard with three [laughs]. She moved on to other things – music wasn’t her strongest passion and she moved onto other passions. She did it for five years.

Megan: We have no hard feelings

She must be proud.

Rebecca: She is. She understands because she toured. She gets what we’re going through.

Elvis Costello with Larkin Poe, 8 p.m., March 18, Au-Rene Theater at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $49.50 to $129.50. Visit
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Re: Larkin Poe talks about Elvis

Postby sweetest punch » Mon Mar 28, 2016 1:35 pm ... 54986.html

Larkin Poetic: Megan and Rebecca Lovell Get to the Heart of Elvis Costello

The possibilities are endless for musicians who refuse to play by the rules. If a London lad born as Declan Patrick MacManus wants to become Elvis Costello and morph from a snotty, defiant New Wave hell-raiser into a distinguished gentleman worthy of a King of America coronation, it’s totally conceivable.

Likewise, two lovely American teenage girls strumming a mandolin and dobro in a southern roots family trio can turn their sweet sister act named the Lovell Sisters into an amped-up guitar heroine duo of desire, reborn to rock as Larkin Poe.

Even more remarkable is when those two acts with an age difference of more than 30 years can come together on the same stage for scores of appearances, bridging a generation gap as wide as the ocean separating their homelands.

Getting to perform on each side of such a progressive thinker, mover and shaker as 61-year-old Elvis Costello, Megan and Rebecca Lovell are young apprentices on track to become the Mothers of Reinvention.

“It’s been a really, really amazing relationship to develop over the years,” Larkin Poe lead singer and kid sister (by 20 months) Rebecca Lovell, 25, was saying from home during a call with Megan, 27, on St. Patrick’s Day, doing interviews instead of running a celebratory green light. “We respect him so deeply. ... In terms of a role model, he’s one of the top artists, in our minds, at least. Just in terms of all the types of records that he’s made over the years. ... He’s done so much with his musical expression. So for us, it’s been such an honor to work with him alongside. And he’s really become such a mentor to us, so we don’t take it lightly.”

Atlanta-based Larkin Poe, a name they chose in tribute to their family ancestry, continue to evolve after the release of Kin in 2014, a year when the record landed the duo on my list of favorite artists.

Through the encouragement of Universal and Vertigo in Germany, the record is getting a makeover with the April 15 U.S. release by RH Music of Reskinned, which will include five new songs in addition to remastered versions of some of the best cuts from their full-length debut album such as “Jailbreak” and “Sugar High.”

“Both Megan and I, we’ve definitely pulled out some more distortion pedals, we’ve cranked up our guitar amplifiers, we’re learning how to rock. And we’ve been writing a lot,” Rebecca Lovell said, coming off a whirlwind trip with her sister to Nashville that included making a music video for their new single “Trouble in Mind” and recording some tracks with T Bone Burnett and Steven Tyler.

Now, though, they are preparing to reunite with the man they call E.C.

Taking another Detour

Since meeting Costello at MerleFest in 2007, where the three Lovell Sisters harmonized with him on “Angel Band,” Megan and Rebecca say they are “closing in on hundreds” of appearances with the 2003 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who unleashed his rebellious nature on the American public during an infamous Saturday Night Live performance in 1977, 14 years before Rebecca was born.

Yet the thought of collaborating again with Costello never gets old for Larkin Poe, who embark on the U.S. leg of the Detour tour with him Tuesday (March 29) in Santa Rosa, Calif., after completing a successful series of European dates in the fall of 2015.

Opening the show with their own songs in a 30- to 45-minute set, the Lovells will then join Costello past the midway point of his solo set during which he plays acoustic and electric guitars and piano. They accompany him instrumentally while adding beautiful harmonies to several of his classic numbers such as “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding,” “Blame It on Cain and “Brilliant Mistake,” the latter kicking off his country-tinged 1986 album King of America that was produced by T Bone Burnett.

“He created this really elaborate set and he tells really amazing ... the story arc of the show is just incredible,” Rebecca said, adding that the audience will be treated to a few twists and turns.

The master of improvisation also has been know to surprise his gifted sidekicks.

“He likes to keep it fresh,” Rebecca said. “I think that people on the tour can expect the show to kind of change a little bit from night to night, especially our portion with him. He’s always pulling out new songs for us to try. ... He’ll go on big tangents and expect Megan and I to follow along. And generally speaking, we’re able to.”

