Larkin Poe, Rock’s Best Duo Right Now, Shows Deep Blues/Rock Roots

Larkin Poe, Rock’s Best Duo Right Now, Shows Deep Blues/Rock Roots

September 15, 2021 Off By Billy Thieme

Uncertain times kept the duo from performing in front of an audience for more than a year, but not from rocking, and showing deep love for their own musical roots, too.

Larkin Poe, aka the Lovel sisters, will rock the Ogden Theatre this Friday, September 17, 2021
Blues & Roots Rock duo Larkin Poe hit The Ogden Theatre Friday night, September 17, as part of the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour. (Photo: Red Light Management)

One of Nashville’s most ferocious guitar-wielding duos, Larkin Poe has been damned busy this past eighteen months. While we’ve all been dealing with the challenges of lockdown, uncertainty, fear, and – for far too many of us – much more tragic losses, sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell have kept themselves sane with beautiful, bluesy music. They’ve been performing live-streamed concerts – their own “Home Sweet Home” series – which helped them survive the cancellation of the tour to support their 2020 release.

Self Made Man, it turns out, was only the first of last year’s releases. They also released a brilliant set of covers with Kindred Spirits, and if all that wasn’t enough that eleven-song opus is just the tip of an iceberg of so many more rocking, lovingly rendered interpretations.

Friday night, Larkin Poe will help Denver usher in a promising autumn music season at the Ogden Theatre with the now ten-year-old Monster Energy Outbreak Tour. More importantly, the duo will have the chance to play it all in front of live audiences – finally. While their live shows have always been acclaimed, the combined energy of the past year and the audience feedback promises to make these shows incomparable.

Larkin Poe Kicks the Southern-Rock Patriarchy’s Ass

Self Made Man is a heavy, smokey collection of swampy blues-soaked southern roots rock, highlighted by Rebecca’s throaty vocals, and her explosively crunchy, knock-you-on-your-ass guitar playing. Every tune weaves that bulldozer axe work together with Megan’s gut-punching harmonies and wicked-hot lap steel slide guitar magic–along with a large dose of swagger for good measure. From the first howls of the opener, “She’s a Self Made Man,” you can feel the sisters planting a blues-heavy, full-on boot kick square in the family jewels of male-dominated Southern Blues/Rock history – a ferocious assault on cock rock made even sweeter by its fightin’ words title.

Fuck The Black Keys; this song – along with the rest of the record – takes on Rock, Southern Fried Rock, & Blues acts from the aforementioned Keys, The Allman Brothers, and Molly Hatchet – hell, even gigs like AC/DC – and kicks them all into a fetal position. From there, the record explodes and doesn’t stop until the needle bumps into the center label on the other side. I haven’t heard as lacerating and satisfying slide guitar as this in some time – and you won’t too soon, either.

Kindred Spirits is another beast altogether. Still carrying the swagger from Self Made Man and previous platters, this collection of covers is loving, meticulous, and respectful from start to finish. The overall tone is one of isolation – quieter, slower, more plodding than the previous record; it represents the very essence of lockdown, for many of us. But there are gems that rock as hard as the louder previous record, despite the simpler, mostly acoustic arrangements.

Kindred Spirits, Larkin Poe’s covers collection, shows the duo’s deep love for their musical roots

Listening to the melancholic harmonies in their cover of Neil Young’s “Rockin in the Free World” brings a somber specter to the once-defiant song – an almost perfectly ironic reflection of what that “free world” has looked like in recent days, months – even years. The duo’s version of “Nights in White Satin” makes the Moody Blues original even more painfully romantic, and endlessly desolate, making us beg for an end we know we can sense, but that keeps slipping further away. It’s a perfect representation of another kind of blues we’ve all experienced in each others’ absence for too long.

Besides the list that made it to Kindred Spirits, Larkin Poe also spent a good part of the last eighteen months covering what seems like an endless list of other classics from artists including Chris Isaak, Paul Simon, the Bee Gees – and even The Mandalorian (well, the theme music, anyway). The sisters’ talent shows deep love for The Everly Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, and Dolly Parton with particular poignancy – just a few out of so, so many. I fully believe there’s not a song or band under the sun that these two artists can’t cover, and cover well.

Here are a couple to whet your appetite for this Friday:


  • Billy Thieme

    Aging punk rocker with a deep of all things musical and artistic, enough to remain constantly young and perpetually mystified. Billy has journalistic dreams, but of a decidedly pastoral, Scottish nature.