Time Out: Roots show for sisters

Larkin Poe
Larkin Poe
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“WE are sisters. We are music lovers. We are storytellers.”

“WE are sisters. We are music lovers. We are storytellers.”

So say Larkin Poe, the newest, hottest act to emerge from the American acoustic music scene.

In those three brief sentences, they tell a great deal.

But it is still not the complete picture. For Larkin Poe (Rebecca and Megan Lovell) are great entertainers with the power to wow and woo an audience at the same time.

The name Larkin Poe comes from their great-great-great-grandfather, a man the girls remember as ‘a legend, a tall tale, a truly everlasting story. Just the thing that we hope to become’.

Their musical journey began as children, playing classical violin and piano at the ages of five and six.

In their teens, they found themselves touring internationally between 2005 and 2010 as The Lovell Sisters, a group which included eldest sister Jessica.

In 2006, Rebecca entered the mandolin contest at Merlefest, America’s largest Roots Festival and won! Just 15 years old, she is still the youngest person and only woman to have ever won the competition.

They could be found equally at home on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry to summer festivals around the United States.

In January 2010, they wound up The Lovell Sisters when Jessica married and started on the road as Larkin Poe, joined by Daniel Kimbro (on bass), Chad Melton (drums) and Mike Seal (electric guitar).

Debut mini-album Spring came out in February followed by the next brief album, Summer.

Now the cycle is concluded with the release later this month of Fall and Winter.

As you’d expect each release is themed around a season but in no way is this a forced effort.

The talent of the girls allows them to effortlessly capture the spirit of the times of the year in a flood of music.

Their music criss-crosses and blurs boundary lines, blending country, bluegrass, folk, blues, Americana, rock and pop as well as occasional hints of jazz and reggae.

The girls bring their fresh music to the UK with a tour that takes in the Barnsley Acoustic Roots Festival this weekend.

They will be on stage at Kingstone School on Sunday afternoon.

The festival includes a headline performance by Cara Dillon as well as music from the likes of Show of Hands, Gandalf Murphy and the Slambovian Circus of Dreams (US), Karine Polwart, Larkin Poe (US) and Vin Garbutt.

To find out more visit www.barnsleyacoustic.co.uk or call 0845 1800363.

GUESTS next Friday at the Rock@Maltby will be the Strawbs Acoustic. Tonight’s guest is singer-songwriter Edwina Hayes, who spends half her time in Ireland and the rest in Nashville.

THE Wilsons are at the Beehive, Harthill tonight.

PLENTY to enjoy at the refurbished Greystones venue in Greystones Road, Sheffield (formerly the Highcliffe Hotel).

Appearing there tonight will be The Old Dance School, a small orchestra, playing folk infused with classical and jazz ideas.

And next Friday will see Rachel Harrington, bringing her personal touch to traditional American folk music. Then, on Saturday, April 9, guest at the venue will be incredibly gifted guitarist and singer Nick Harper.

THE Chris While and Julie Matthews Band will be at the Wortley Folk Club, now meeting at the Venue, Stocksbridge. This show is next Friday, April 8.

KARINE Polwart and Mark Nichols are at the Plug, Sheffield, next Friday.

MANDOLIN maestro Simon Mayor, with Hilary James will be at Uppertown Social Centre, Cullumbell Lane, Uppertown, Ashover, near Chesterfield next Saturday, April 9. Simon is one of the world’s leading mandolin virtuosos and composers for the instrument as well as a fine guitarist, fiddle player and wit. Hilary has one of the purest singing voices to be found on the English musical stage.