Larkin Poe is comprised of multi-instrumentalist sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell. The group is named after their great, great, great grandfather Larkin Poe who was a cousin of creative writing genius Edgar Allen Poe. The sisters compose, cover and play some of the best gospel harmonies since the “Second Chapter of Acts.” At the same time, they kick ass on the guitar rock side with screaming guitar solos that reach back to sister Rosetta Tharpe and Memphis Minnie. They’ve produced five studio albums since they formed in 2010 along with a number of EPs and collaborations with artists like Elvis Costello and Steven Tyler. Although this list could be much longer this is a sampling of their best work.
The soaring metallic slide guitar accompanies equally stratospheric vocals until the killer conclusion from 2014’s KIN.
9. “Good and Gone”
All I can say is that this song cut me to the bone moved me so much the first time that I heard it and even afterwards that I had to include it.
8. “Black Betty”
“Black Betty” is an infectious cover of Leadbelly that a band named “Ram Jam” had a hit with in the 1970s. You can still hear them daily on many classic rock stations.
7. “Banks of Allatoona”
“ Banks of Allatoona” is a guitar raging number with Megan Lovell burning down the house on lead slide guitar. It was on 2014’s KIN album.
6. “God Moves on the Water”
6. “God Moves on the Water” is a rocking out gospel song about reaching out to God in a time of crisis. “The people had to run and pray God moves.” It was on Self Made Man their most recent release in 2020.
5. “Fly Like An Eagle”
“Fly Like An Eagle” is not the Steve Miller version although the refrain melody is the same but that’s about it. The actual song is about “OxyContin in a dream state” with guitars creating the confused delusion to the bone rattling beat of drums.
4. “Rollin’ and Tumblin’”
“Rollin’ and Tumblin’” is one of this writer’s favorite Blues Standards that the sisters do in live shows. Hambone Willie Newbern first recorded it in 1929 and over the past century it has been reinterpreted by hundreds of Delta, Chicago, and later blues musicians including Muddy Waters and even Steve Miller to name some.
3. “She’s A Self Made Man”
3. “She’s A Self Made Man” is a muscular rocker that gives the sisters a chance to rip it up with their stratospheric guitar playing.
2. “Preachin’ Blues”
“Preachin’ Blues” is an original Son House song that Larkin Poe reworked both lyrically and instrumentally. The history of the blues parallels that of gospel and reaches back to the post civil war spirituals which is the reason why according to blues historian Dick Waterman all the original blues musicians always began their sets with a gospel song dedicated to the Lord to pay their dues to their maker.
1. “Sucker Puncher”
1. “Sucker Puncher” is the opening cut on 2016’s Reskinned and is a hard rocking number that knocks the listener for a loop It’s a raw explosive performance almost reminiscent of the Runaways.