Larkin Poe Thick as Thieves.

Following on from their four seasonal themed EP’s released in 2010-11 the Lovell sisters return with another EP, Thick As Thieves, (really a mini album with seven songs), that continues their route from bluegrass to a very listenable country and soul tinged folk rock. The addition of keyboards (by Will Robertson) adds an almost funky Little Feat shuffle while new guitarist Rick Lollar reinforces this with some fine playing. In conjunction with the Dobro and lap steel playing of sister Megan there is a more Southern feel to these songs than on the previous releases. Apart from the almost Dixieland On The Fritz (which features some quirky guitar licks from Lollar as well as soprano sax) the songs are rooted in the folk/country/pop idiom (which is as good a way of saying I’m not sure how to describe them). Nevertheless the opening duo of Fox and Play On are certainly very radio friendly with catchy hooks with the latter being particularly impressive. While Celebrate is a little too riff heavy the soul/rock groove of Love or Money is the must successful song here, the band lock down and Rebecca Lovell’s vocals are suitably sultry. The closing song, Russian Roulette is another success although it does seem to bear a debt to The Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby at times.
Overall the sound is that of a pair of accomplished singer songwriters edging towards the mainstream and it might dismay some who have enjoyed their live appearances which have tended to feature Rebecca’s voice and mandolin playing along with Megan’s very accomplished guitar playing. The good news then is that you can purchase a special edition of the disc which has a DVD of a concert they performed on Norway last year. With just long time drummer Chad Melton and guitarist Lollar it is stripped back and features several songs from the Seasons EPs as well as much of the newer material. Rebecca literally has to roll up her sleeves as for some reason the band wear medieval garb and her bell-bottom sleeve hides her mandolin. Despite a fairly static set of camera angles and far too much time spent on “atmospheric” close ups of the candles and carvings adorning this small hall it’s a fine capture of where they were at last year.
Larkin Poe are currently touring the UK, catch the remaining dates here.

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