November 3, 2007


Soundscape Artist

PATTY LARKIN atty Larkin's current sound is the supremely assured work of an artist who has caught a near-perfect wave — an artist whose influence becomes clearer with each passing season. She showcases a world where the ancient strains of modal folk meet brooding ambient noise, where Middle-Eastern flavored melodies and scales collide with R&B, where joyous pop meets somber reflection, where playful eroticism and naked soul-searching entwine.

 guitar focused singer/songwriter, Patty Larkin has immersed herself in a musical world that knows no borders. Larkin creates a world beyond her guitar that springs from the imagination, each song part of a tightly written song cycle cinema verite of challenging times. While Larkin's fine guitar work has been recognized by live audiences since her emergence on the acoustic music scene, it is her skills as a producer, soundscape artist and songwriter that have garnered accolades from fans and critics alike.

orn in Iowa, Larkin grew up in Milwaukee, in a family where music created generational bonds. "My grandmothers both played piano and when we would get together we would sing. I remember being small and standing underneath the keyboard while someone was playing barrelhouse blues and I felt like I had just seen God; it was a great sound to me." After playing music on her own in her teens, first piano, then guitar, Larkin attended the University of Oregon where she earned a degree in English Literature. From there, she headed east to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Larkin thus honed both an incisive writing approach and a broad musical palette — her musical evolution had begun.

PATTY LARKIN t has been a remarkable journey — originally hailed for her acoustic guitar wizardry and blazing wit, Larkin has never hesitated to expand her musical horizons. After a brace of albums for Rounder/Philo, her 1991 Windham Hill debut, the exquisite Tango is the apogee of her time in the Boston singer/songwriter scene. Angels Running and Strangers World have become perennial AAA radio staples; arguably the most incisive, artistically cohesive discs of the Lilith era. Larkin's landmark Perishable Fruit and Regrooving the Dream rewrote the sonic and lyric rulebook for acoustic based songcraft. Percussive use of the lap steel ("slapsteel"), loops, samples — all found a comfortable place within Larkin's songs; and with them, Larkin started riding the wave she now inhabits.

arkin is gratified by these accolades, but her eye is on the bigger picture. Like many a master artist, she has made the brave decision to keep growing, to keep expanding, rather than to rest on her previous accomplishments. "I look at each new album as an art opening - where the visual artist must create a show that is cohesive and dynamic, one that reflects the time in which the work was made. I am inspired by change - it defines me, and it can be subtle or radical. It captures my imagination."

he quotes from the Dalai Lama: "Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk." For Patty Larkin, one can only guess in what direction the wave will take her. One can know, however, that whatever direction it is, the journey will be extraordinary.

s we expected, Patty was extraordinary on our stage.

Praises for her performances:

  • "An absolutely stunning guitarist, easily on a par with Bonnie Raitt, Larkin matches her instrumental chops as a vocalist and songwriter, making her a true triple-threat artist. (Red=Luck) is a paradigm of literate, compelling songwriting, augmented by high production values"

  • "Patty Larkin always distinguishes herself with meticulous musicianship... "
      The Phoenix

  • "Larkin subtly and colorfully orchestrates her musings, relying on her gifts as a multi-instrumentalist to help turn (Red=Luck) into what it is clearly meant to be: an absorbing listening experience."
      Washington Post


  Link to music clips from her CD Red=Luck   >  

      or to her web site:

Opening for Patty Larkin tonight were our featured open mike performers:

  • Ira Perlman

  • Jesse

  • