Fans of earthy roots rock and blues haven’t had to look too far this year for a fun time; they’ve only needed to check social media to find out where Rebecca and Megan Lovell, better known as Larkin Poe, are performing. And they’ve been performing everywhere. The sisters have been on the road with Keith Urban, played this year’s Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza festivals, have a U.S. headlining tour beginning in December after they return from a European jaunt and will be opening for Bob Seger when the vaunted classic rocker rolls through Georgia, Larkin Poe’s home state. That show is Dec. 22 – Duluth, GA – Infinite Energy Arena (Tickets)
Even with all the time on the road, Larkin Poe have found time to get into the studio and deliver a stellar new album called Venom & Faith, an effort loaded with cuts like the foot-stomping blues of “Sometimes,” the eerily-sweet single “Honey, Honey” and the country blues hoedown that is “Blue Ridge Mountains.” Larkin Poe will also be giving their fans a chance to rock with them on the high seas next year, and we asked Megan and Rebecca about that upcoming adventure, the new album and their time with Urban. Their commentary was given by email and exclusively to AXS.com.
AXS: How much of Venom & Faith have you been playing while opening for Keith Urban, and will that expand when your headlining tour commences after you wrap things up with Keith?
Rebecca Lovell: We're actually a featured guest in the Keith Urban tour, so we come up for two songs in the middle of his show. We sing a beautiful gospel song that leads into a super rockin' “Where the Blacktop Ends,” with an extended guitar jam at the end where Megan and Keith trade licks back and forth. It's a really fun, energetic moment in his set. We're on the last two shows of his Graffiti U tour now, so we're also really looking forward to debuting all the songs from Venom & Faith leading into our headline tour of the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
AXS: You had a show in New Orleans the day that Venom & Faith dropped. Do you have any kind of tradition for release day, or will you celebrate in any particular way before or after the show?
Megan Lovell: We popped lots of champagne in celebration! With the release day finally arriving, we're so eager to share this record with the world. We're the most proud of this record of all our projects, so it feels good. We’re a little nervous, anxious and excited, but it’s so, so good to be getting these songs out there.
AXS: You cover Skip James’s “Hard Time Killing Floor Blues” on Venom & Faith. What are some of your favorite songs from the old blues players that you’d like to eventually record?
RL: There's an endless number of old blues songs that we'd love to bring into the Larkin Poe fold. “Catfish Blues” would be amazing. I think “Crow Jane” is such a haunting song. But, truly, who knows what's next? Song choice and records have always happened very organically without much forethought for us.
AXS: Larkin Poe will be sailing on the sold-out Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea V Cruise in Feb. 2019 and again on the Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea Mediterranean Cruise in August. Are there players on either cruise that you’ve not yet crossed paths with that you’re excited to meet and maybe jam with?
ML: The Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea cruises are always so much fun, so we're of course looking forward to floating with old friends, and are hopeful to make some cool new ones. We've never gotten to meet Ruthie Foster and she is one of our heroes. And Eric Bibb on the Mediterranean is a powerhouse. Huge shout out to the wonderful Eric Gales too. We’re so eager to see him play.
AXS: The Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea Mediterranean Cruise calls at a couple of ports that probably have not been on your previous European tour itineraries, Monaco and Malta, and unlike a typical tour where you have no time to sightsee, the cruise will be more relaxed. What do you like to do when you’re able to explore a destination that’s new to you?
RL: It's so true that we usually have very little time to explore when on tour, so the fact that these cruises allow us to be tourists is refreshingly unusual. We hardly know what to do with ourselves! We love to have some unscripted time since touring is usually so mapped out. We'll take off walking and see where the moment takes us; find a little cafe or bookstore or bar and do some people watching. We can't wait.
Follow Larkin Poe and find tour dates here.