WIB Interview: Larkin Poe

Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves

A Q&A with Larkin Poe

Words: Vincent Abbate

If you happen to be one of the 250,000 people following Larkin Poe on social media, you probably noticed more and more blues turning up in those little spur-of-the-moment videos they post on a regular basis.

Megan and Rebecca Lovell – the Georgia-born sisters that comprise Larkin Poe – share much of their creative life online, letting listeners in on what shapes them musically. In the past, you might have seen them experimenting with the Allman Brothers or Fleetwood Mac. More recently, seminal bluesmen like Son House and Robert Johnson have been getting the Larkin Poe treatment. The duo’s backstage video of House’s “Preachin’ Blues” has over 50,000 views on YouTube. An a capella version of “Black Betty” filmed inside a shower stall has surpassed 80,000.

By sinking their spades deep into America’s musical soil – always with respect, but with no qualms about making the classics their own – these two very talented siblings have obviously struck a chord.   Continue reading

WIB Interview: Watermelon Slim (Pt. 2)

Still Fierce and Free

An Interview with Watermelon Slim (Pt. 2)

Words by Vincent Abbate / Photos by Mike Latschislaw

(Click here for Part 1 of the interview.)

“Is any part of what you’re telling me off the record?”

I really had to ask, because Watermelon Slim wasn’t using a filter. He was sharing the most intimate details of his life – stuff you might tell your closest friend in confidence – though I’d never spoken with him before apart from a brief exchange at a blues festival ten years prior.

No. Every word of our interview was fit for print as far as Slim was concerned. When you have given up all hope of commercial success and accepted physical decline as a fact of life, you stop holding back.

“I’m an old man. I’m not in the greatest of health. I dance around it and put on a pretty good front, but…”

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WIB interview: Watermelon Slim (Pt. 1)

Still Fierce and Free

An Interview with Watermelon Slim

Words by Vincent Abbate / Photos by Mike Latschislaw

In an age of dime-a-dozen blues guitarists whose chief calling card is their technical proficiency, Watermelon Slim is a cherished exception. A bold, blatant personality who actually has something to say.

His success – modest as it is – owes less to effects pedals and vintage axes than to his ability to communicate universal truths. Listening to Slim, one is constantly confronted with the human struggle. For a brief, heady period roughly a decade ago, it looked as though the blues community had found – in this late-blooming Vietnam vet turned truck driver turned country bluesman – a working class hero for the long haul.

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