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Larkin Poe - La Riviera. Madrid, 6/11/2023

  by Philamonjaro

published: 19 / 1 / 2024

Larkin Poe - La Riviera. Madrid, 6/11/2023

On a pitch-black stage, a tightly focused, white strobe light pulsated momentarily revealing only Rebecca and Megan Lovell centre stage. Standing-off at each other, smiling. Smirks that infer they are the only ones in on the secret. A sort of pre-game huddle. The sisters were clad in white from head to toe as a thirty second fanfare of Cream’s ‘White Room’ wafted through the sound system. They lingered in that private moment of ‘let’s do this’, preceding a blast of bright lights that illuminated the stage and the roar of ‘Strike Gold’ from their 2022 release ‘Blood Harmony’. “Burning rubber/Coming in hot/Call it stubborn/Give it all that I've got" -'Strike Gold’ Lyrically the words are as inspiring as the song is energetic musically. Bright and present. The verse plays a call-and-response to Rebecca’s alternating guitar riffs. From that point forward they owned everyone’s rapt attention. The song ushered in ninety minutes of non-stop, roadhouse music. Hailing from Northern Georgia, Rebecca and Megan have a long history. Prior to starting Larkin Poe in 2010, the two sisters played bluegrass/Americana since their teen years with a third sister, Jessica, on fiddle. Along the way they netted awards and national attention. To the 4/4 intro snare beat of ‘Kick the Blues;, Rebecca asked, “This is the last night of our five week tour and we want to burn it down. Are you ready?” The end of their twenty-five date European/UK fall tour showed no signs of slowing down. Next came a new cut entitled ‘Summertime Sunset;, another song from ‘Harmony Blood;. The song’s ending decelerated then revved back up into a familiar vamp of the Allman Brothers’ ‘Jessica’ before ending. Another new one, ‘Georgia Off My Mind’ ended with Megan noodling lap steep in an atmospheric journey somewhere between an abbreviated Grateful Dead space and traditional southern sacred steel. Then bam! Rebecca’s guitar-stompin’ quickly segued into Son House’s ‘Preachin' Blues’. A solid repertoire of roots, rock, electric blues and folk. All conveyed with infectious fun. “All from the female perspective,.” Rebacca proclaimed ironically as they went into the next song, ‘She’s a Self Made Man’. “Like it or not I don't give a damn/Lord have mercy, I'm a self-man" - ‘She's a Self Made Man' Rebecca on electric guitar and Megan on lap steel together weave strings and vocals with consummate style, skill and musical acumen. Rebecca really demonstrated her vocal range and emotion, wailing on the downhearted ballad ‘Might As Well Be Me’. It was an intimate part of the concert where the foursome gathered around closely. Bassist Tarka Layman swapped electric for an upright bass. The drummer on a sole snare drum. while Rebecca switched to acoustic guitar and Megan remained on lap steel. The acoustic breakdown set continued with Elton John’s ‘Crocodile Rock’ in which they invited fans to do loud do-wapping, oohing and clapping to the beat. ‘’Holy Ghost Fire’ was a rocker. A guitar groove sounding like Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘Godzilla’ battled it out at a southern church tent revival. Another rocker ‘Bad Spell’ was about the wretchedness of having an evil spell. Angular rock riffs that drove the beat ended in a crescendo of moaning, with a solo guitar providing unyielding feedback. Further into a full rock frenzy, they played on with ‘Wanted Woman’. Filled with new songs from ‘Harmony Blood’, the concert was both riveting and entertaining as the Lovell sisters boundlessly danced around the stage. They reached towards the fans all without missing a step. Canadian, boogie-blues rock band The Sheepdogs aptly opened the concert with a fully charged rock set which fired up the audience.

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Larkin Poe - La Riviera. Madrid, 6/11/2023

Larkin Poe - La Riviera. Madrid, 6/11/2023

Larkin Poe - La Riviera. Madrid, 6/11/2023

Larkin Poe - La Riviera. Madrid, 6/11/2023

Larkin Poe - La Riviera. Madrid, 6/11/2023

Larkin Poe - La Riviera. Madrid, 6/11/2023

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Philamonjaro enjoys a versatile set from Americana duo Larkin Poe, which is fronted by sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, at La Riviera in Madrid.


Summer (2010)
Haunting and accomplished second in a series of four seasonally themed mini-albums from Calhoun, Georgia-based band Larkin Poe, which is fronted by two young sisters.

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