Lovell sisters bring Larkin Poe’s energetic roots rock to Jackson

Grammy-nominated Rebecca and Megan Lovell discuss how their strong family connection informs everything about Larkin Poe's music.
Rebecca (left) and Megan (right) Lovell of Larkin Poe are excited to bring their raucous live show to Jackson as part of their headlining "Blood Harmony" tour. (Sanjay Suchak)

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Music Interviews

 

NOTE: This show was postponed due to weather.

Grammy-nominated Larkin Poe is a roots rock ‘n roll band originally from Atlanta, Georgia now based in Nashville, Tennessee. 

The group is fronted by the sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, who prvide robust harmonies, electrifying slide guitar and heavy Southern-rock riffs that has earned them a reputation as “the little sisters of the Allman Brothers.”

Released in Nov. 2022, “Blood Harmony” marks their sixth album as a band and sees the Lovell sisters stripping things back from previous efforts. The result is a spontaneous and raw sound, with songs full of soulful grit seasoned with their Southern heritage. 

In advance of their show at the Center for the Arts on Saturday, January 28th, Rebecca and Megan joined us recently for an interview over the phone.

The following interview transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity. This conversation was recorded on Tuesday, Jan. 24.

JACK CATLIN/KHOL: How does your how does your relationship as sisters inform the music you make, and what are some of the challenges you face being in a band together?

MEGAN LOVELL: I think our sisterhood is the axis around which everything else spins. It’s everything to us. It informs the way that we make decisions and the music that we create. You know, we’re a package deal and we’ve always been a package deal. Even when we were five or six years old, we were always “the girls” and we were always doing projects together. And it’s very natural that that has carried on into our adulthood and our careers. We’re very much on the same page and we’re a good team. We really enjoy working together. And also this musical language together I think is very special. We have that sibling connection in music that you really don’t get any other way besides playing with somebody for many decades. It’s a really special thing that is kind of unlike anything else when you’re in it. It’s beautiful to experience. It’s a partnership forged in the blood.

KHOL: Well, that’s a great segue because my next question is all about blood and family ties. The name Larkin Poe is a nod to a distant relative, and the new album titled “Blood Harmony” makes reference to familial ties as well. Can you expand on the meeting behind those two names and touch on the importance of strong family connections?

REBECCA LOVELL: So the band name was taken from our great, great, great, great grandfather. His name was Larkin Poe, and he was a distant cousin of Edgar Allan Poe as well. So we just really appreciated the fact that as sisters, we could have a family name for the band name and loved the Southern Gothic connection to Poe. And be able to have family connection be at the forefront of our storytelling is something that comes very natural to us. It’s always a theme that as a songwriter I feel compelled to speak about. I’m inspired to dig into. It is something that I think people have come to expect. As Megan said earlier, you know, being sisters is really the main focus of what we do. We wouldn’t make music the way that we do together if we weren’t siblings.

I think that there is a lot of unspoken genetic connection that just adds this extra je ne sais quoi to what we do and to be able to pay tribute to that with our songs and our stories feels really, really good. And I think we definitely expanded on it with this most recent album, “Blood Harmony.” Even just naming the album “Blood Harmony” felt right. “Blood Harmony” was a song title I had in my writing notebook for many months, many moons. And to finally be able to write it and bring it to my sister and to have us sort of create an entire album around a single focal point of “Blood Harmony” is very rewarding and definitely a Southern tradition as well to have the family stories be at the forefront.

KHOL: You’ve been referred to as the “queens of contemporary Southern blues rock.” How does that title feel to you? And can you describe for us the impact that the South as a region, as a culture, as a general vibe has on your music?

REBECCA LOVELL: I think that that’s a pretty apt description. I do think we we do our best to try and revile any monikers that get placed on what we do. That’s, I think, one of the big reasons that we ended up picking “roots rock ‘n roll” as a descriptor for our music because it doesn’t really mean anything. It’s like the most broad term you could imagine. Because I do think that we are hard to pin down on what we do. But there absolutely is a lot of contemporary elements to what we do with our production. And we’re very southern and we are rock. And so that feels apt.

It makes us feel excited because there are so many Southern rock records that I love but that don’t represent who I am as a Southerner or who I am as a woman. So to be able to create a new subset of the genre that feels forward thinking, that feels female fronted, that feels open minded and leaning into diversity, leaning into a different perspective, that feels great.

I think there’s a lot of people like me who want Southern music that feels like they do as Southerners, and it feels good to be able to open it up and to express who we are. Because we grew up in northern Georgia, we were born in Tennessee, we had a lot of family in Alabama, and it’s definitely a huge part of who we are. So many of the Southern traditions, the concepts of Southern hospitality and Southern comfort, it’s a huge part of who we are. And so to be able to be the best versions of ourselves and to put that into our art and be representative of who we believe Southerners to be, that feels great. And we’re so proud of all of the music that has come out of these collections of states as well. Like, we have just a richness in music with the blues and with country music. And it’s really amazing when you think about the impact that the South has had on music. We have so much to to delve into and respect there.

Listen above for KHOL’s full conversation with Rebecca and Megan Lovell.

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About Jack Catlin

Jack is KHOL's music director. He says all music is in some way connected no matter the style and his mission is to provide listeners with a unique and memorable experience each time they tune in to KHOL or see him DJ live.

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