Road runners

The life experiences and fundamental tips they’ve picked up offstage throughout what Larkin Poe call their “natural evolution” have been equally enlightening.

There was the reverential visit with Costello to Johann Sebastian Bach’s grave at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany, that Megan called a “spiritual moment for all of us,” especially since the sisters grew up loving and learning to play classical music. “And I think E.C. felt it as well,” she added.

Also inspirational has been the developing pen pal relationship Rebecca shared over the past few years with Costello, who recently added autobiographer to his long list of job titles.

“I think oftentimes these prolific writers, songwriters that end up creating books to kind of tally up their life experiences, sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re not, but I would say that Elvis Costello’s book (2015’s Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink) is an incredible body of work,” Rebecca offered. “But for me at this point in time to read through his entire book and become so familiar with his writing voice, it was really surreal. It was as if I was reading an email from Elvis but it happened to be a hardcover book that I bought at Barnes & Noble.”

The fact that the rock ‘n’ roll’s grand ambassador and two tenacious twenty-somethings could form such a durable musical bond during his various projects (the Imposters, the Sugarcanes, The New Basement Tapes) shouldn’t be that astonishing.

He’s a cool crooner, hopeless romantic, rascally raconteur and in-touch tunesmith with a great Brit wit and a way with wordplay. While Larkin Poe’s vocal treatment brings a fresh approach to his tried and true, they also have brains, beauty and the beat, with the guitar-shredding abilities to electric shock and awe their audience.

That the Lovells are willing to heed his advice and continue to transform makes them that more endearing.

Megan said Costello “is probably the most knowledgeable person I’ve ever known about music. He’s listened to everyone from songs from many, many years ago to the latest stuff. He’s stayed relevant. And I think that’s just because he researches it. He takes it really seriously and is intensely interested in music. And I think that he’s really encouraged us to kind of be the same way.”

Rebecca said they’ve had countless conversations during catered meals with the crew where he’s imparted his wisdom. The message that sticks with her is to not be “too concerned as an artist with putting yourself in a genre box” while dealing with record label executives, managers or others trying to compartmentalize what they do for a living.

“And he’s given us advice in the past to not listen or not to feel too much pressure to know exactly what it is that you are,” she added. “That all you really need to be is undeniable. That in the end all the really matters is how you move someone’s heart, not necessarily how to define what it is that you do.”

Show and tell

Those moments generally are kept private, but the Lovells are excited while joking about “being immortalized” as part of a concert experience with Costello that they can now share with the masses.

For those eager to know what to expect when this tour hits the U.S., the show has been captured on DVD and Blu-ray by Eagle Rock Entertainment, which released Costello’s Detour Live at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in February. (See the trailer below.)

During a concert filmed on June 15, 2015, Larkin Poe are prominently featured on nine of the 27 numbers (four are bonus tracks) during Costello’s captivating tour de force through a sumptuous songbook, with an encore that includes some of Megan’s favorite moments. Consider this your SPOILER ALERT.

“I always think that’s magical because we’re all just singing around one mic,” Megan said of the grand finale. “And it’s just amazing to have that kind of close harmony with him and feel that comfortable as well singing with him. Because it takes time to learn how somebody sings, to kind of learn what their language is inside of music. And I feel like we’ve gotten to that point with him where we can really understand where he’s going and what he’s going to do.”

Rebecca cherishes the first time just a couple of years ago that they sang “Alison” with Costello. While knowing his signature tune, it wasn’t on the list they worked out in advance.

“Out of the blue, he looked over at Megan and I and said, ‘Hey, let’s go into “Alison” in the key of A. Let’s go.’ And then kicked right in,” she recalled. “And that was a really exhilarating moment because there was so much trust in him being willing to go out on that tangent and go out on that limb and trust us to follow him. And that for me was a really cool turning moment in the relationship that we have because he, I guess, had enough faith stored up to just throw it on us and just trust that we could do it. And we did and it sounded great!”

Saying Costello gives them a lot of license to choose which of his songs they want to perform, Larkin Poe believe they know most of his “lifetime repertoire inside and out” at this point. They each choose different tunes as their personal favorites.

