Giving themselves more time to write material than usual, then settling into a month-long phase of pre-production has found Larkin Poe consolidating their sound as they draw deeper into the wells of blues and bluegrass music and experiment with various tunings.
With their new album, Blood Harmony, the thinking seems to be that if they work hard enough the possibilities are quite limitless.
“I think we are of the mindset that you can kind of put your mind to just about anything,” Megan Lovell tells Tone Deaf. “And that is very empowering. The language of music is something that we have been speaking for a long time and it is very exciting to continue to hone our craft, not just as songwriters or singers, or players and entertainers but the whole gamut.
“It’s a very rich relationship that we have with our craft, and the longer that we spend, I think the more that I enjoy it. It becomes more instinctive and less effortful. Digging deeper into the blues and digging deeper into American roots music, I think we have tapped into a well that feels very close to an authentic part of who we are as people. So the more that we’ve leaned into our roots, I think the more authentic our music has become.
“And that’s felt really, really good with every album that we’ve made. Again, kind of taking those few steps closer to making something very, very real and I do think that the more real you can be the more power you find.”
Over the pandemic period Larkin Poe managed to release their fourth album, Self Made Man, a covers LP titled Kindred Spirits and Paint the Roses – Live In Concert, and a collaboration with Miami’s Nu Deco Ensemble. While stuck at home they delivered the hugely popular Porch Pickin’ livestream sessions on YouTube and were finally able to do a spot of U.S. touring in late 2021.
With Blood Harmony now released, however, the road has opened up which means they can again tour extensively, including a welcome return to Australia. It’s a welcome reset for the Nashville-based sisters.
Love Blues Roots & Soul?
Get the latest Blues Roots & Soul news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
“I think things have definitely opened up,” Rebecca Lovell says. “It’s a new normal and I think that everybody’s mindset has been has shifted.
“I mean, how could it not? I think we’re in new territory for sure. I think a lot of people are of the mindset that they don’t want to take music for granted, and the ability to be able to go out and see live shows is something that is very special and has been made even more special by it being gone for a good amount of time.
“And then there’s also the flipside, where people have become used to being at home, people have become used to being able to get entertainment from a screen and in that way I think it’s made it a little harder on some artists to be able to tour and make a living and that’s a little bit scary. And the fact that everybody’s out on the road at the same time means that the landscape has changed in the touring industry and that is also interesting, it’s different.
“There are new challenges… but also, music always has new challenges. There’s always something different on the horizon. So I’m not worried about it at all. I think that artists always find a way to power through.”
Larkin Poe perform at Byron Bay Bluesfest 2023 on April 6th-8th; Metro Theatre Sydney on April 9th, The Croxton Melbourne on April 10th and the Corner Hotel Melbourne on April 11th. Tickets available from bluesfesttouring.com.au/larkin-poe/
Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
Subscribe to Rolling Stone magazine
Subscribe to Rolling Stone magazine