Larkin Poe – Blood Harmony
Tricki Woo Records – 2022
11 tracks – 42 minutes
Sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell have released their eighth album starting with their first release in 2014. The sisters are originally from Calhoun, Georgia but have relocated to Nashville to aid their careers. Rebecca plays guitar and keyboards and provides the lead vocals. Megan plays lap steel and resonator guitar and does harmony vocals. Rebecca’s husband, Tyler Bryant of the band Tyler Bryant and The Shakedown, produced the album and plays bass, keyboards and adds programming. The remainder of the band consists of Tarka Layman on bass, Kevin McGowan on drums and percussion, Caleb Crosby also on drums and percussion, Mike Seal on B3 and Wurlitzer, and Trissa Lovell provides harmony vocals. The band’s name, Larkin Poe, originates from a distant relative who was a cousin of Edgar Allen Poe.
Eleven originals, some written by the sisters or co-written with others, encompass southern rock, soul and the blues. On this album they are improving on their storytelling and on a few songs perhaps expressing some home sickness and reminiscing about their growing up in Georgia.
The album opens with a swampy story of murder and lies on “Deep Stays Down” that starts quietly and erupts at its conclusion. The song opens with the lyrics “There’s a bullet in the gun / The gun went missing / Suspicion blew up like a shotgun shell/ Zipping Your Lips” which seems to address the rise of violence in America and the unwillingness of individuals to come forward with information. With an underlying fuzzed guitar on “Bad Spell” and a tale of infidelity, Rebecca declares “You got me ringing like a doorbell” but concludes he has her hooked saying “…you know I can’t resist a bad spell over me”.
“Georgia Off My Mind” is the first of the songs looking back to their Georgia roots. Rebecca cites “Back where the sound is so sweet and clear / Where The folks I love still hold me so dear / I gotta catch a southbound train out of here.” Looking forward, Megan’s slide guitar accents the sister’s desire to “Strike Gold” and states “Burning Rubber / Coming In hot / Call it stubborn / Give it all that I’ve got”. “Southern Comfort” examines the things she misses about home and declares “I’m missing that Southern Comfort / Deep water, I’m going under”. The final song focusing on the sisters’ background is the title cut, “Blood Harmony” which is a heartfelt homage to their musical heritage. “God gave mama a singing voice / and she passed it off to me.” “More than flesh / More than bone/ when you sing / I don’t sing alone.”
On “Bolt Cutters & The Family Name”, the band rolls out a ZZ Top styled boogie as Rebecca defiantly proclaims, “You can take me out of the fight / but you can’t take the fight out of me”. Megan’s slide guitar dominates “Kick the Blues”, an all-out rocker guaranteed to get your blood pumping as Rebecca tells you “Get up baby, get up / I wanna see you rock n roll / C’mon and let it all loose”.
“Might As Well Be Me” sets itself off as a slow, soulful emotional reach to a hurting lover. Offering a break from the rush of the previous songs, the song stands out on the album. Rebecca coos “Trouble weighs on you lately / It’s there in your eyes / And it’s driving you crazy / Let me Inside”.
Immediately following the softer sound of the previous song, Rebecca’s ripping guitar battles it out for prominence on the powerhouse southern rocker “Summertime Sunset”.
The album closes back in the swamp where it started with haunting vocals telling a tale of going to “meet my maker” as the woman in the tale asks, “Lay my heart on the altar good lord / Such a weight, such a weight / I have paid with pain for my every dollar”.
Expressive vocals, tight guitar work with similarities to that of Susan Tedeschi and perhaps some touch of Bonnie Raitt, and excellently considered lyrics make this an album a winner and shows a continued growth for the talented twosome.