While becoming a devoted lap steel player after starting out principally on the dobro, Megan likes “Pads, Paws and Claws.” Usually their opening number with him, she gets the chance “to kind of just go nuts” during an instrumental solo, Rebecca said proudly of her sister.

Meanwhile, Rebecca’s powerful pipes are evident even as a backup vocalist while — at least in previous stints — she has stuck to playing the mandolin on golden oldies from My Aim is True and This Year’s Model.

“But some of my favorites have actually ended up being some of the more obscure tracks,” added Rebecca, who also plays guitar and violin. “Even off some of the records that he did with the Sugarcanes in the last couple of years. There’s some really beautiful country ballads. There’s this song (from 2010’s National Ransom) called ‘That’s Not the Part of Him You’re Leaving’ (included on the DVD) that’s really kind of gospel. ... That’s such a fun one to sing.”

Getting Reskinned

Perhaps Rebecca will get a chance show off her “new love” in electric guitars — a Fender Shawbucker Strat — and launch her vocal power this time around if Larkin Poe can convince Costello to sing along to one of their songs.

“That would be a great thing,” Rebecca said, lighting up at the suggestion. “We’ve never gone there, actually, at an Elvis show. But that would be a really fun turn of events.”

After all, Larkin Poe’s new material is starting to stack up, too. With this latest project, released in Germany earlier in March, Megan said, “There were dozens and dozens of songs we had to choose from,” and the five selected for the record were Georgia peach fresh, just like they are.

“We were still writing lyrics as we finished cutting them,” Rebecca said of the tunes written late last summer. “For us to be able to literally have these songs released within about six months of when they were written, it feels like such success.”

Like other prominent co-writers, Larkin Poe’s methods vary.

“Oh, it’s never one way,” Megan said. “We may write together, we may write separately or sometimes I’ll have written a verse and she’ll write the chorus, finish it out. ... Regardless of if it was her who wrote a verse or I write the chorus, one of us and both of us are present in each of the songs. It always ends up being a group effort.”

“Trouble in Mind,” a mid-tempo rocker featuring Rebecca’s booming voice, was written and recorded in one day, Megan pointed out, adding, “The new songs are a little more raw, a little bit more rocking,” compared to their previous material. “And I think that they all fit together. There’s still the Larkin Poe that threads its way through everything but I think that we are in kind of in love with the new songs.”

Numbers such as “Sucker Puncher” and “P-R-O-B-L-E-M” are bona fide blasts of energy while “When God Closes a Door” and “Blunt” dig into deeper ground.

“Lyrically, (‘Blunt’) to me is a very important to have written,” Rebecca said. “I think as a 25-year-old in today’s political and economical and cultural setting, it’s very easy at times to become very cynical. Looking at the state of affairs in the world, it’s sometimes very easy to see just the negative. You turn on your TV and literally all you see is bad news that’s been sensationalized. ...

“And It’s really hard sometimes to maintain a sense of optimism. Or even a sense of ... an ability to change or to affect any kind of positive change in the world. Even just based on how many of us there are crammed on to this planet. ...

“So for me ‘Blunt’ is a bit of a commentary on that. Not politically, necessarily. But just in terms of raising a question and hoping to remind people that we can affect change and it all is in your mind on how you choose to look at the world and choose to see your fellow man. Be kind to the person who’s checking you out at McDonald’s. Why not?”

Indeed. There’s no telling who that cashier at the drive-through window is destined to become. Maybe even the head of rock ‘n’ roll’s next royal family.
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Re: Larkin Poe talks about Elvis

Postby verbal gymnastics » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:35 pm

Great interview. At first glance though, I'm disappointed that if they've got dozens of songs to choose from, why have they only released 5 new ones and with the remainder being remastered songs from the last album?

But that's me as a Larkin Poe fan. I would love to see a duet or two with Elvis singing their songs.
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Re: Larkin Poe talks about Elvis

Postby Man out of Time » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:24 am

Atlanta Business Chronicle

Interview by Phil W Hudson published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on 5 August 2016

"Q&A: Megan and Rebecca Lovell of Larkin Poe talk Elvis Costello, Edgar Allan Poe, career

On Aug. 4, Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Phil W. Hudson spoke with sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, who front the Atlanta-based band Larkin Poe.

