Larkin Poe

REVIEW: Larkin Poe “Paint The Roses: Live in Concert”


Larkin Poe — Paint The Roses: Live in Concert

Like most artists who released new material in 2020, Larkin Poe found itself with no way to present the new songs live to fans – live streams are nice, but it just doesn’t match being in the room, especially with guitar virtuosos like sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell – greasy, grimey guitar licks just don’t sound the same at home. In an effort to make it up to music-thirsty fans, the band enlisted the Miami-based orchestra Nu Deco Ensemble (conducted by Jacomo Bairos) to play songs from their 2020 album, Self Made Man, for a small audience (outdoors), then release the performance as Paint The Roses: Live In Concert.

The album begins with a new take on the Bessie Jones/Alan Lomax tune “Sometimes” (first recorded by the band in 2019). Handclaps and harmonies give way to marching band-style horns and drums, plus (of course) a mean slide guitar part. “Back Down South” is the sisters’ tribute to the Lovells’ native Georgia, and it also features a detour into the Allman Brothers’ “Blue Sky” (with requisite twin guitar riffs).

The biggest draw here for longtime Larkin Poe fans is “Mad Hatter,” a longtime concert staple seeing its first official release. The Lovell sisters wrote the song about their grandfather, who suffered from mental illness. Featuring a mournful fiddle line (or, since there’s an orchestra present, perhaps we should call it a violin), the song explores how “madness” can affect a family across generations – “I can’t forget that one-fourth of his blood is mine/I try not to worry” – before diving into an orchestral swirl with the Lewis Carroll-inspired refrain, “Off with her head.” Paint The Roses is filled out with other tunes from the band’s 2020 record before wrapping with “She’s a Self Made Man,” a horn-driven rocker free of gender assumptions, proving, if there are still doubters out there, that these sisters can hang with the boys.

Song I Can’t Wait to Hear Live: “Every Bird That Flies” – it’s dark, a little spooky, and has a hell of a slide solo.

Go here to order Paint The Roses: Live In Concert:

Check out tour dates on the band’s website:
















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