Monday, May 17, 2010

Patty Larkin: 25

Patty Larkin has always been her own woman when it comes to songwriting, creating music that might sound like an old folk song, or a new Latin beat, or a jazz riff, or a pop ballad, or a thoughtful contemporary songwriter piece. She’s also a top notch performer, by turns funny, intense, powerful, and soulful, a brilliant guitarist and a singer always in service of song and idea.

One of the things Larkin did early in her career was play music on the streets around Harvard Square. “You have to catch people’s interest,” she said, “or they move on.” There’s a bit of that ever changing, ever engaging street player idea lingering through the tracks of 25. She lives these days at the edge of the sea on Cape Cod. There's a bit of the ever changing nature of living by the waters present here, as well.

It’s a double CD, with 25 tracks, and it’s the way Larkin chose to mark twenty five years of recording. She picked out songs from across the range of her musical history, well known ones and lesser known ones too. After recording her own singing and guitar, she sent each track out ot one of twenty five friends she had invited to contribute however they wished to the song. Those she invited include Martin Sexton, Greg Brown, Rosanne Cash, Chris Smither, and Jennifer Kimball.

What emerges is, to borrow the words of another songwriter, a festival of friends. “Twenty five years, twenty five love songs, twenty five friends,” says Larkin, and it is, at the core, just that: all the celebrations, questions, changes, and understandings that come along with love explored through words and music and friendship. Notable tracks include Coming Up for Air with Jennifer Kimball and Good Thing with Dar Williams, but there’s a lot to explore here. Take your time..

you may also wish to see

the festival of friends idea is Carrie Newcomer’s
Music Road: Carrie Newcomer: faith and laughter

Music Road: Tish Hinojosa: Aquella Noche

a selection of recommended songwriter cds

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger susanbudig said...

I don't know about this musician, but am looking forward to discovering her. I like her choices in guest musicians, too, especially Greg Brown. She must have quite a standing to garner all of those wonderful music friends to play along with her.

12:31 AM  
Blogger Alexandra Grabbe said...

I live in the same town as Patty. Not only is she a top-notch musician, but she often does benefit concerts for local causes. Thanks for the news of 25!

8:11 AM  
Blogger Anjuli said...

She certainly got it right about ' you have to catch people's interest or they move on'

Its so great to be introduced to all this talent on here- I just love it!

11:49 AM  
Blogger Stephanie - said...

I've never heard of Patty Larkin, I do love Dar Williams. Will check this out, thanks for the tip!

3:41 PM  
Blogger Sue Dickman said...

This makes me feel old! I heard Patty Larkin a couple of times in the mid-late 80s when she played at the Iron Horse in Northampton. I was in college at the time, and it was clearly relatively early in her career. I haven't heard any of her more recent stuff, but I'll look for this new CD.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a lovely concept for an album!

1:02 PM  

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