There is a famous series of John Lennon quotes from an interview in the early 1970s in which the former Beatle, when referring to the origins of rock and roll and of the Beatles, says that “The blues is a chair, not a design for a chair, or a better chair… it is the first chair…You sit on that music… We didn’t sound like anybody else, that’s all…We were building our own chairs.”
So what does this collection of quotes mean? It means that every band that has ever called themselves a rock and roll band owes a debt to the blues. It also declares that if any band ever wants to progress from being just a cover band or a loud hobby activity, they have to work at developing their own unique sound because that is the one thing that will potentially get them noticed in the vast, deep universe known as rock and roll.
Larkin Poe, led by the two sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, is a band who established their uniqueness as a group by embracing the blues and putting their own exciting spin on it in their first four studio records. Those records, (including their last effort, the outstanding and Grammy-nominated Venom & Faith), display an undeniable, enthralling, and steady burgeoning of their songwriting skills and sound. Their latest studio release, Self Made Man, continues to build upon this success and moves them unmistakably forward on their musical journey.
It takes their fervent concoction of blues, gospel, bluegrass, folk, and pure rock and roll of the earlier records and turns it up a notch to deliver a sonic offering that justifies them being considered one of the most electrifying bands anywhere right now.
From the torching titular track to the blazing “Holy Ghost Fire” to the infectious “Keep Diggin,” to the fiery “Back Down South” to the touching “Tears of Blue and Gold,” to the inspirational “Easy Street,” and to every song in between, these two sisters and their backing band deliver an intense and strongly constructed collection of songs that uplift, encourage, inspire, rock it out, and tell lyrical stories all at the same time.
On Self Made Man, Larkin Poe brings the heat and the fire of a polished and fiercely individual band who are, as Lennon would undoubtedly say, gloriously building and enhancing their chairs.
Self Made Man by Larkin Poe on their own label Tricki-Woo Records was self-produced and is available on their website