Larkin Poe excited to appear in the Bluegrass State Thursday at Levitt

Published 8:39 pm Monday, August 26, 2019

Making their first ever appearance in Middlesboro this Thursday night for the Levitt AMP Middlesboro Music Series is Larkin Poe. The duo is made up of sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell.

“My sister and I grew up playing classic violin and piano as little, little children,” Rebecca Lovell said. “I would have been three and Megan would have been four years old when our mother started taking us to lessons.”

She explained that from that point, music became a big part of their lives but grew bigger over time.

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“Of course, you know as children at first it’s not all that fun, and our mother had to make us practice. As time passed, it became something that we were excited to do on our own,” she said. “In our early teens, we actually ended up at a bluegrass festival, which is not surprising since we grew up in north Georgia. We were really taken aback by the spontaneity and the passion of the music. I think for a couple of little classical kids, it just seemed like something that we wanted to strive for ourselves.”

Lovell said that at that point, she and her sister put aside classical music and they got involved in bluegrass and getting involved in the tradition of the music.

They are singer/songwriters, multi-instrumentalist sisters creating their own brand of roots rock and roll, with a gritty and soulful sound that is flavored by their southern heritage.

“It’s just been a journey,” Lovell explained. “It’s been an amazing journey to be able to act as ambassadors for the music and play in 26 countries this year and to share that connection with people and just continue to bring this music into the 21st century, it feels very fulfilling.”

Lovell explained that she and her sister Megan sang with their eldest sister in a band called the Lovell Sisters.

“We started singing together in the church, and I feel that is sort of the common thread,” she said. “We sang together for as long as I can remember.”

They toured together for about five years after they accidentally won a competition and began being recognized.

“It opened up this surprising door for the first year where we were playing little gigs around town to actually going to theaters around the country and getting to play an hour and felt very professional,” she said. “We were having the best times and not realizing that we were playing at being professionals.”

In 2010, Rebecca and Megan formed Larking Poe and the eldest sister stepped away from the musical career path.

“Our eldest sister was like, ‘Y’all, I’m out, this is a weird way to make a living,’ and she’s gone on to other things,” she explained for the 2010 formation of Larkin Poe. “It’s just kind of unfolded over time, and it’s been a huge part of our lives from the very beginning.”

The band, originally from north Georgia, currently lives in Nashville and are the descendants of the tortured artist and creative genius Edgar Allan Poe.

The band is joined by Knoxville-based musicians Daniel Kimbro on bass, Chad Melton on drums and Mike Seal on the electric guitar.

When asked what they are looking forward to most in their first visit to Middlesboro, Rebecca answered, “Hearing people talk.”

She explained that they have spent more time out of the country than she would like to admit this year.

“It’s so wonderful to hear a southern accent and eat good food and to be in the Bluegrass State,” she said. “It’s wonderful that the summer is winding down. It’s hot but it’s not like crazy hot, so we can all be outside and enjoy some good music. That’s what I’m most looking forward to.”

Lovell said that she is thankful there are still people in the world that come out to musical events and support live music.

“I think it is so important,” she reiterated. “I think the arts, music and creative expression, it is so important to us as humans to bring the little kids out and have these cultural experiences. The arts are key, and I’m so glad that it’s still a tradition that exists and really hope that people will come out and take advantage of the opportunity that your community has worked so hard to provide.”

Opening for Larkin Poe Thursday is Lauren and the Howlers. They are an alternative rock band that blends 90s grunge, alternative pop, blues and rock.

Lauren Beeler’s debut album, Dixie Plaza, was released in October 2018. Shortly after, she formed Lauren and the Howlers. She began writing a new self-titled album with inspiration from some of her favorite artists such as Liz Phair and St. Vincent.

New this year, a local artist, such as sketching, photography, painter, etc. will be featured each week with their works of art being displayed.

The Levitt AMP concert series is located at 2005 West Cumberland Avenue, Middlesboro, Ky. 40965 next to Fountain Square.