Larkin Poe at The Rickshaw Stop, by Kate Haley
Larkin Poe (photo: Kate Haley)

Words by Kate Haley

Larkin Poe took the stage at the Rickshaw Stop just before 10pm on July 19 with force and determination. From the moment that Rebecca and Megan Duvall walked on, it was clear that they were wasting no time, leading with a no-holds-barred “Summertime Sunset” that was as bright and dynamic as each sister, individually and collectively, is.

I was positively delighted when I discovered Larkin Poe. Their blend of delta blues traditionals and their own material is impossible to characterize. Let it suffice to say that you really did have to be there and that you need to be next time they are playing to another sold-out crowd in San Francisco.

Their arrangements of classics by Son House, Robert Johnson and Lead Belly were inspired. Kevin McGowan on drums kept hitting it right where it needed to be, mastering inflections that most of today’s drummers would have missed. Brent Tarka Layman, on bass, kept that steady drive going, a beautiful compliment to Megan, the “Slide Queen,” and her intense use of what appeared to be a 70-year-old Rickenbacker lap steel. Man, could Megan and that slide guitar sing. Rebecca never disappoints with her vocals, and her guitar runs were diverse and creative. It’s clear that we have true musicologists on our hands.

I’m calling it: This band is a legend in the making. Go pick up their 2017 album, Peach, and get there early for the next show. Check out a full set list from this show here.