Larkin Poe Talk India Debut, Steven Tyler and More
The American roots rock sister duo will perform at next month’s Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai
It was somewhat of an ironic coincidence last month when I got stuck in a YouTube wormhole and came across Larkin Poe’s scintillating cover of Aerosmith’s 1997 track “Pink” off their 12th record Nine Lives. To my sheer luck, Mumbai’s Mahindra Blues Festival (MBF) announced the very next day that the American roots rock sister duo, musicians Rebecca and Megan Lovell, were going to make their India debut as part of the event’s 10th edition scheduled for February 8th and 9th.
Performing alongside blues stalwarts such as Buddy Guy and Keb’ Mo’ at MBF, Megan says, “We’re very excited to be a part of the festival; what a great lineup. We’re also looking forward to visiting India for the first time.”
The Lovell’s musical journey began as toddlers in Calhoun, Georgia when their mother put them into classical violin lessons. Rebecca says, “Bless our mom for her fortitude in enduring little girls scratching away at the violin and, later, banging away at the piano. In our early teens, we were introduced to roots music and it was all over for the classical training.” She adds, “We were captivated by folk, blues and bluegrass. We switched our violins for banjos, mandolins, and dobros and began experimenting with improvisation and songwriting.”
Catching waves of inspiration from the likes of American bluesmen Albert King and Muddy Waters, Larkin Poe’s sonic imprint gathers beautifully arranged harmonies, chunky guitar riffs and even slide guitar. “Like so many guitar players, Albert King has definitely had a big impact on my playing. I’ve spent many hours shredding his riffs,” says Rebecca. According to Megan, the sisters do co-write some of their material but she tells us that the bulk of the writing is done by Rebecca. “She’s a wonderful writer and I feel so lucky to have such a creative person as my partner. Once she’s got an idea, we’ll come together and make it Larkin Poe with the riffs and arrangement.”
One of their career milestones is playing at the U.K.’s Glastonbury Festival in 2014 and 2016. Megan says of the experience, “Glastonbury is an iconic, overwhelmingly huge festival; we really soaked up the energy of that place the two years we played. The sets went over very well! We’ve had a great response and it’s done a lot for our name recognition in the U.K.”
As I discovered, Larkin Poe’s Aerosmith connect doesn’t just stop at their cover of “Pink.” In 2016 the sisters played on frontman Steven Tyler’s debut solo album We’re All Somebody from Somewhere. “We were introduced to Steven Tyler through [American producer] T Bone Burnett; he was producing three tracks for Steven Tyler’s record,” says Megan. She adds, “[Burnett] brought Rebecca and I in to record some mandolin, lap steel and vocals. It was fun! Steven Tyler is definitely a unique personality and it was a blast getting to be a part of the project.”
Having released their fourth record Venom & Faith in 2018, ask Larkin Poe if we can expect a follow up anytime soon and Rebecca says, “We’re in the studio here in Nashville, Tennessee finishing up our next record now! We’re feeling so good about it and can’t wait for folks to hear it in the spring when we plan to release.”
For their set at MBF, Larkin Poe tell us that people better be ready for a performance “full of energy and joy.” The musicians will play tracks off Venom & Faith, 2017’s Peach and tease us by saying that they might throw in a couple of tracks from the forthcoming record. For their Indian fans, Megan says, “We can’t wait to play for you. We love to connect with people and are so excited to finally be able to come to India and shake hands with y’all beautiful people.”
Click here to buy tickets for the Mahindra Blues Festival between February 8th and 9th at Mumbai’s Mehboob Studio.