Live review: Larkin Poe, Evening Muse (11/7/2014)

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Larkin Poe
Evening Muse
Nov. 7, 2014

Larkin Poe
  • Larkin Poe

Before starting its second song, Larkin Poe asked the Evening Muse audience if they'd mind hearing a cover song. It was a bit early in the set, but the crowd obliged as singer/guitarist Rebecca Lovell announced the title, "Wade in the Water," a well-known spiritual. The song started out in traditional format before slowly building and turning into a rambunctious, mandolin- and lapsteel-driven foot-stomper full of soul and spirit. Megan Lovell brought forth a bit of sacred steel influence in her riffs, drawing massive applause as the song ended. This sure didn't sound like the same Larkin Poe who played MerleFest in 2010.

It had been three years since Larkin Poe performed in Charlotte, but the sold-out crowd in attendance for this appearance will hopefully get them back sooner than later. Originally two-thirds of the sister trio The Lovell Sisters, Megan and Rebecca Lovell have been together as Larkin Poe since 2010. Their performance at MerleFest was early in the band's formation and still steeped in its bluegrass roots. Since then, Rebecca and Megan's music has developed into a more soulful Americana that's closer to roots-rock than anything bluegrass or folk.

Larkin Poe
  • Larkin Poe

Fresh off a European tour with Elvis Costello, Larkin Poe's Charlotte performance was the last of its own scheduled run on the East Coast. The Atlanta-based sisters have been out in support of its first full-length album, Kin.

Rebecca holds the spotlight with her vocals and instrumentation on acoustic and electric guitar and mandolin, while Megan offers highlights through her lapsteel accents and harmonies. Together, they convey a range of styles including rock, blues, soul, folk. From the T. Rex-inspired "Don't" to the Appalachian-infused "Mad as a Hatter," to the slow and slinky "Sugar High" the sisters gave the crowd a wide range of styles that were held together through their consistent vocals.

By the time the band reached its final song, Kin's leadoff "Jailbreak," the crowd and band's energy were in full force and feeding off of each other. Not ones to disappoint, Rebecca and Megan stuck around for an encore of their own. After Rebecca sang a few bars of "Georgia on My Mind," the two ran through a cover of "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)."

Having seen the band as the Lovell Sisters at Bonnaroo, as an early incarnation of Larkin Poe at MerleFest and again at the Evening Muse a few years ago, it's clear that the young early 20-something sisters have quickly grown and matured as performers and songwriters. Their incredible instrumental talents and vocal harmonies now serve the songs instead of simply showcasing their talent.

Rebecca Lovell of Larkin Poe
  • Rebecca Lovell of Larkin Poe

Megan Lovell of Larkin Poe
  • Megan Lovell of Larkin Poe

Setlist
Thief
Wade in the Water
Mad as a Hatter
Banks of Allatoona
Sugar High
Stubborn Love
Jesse
Carrot & the Stick
Dandelion
Mr. Mechanic
Don't
Jailbreak

Encore
Georgia on my Mind
Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

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