Named after their great-great great grandfather and genuine descendants of the great Edgar Allan Poe, the sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell follow up the Grammy-nominated Venom & Faith with the seemingly ambiguously titled Self Made Man. Lauded by blues lovers, this fifth album by Larkin Poe could and should see them recognised across the genres for the spectacularly good musicians they are. Released on their own Tricki-Woo Records label (could the name really come from one of James Herriots’ canine patients?!) and self-produced, this is blues and rock with some subtle southern inflections that will lift your spirits as well as make you think…
Take opener ‘She’s A Self Made Man’: this is blues-rock with a capital BR! Drums, guitar and vocal combine to provide a superb slice of quality, heavy rock with a genius purposely hesitant slide sol that I would have the album for on its own. The pity is that it is only three minutes long, a complaint which I level at all eleven tracks; they’re too short!… ‘Holy Ghost Fire’ is BOC’s Godzilla mixed with proper ‘Snake and is delicious and lit up with slide inserts that do indeed inject fire. ‘Back Down South’ has Tyler Bryant guesting on a brilliant southern tinged blues that enthrals from beginning to end. My favourite has to be the simply brilliant update of the traditional ‘God Moves On The Water’: they take this Blind Willie Johnson song about the Titanic and a couple of very apposite verses to add to the catalogue of disasters and back it with stunning instrumentation.
‘Every Bird That Flies’ takes things down a notch with the slower pace and memetic drumming and a slide solo that is as good as you’ll hear this side of Rory…it is really that good. Closing with the good time roll of ‘Easy Street’ that will have you tapping and joining in before you hit play from the top button so you can listen to all of the album all over again.
Basically, I’ve run out of superlatives for this masterpiece of blues…just buy it, listen, agree with me and if you don’t have them already, buy the other four!