Larkin Poe played at Glastonbury Festival in Pilton, United Kingdom in 2014 and 2016, performed on the late-night talk show host Conan O'Brien’s show “Conan” in April and currently tours with and opens for the Grammy Award-winning musician Elvis Costello.

The band will be in Atlanta Aug. 7 to perform at Park Tavern and is currently promoting its most recent album Reskinned, which was produced by Chris Seefried (Fitz and the Tantrums and Lana Del Rey).

Atlanta Business Chronicle: There’s a cool story behind the band’s name. Care to share it?

Megan Lovell: We got our name from our great-great-great-great grandfather, Larkin Poe. He’s a cousin of Edgar Allan Poe interestingly enough. We wanted to take on a name that had some familial significance to us since we are sisters, so we took on his name.

ABC: Y’all were on Restoration Hardware Holdings Inc.’s label RH Music, but now you’re independent. Do you plan to remain independent?

Rebecca Lovell: Yes, we are now independent. We just got off RH. They released our first debut album KIN and then they just released Reskinned, which is kind of an updated version of the first record. Restoration Hardware was a really good relationship.

We don’t necessarily intend to remain independent. We actually spent the first three years of Larkin Poe fiercely independent. I think there’s only so much you can do in today’s industry in a grassroots fashion. We worked really hard and decided aligning with a strong team would really be a good decision for us. So that’s what we initially found with RH Music, but now that the relationship has come to a close we are in the process of reevaluating where we are at. We’re signed to Universal in Europe and I think that will help a lot of our decisions moving forward.

ABC: How do y’all handle business decisions? Do you two handle it or do you have a manager that takes care of the business side of the band?

RL: As a team, Megan and I are very strong-willed and hardheaded about the decisions that are made. We take the decisions that we make for the band very seriously because it’s our baby, it’s our project — the buck stops with us. But we do outsource. We have a manager, Peter Leak of Red Light Management in Los Angeles, who we trust and we allow him to help guide those types of decisions.

ABC: Where does the band like to record when y’all come home?

RL: One of our favorite studios to record at bar none internationally is the Projector Room in Decatur, Ga., which belongs to Kristian Bush of Sugarland and is run by a really amazing engineer named Tom Tapley. It’s one of our favorite places to go into and create. We recorded two tracks off of Reskinned there. It’s such a good feeling to record at home.

ABC: What projects do you have in the works?

ML: We’re really excited about our show at Park Tavern on Sunday. We always love coming home and playing for people. We do some much touring internationally, especially in the UK, so it’s nice to come home. We’re going to be touring with Elvis Costello this fall again. We’ve been on his Detour Tour for three years so we’re excited to do that tour coming up with him.

RL: In October, we’ll be at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre with Elvis Costello as well.

Our most recent record, Reskinned, has been released here in the U.S. for a couple of months. We released a single “Trouble In Mind” to radio and made a music video for it. It’s just now coming out in the UK. So for a minute, we’re still touring in support of that new record. We have a two-and-a-half-week tour in the UK that is coming up in November/December and we’re going to go support that record.

Our intent for the fall is to take some time off and start writing for our next record. It’s important for us to take some special time and hole up to figure out what is next as a group. We feel every record is a new chapter for the band so that’s our intent leading into the new year. Within the first quarter of the new year, we hope to have some new music out for folks, but you can’t put dates in stone until you have the good and this fall we’ll be making the good.

ABC: Yesterday, I asked Michelle Malone how she viewed the role of women in Atlanta’s music industry and she told me, “It’s very much equal opportunity.” But how does the rest of the world treat these young Southern women with a such a strong sound?

RL: I would say there is a bit of a disconnect since we are young women playing very rootsy Rock Southern music. There aren’t a lot of women out there doing what we are doing right now, especially at our age. The response we get from people in the U.S. is similar to the response we get internationally, except for it’s a little bit more of a novelty for Brits and Europeans to see us lively up on stage. But it’s also a real treat for them to see Americans playing what they consider to be very traditional American music. We draw from a lot of retro, as it were, sources. We’re listening to The Allman Brothers and a lot of the Delta Blues guys. We’re trying to reference a lot of music that we feel is our heritage, and that in and of itself is really unusual and the people really dig it.

