Larkin Poe — Self Made Man (June 12th, 2020) •» Murky blues vytéká z robustních riffů a vydává ze sebe něco zlověstného v „She’s A Self Made Man.“ Je to hluboké. Je to melodické a špinavé. Je to úder do střev. Tento direkt snesu dobrovolně. „Být člověkem, který je sám sebou, má méně společného s chromozomy a více práce s tvrdou prací,“ říká Rebecca Lovell pro American Songwriter. „Je to klasická fráze, která se už tak dlouho šíří, že jsme si pomysleli: je čas dát jí trochu ženského faceliftu.“ V tuto chvíli mi obě dámy přijdou jako účastníci odboje: vrátily se se svou vlastní produkcí (SELF MADE MAN), která navazuje na Venom & Faith z roku 2018. Duo Rebecca a Megan Lovell, nominované na Grammy, v úvodním intru neochvějně a beze zbytku nabízejí své XX chromozomy pro ohýbání pohlaví: „Ona je A Self Made Man.“ Rebecca blije klišé, že píseň byla také o její cestě se sestrou Megan za poslední desetiletí budování Larkin Poe a posílení, které přišlo ze všech vzestupů a pádů. „Kdykoli se vám svět snaží říci, kým byste měli být, musíte najít vnitřní sílu, která vzdoruje očekávání,“ říká Lovell. „Místo toho zvolte, jak se chcete definovat.“ A víte, že mne je to putna? Radši jen makejte a vše bude OK.
Location: Calhoun, Georgia ~ Atlanta, GA ~ Nashville, TN
Genre: Acoustic Rock, Southern Roots, Blues, Americana, Rock
Album release: June 12th, 2020
Record Label: Tricki~Woo Records
01. She’s A Self Made Man 3:02
02. Holy Ghost Fire 3:23
03. Keep Diggin’ 3:13
04. Back Down South feat. Tyler Bryant 3:55
05. Tears Of Blue To Gold 3:12
06. God Moves On The Water 2:44
07. Every Bird That Flies 3:41
08. Scorpion 3:13
09. Danger Angel 2:28
10. Ex~Con 3:57
11. Easy Street 2:17
•» Rebecca (lead vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, mandolin, piano)
•» Megan (harmony vocals, lap steel guitar, dobro)
Jim Hynes ⌊ June 8, 2020 ⌋
•» It’s a bit too easy and unfair to lump the Southern music sister duo, the Atlanta~bred, Nashville~based Rebecca and Megan Lovell, as just another blues act. They are more wide~reaching, more primal, and at times more unsettling than other acts. They hit hard and loud but in a more raw, expressive way than many blues~rockers. The Lovells are riding high right now, following a global tour behind their 2018 Venom & Faith, an album that reached the top of the charts and earned them a GRAMMY Award nomination. Again, they take matters into their own hands, self~producing Self Made Man on their own label. The band features Rebecca Lovell (lead vocals, electric guitar (except “Back Down South”), acoustic guitar, resonator guitar, acoustic, programming, B3 organ, clavinet, BGV), Megan Lovell (Lap steel, baritone lap steel, analog synthesizer, BGVs) Tarka Layman (electric bass on three selections), and Kevin McGowan (percussion except on “God Moves On the Water”).
•» This new effort is inspired by their epic world travels and sharing the big stage as the opening act for rock n’ roll heavy Bob Seger. Yet, their Southern heritage rings through powerfully, as it has on previous recordings. The ferocious attack of the opening anthem to independence with its Led Zeppelin~like chords, “She’s A Self Made Man,” lets the listener know right away that their mission is a serious one. Like its predecessor, this and most songs are filled with singalong chorus spots, which will have audiences shouting along with them at live shows (whenever we get back to those). The unrelenting surge continues with the gospel~Like “Holy Ghost Fire” and “Keep Diggin’.” “Back Down South,” a fiery Southern rock homage, features guest blues rocker Tyler Bryant on lead guitar. (He took a guest spot on the last album too).
•» Handclaps introduce the nostalgic “Tears of Blue to Gold” before they return to the blues shuffle “God Moves On The Water.” A traditional folk~blues classic famously first recorded by Blind Willie Johnson, Rebecca and Megan take the familiar and add musical, lyrical and arrangement ideas that lift the song to more contemporary heights. Megan says. “Listen to that and then go back and listen to Blind Willie’s version. His story centers around the sinking of the great Titanic, but in our version, we wrote additional verses to try and expand the scope of that feeling, to include other events like that which took place in the course of history.”
•» Handclaps are also an integral part of the freedom themed “Every Bird That Flies.” Aptly, “Scorpion” is as fierce a filthy charging blues as any tune here. “Ex Con” thankfully takes it down a few notches, bringing some melody and more singalong verses. They close with the bluegrass~tinged “Easy Street.” With a few small exceptions, every song is powered by romping, stomping beats, and Megan’s incessant, slicing lap steel. Energy abounds, but they might be better served with a ballad or two and/or more acoustic instrumentation to calm the blaring assault. But the arena shows and a purposeful change in demeanor lies behind the aural presentation as explained below.
•» “This is, in a lot of ways, is the first lyrically uplifting record we’ve made,” Megan says. Without any references to the health pandemic, she says, “People can go through terrible things. People can weather immeasurable sorrow and hard times, and yet we can still come out on the other side, pull ourselves together, and thrive. This record reflects some of the joy and positivity that we ourselves feel and appreciate.” We can all use that kind of attitude in these times.
•» Called by some “the little sisters of the Allman Brothers” the sisters feel an obligation to carry on the traditions of Southern music while keeping it contemporary. “Roots American music is resurging,” says Rebecca. “And we’re excited to be a part of a new generation of bands making music that feeds off the old traditions. The South is a hotbed and one of the major cradles for American music; I love the fact that just a handful of states have given us so many bands and artists that shaped American music, from Little Richard to the Allman Brothers to James Brown. It’s an important torch to carry because this music, especially the blues, was hard won by some incredible artists for whom we all owe a great debt of gratitude…we’ll take every opportunity to tell that story.”
•» This is unbridled passion, an unyielding declaration of freedom. As strong as it is, however, a little tempering down in a few places could only add to the overall impact.