Mic Check: Larkin Poe readying release of new album, preparing more livestreams

Editor’s note: With live music and concert reviews on hold due to COVID-19, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is focusing on how Georgia musicians are spending their time in our new feature, Mic Check.

Anyone who has witnessed Larkin Poe live knows that sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell don’t approach anything with less than full, fiery passion.

Although the Georgia-reared siblings have lived in Nashville for a few years, they still regularly return to Marietta (at least in normal times) to visit their parents.

Rebecca is on lead vocals, electric guitar and other instruments, and Megan is on lap steel guitar and vocals. And together on June 12, Larkin Poe will release their fifth studio album, "Self Made Man," the follow-up to 2018's Grammy-nominated "Venom & Faith." The new album, a magical stew of blues, rock and soul, has been preceded by singles "Keep Diggin'," "Holy Ghost Fire" and the fierce opening track, "She's a Self Made Man." Although the Lovells' major world tour to support the album has been suspended, they're still actively engaged with fans via their "Home Sweet Home" livestreams (via larkinpoe.com).

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The duo has two more scheduled — Rebecca says additional concerts are percolating — for 7 p.m. May 30 (storytelling, Q&A and songs) and 4 p.m. June 6 (all-request show). Tickets are $10 for each, with a portion of proceeds benefiting United Way Nashville.

During a conference call last week from their respective homes, Rebecca and Megan filled us in about their current lives off the road and what they’re listening to these days. (Look for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s expanded feature on Larkin Poe and the new album next month.)

Q: You had a major overseas tour get scrapped because of the pandemic. What have you been doing instead these past couple of months?

Rebecca: We have been delving into connecting with fans; that's a huge motivator for my sister and I. To not be able to go out and share experiences, we're channeling that energy into our YouTube channel and our livestream. We've both been gardening a little bit, for the first time ever. When we're usually gone for months at a time, we're better at killing plants! We had such an incredible tour scheduled, from Australia to Tokyo to Europe. It's definitely been a reassessment time.

Megan: It was a little bit of an adjustment at first. This is the longest we've been home in over a decade of touring. It's interesting, but with pros and cons. It's amazing to see loved ones and the seasons changing, and it is lovely to be able to connect with our fans online.

Q: What do you miss?

Megan: I miss the traveling and touring. Touring is interesting. It's sometimes not the most comfortable thing to do, but it forces you to live in the moment. At home, the moments can blend together and on the road you feel the passage of time and get to meet so many amazing people.

Rebecca: I think I miss the experience of coming home. That's the duality of traveling. There is a sense of release you get from coming home, that feeling when you finally fall into your front door and put your stuff down and are able to relax into your little home nest. We're having an extended moment of that, which I'm definitely not used to. It's been 10-15 years of traveling, and in the last two years, especially, we've been on the road coast to coast, traveling.

Q: What are you listening to?

Rebecca: With (our) YouTube channel and livestream, we've been shaking up our repertoire. We did a blues classics show, and to prep, we went through our album collections. It was an inspiration to be a better music listener and expand your knowledge a little more. I'd never really listened much to the Moody Blues, and we're releasing a cover of "Nights in White Satin." We're kinda amateur music historians in a way and trying to piece together the pieces of roots history. I was listening more to (hill country blues staple) Junior Kimbrough. His guitar playing is really unusual, and I've been digging into his catalog. And Megan and I are obsessed with (Delta blues singer/guitarist) Skip James and can listen to him inexhaustively. On my to-learn list is "Hellhound on My Trail" by Robert Johnson.

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