Elvis Costello’s recent Detour run (detour… de tour… get it?) was billed as a solo gig, but for half of the show I caught, he wasn’t up there alone. Flanking him was his opening band, the duo Larkin Poe. For instance, here’s the trio on one of Costello’s classics, “Blame It On Cain”:
You can see why Costello has come to depend on them so much at these “solo” dates; he even turned over lead vocals on an unreleased new song, “Burn the Paper Down to Ash.” Larkin Poe’s opening set was every bit as impressive – the fact that they still had energy left to join Costello after it, even more so. Atlanta sisters Megan and Rebecca Lovell stormed the stage, making a mandolin and steel guitar howl and holler with a blues-rock fever. They’ve earned themselves the tagline “the little sisters of the Allman Brothers,” and for good reason.
Though Larkin Poe in band form has only been around since 2010, the sisters have been playing together their whole life and have a deep familiarity with music history. They post great covers on YouTube on rare moments off, and we asked them to tell us about some of our favorites. Get acquainted, and read the Lovell sisters’ thoughts on each song.
1. “American Girl” (Tom Petty cover)
“This cover video was recorded in the bathroom of a club in Brighton, England. We were on tour in the U.K. on the 4th of July and missing home… Singing this Tom Petty anthem made us feel a little more red, white, and blue.”
2. “Bang Bang” (Nancy Sinatra cover)
“‘Bang Bang’ has become one of our all-time favorite unoriginal songs to perform. It feels like one of our own. Plus, mental images of Uma Thurman in a yellow latex jumpsuit abound.”
3. “Black Betty” (Leadbelly/Ram Jam cover)
“The acoustics in this NYC hotel bathroom were inspirational and Ram Jam’s “Black Betty” is the ultimate ear worm… What more can we say.”
4. “Off the Wall” (Michael Jackson cover)
“We were on tour in Europe with Elvis Costello and had an off-day in Berlin. Of all the ‘wall-themed’ songs we could’ve sung, this one stood out.”
5. “Needle in the Hay” (Elliott Smith cover)
“Elliott Smith is one of the big loves of our artistic hearts. ‘Needle In The Hay’ cuts deep.”
Check out more from Larkin Poe at their website.
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