ML: It’s important for us as women to perform strongly as musicians. People are surprised by that — not that there should be a distinction — but there aren’t as many women in the industry now who are really playing Rock ‘n Roll guitars or Rock ‘n Roll slide guards. I think that people are surprised by it. Even if it shouldn’t be that way, people are surprised to see women doing that.

RL: We would take Michelle Malone’s view as well because we show up and we work. We do what we do what we do exceptionally and that means to show up and put in hours with the blood, sweat and tears regardless of gender, age or anything. Just show up and make good music.

ABC: Authentic-traditional music has reemerged in popularity as evidenced by the recent success of Alabama Shakes, Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton. Why do you think that real soulful folky American music sound is commercially successful today?

RL: People are searching for substance. We live in a very superficial world of social media and immaterial things and I believe that people are turning to art as a way to express their souls more now than ever. We experienced a lot of interesting music in the ‘90s and early 2000s, but at this point in time I think that artists like the Alabama Shakes, Sturgill Simpson or Chris Stapleton are borrowing from the past in a way that feels very real. They’re trying to bring back some sort of a soulful and of-this-earth approach to art and that’s what we’re trying to do as well —to be able to stand on the foundation of a strong song. It’s not about the light show, it’s not about dancing around, it’s not about the glitz and the glam — it really is boiled back down to the essence of what is important with performing art for us which is having a message, really amazing work that you’re sharing with people, playing well and speaking a strong musical language. It’s all circling back around because people want it, and people need it. We hope to be a part of that wave as well.

ML: We have toured our butts off for years and that’s how we learned our craft. It’s not something that we went into the studio and created then went out on the road and pressed play. It was born out of sweat and tears.

ABC: How does a show in your hometown of Atlanta differ from one on the road?

RL: Realistically, the show is no different. We play our songs, get up and connect with people but it is difference for us in our heart because making music within a close proximity of your people — having your friends and family at the show and being within driving distance of your own bed — is really, really special. We’re super stoked to be lined up with a bunch of other great bands at Park Tavern and we’re really excited to have our hometown come out and support us.

ABC: How did you end up forming a relationship with Elvis Costello?

ML: We met him at a festival called MerleFest. We were playing and he was headlining that year. There was an all-star jam and we were a part of it. He was singing a Gospel song that we knew so we went up behind him and sang some harmonies that he really liked, so over the years he’s been bringing us on tours and we’ve been opening up for him. We’ve become more and more involved with his show over the years. It’s been a good eight or nine years that we’ve been touring with him now. The tour we’re doing with him now is his solo tour and we open the show, then he plays, then we join him on stage for a half an hour to 45 minutes then we play an encore together. It’s really fun and we’re excited to do the tour in the U.S. with him in October. We’re also about to go to Japan with him and that will be really fun.

ABC: So you’ve known Elvis Costello for about nine years. When he enters a room are you over the celebrity since you’ve known him for so or are you still like, “Holy cow! It’s Elvis Costello!”

RL:(Laughs) He’s one of our favorite people on the planet. He’s become one of our dearest friends has been a huge champion of what we do as artists. He has guided us and given us a lot of feedback and advice that has been invaluable to us over the years. When you tour with people and you’re in different cities every night with the rigors of traveling and the rigors of good shows and bad shows, you really develop a unique relationship with somebody and I would say we’ve developed that with Elvis. There is a kinship that is hard to describe and share with anyone that you haven’t traveled extensively with, but suffice to say he is a super rad human being and we love him. (Laughs)

ABC: How do you utilize social media to engage your fans/customer base?

RL: We are very lucky to live in a day and age where we can stay really in touch with our fans. We love to connect with people and hear how our music impacts them so we can understand what music is important to them. On Twitter, we generally like to have a little back-and-forth with folks. It’s such a quick way to interact with folks. On Instagram, we’re able to share what it’s like to tour every day. We show a lot of photos of us in the van touring around and backstage behind-the-scenes kind of stuff. On Facebook, we are able to give you the real day-to-day stuff like dates and where we are playing. On YouTube, we are always posting cover videos and snippets of rehearsal tapes and stuff that we are working on that is new. Social media provides an amazing way for us to tell our story in real time."


ice nine
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Re: Larkin Poe talks about Elvis

Postby ice nine » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:41 pm

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think that you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt
- M. Twain

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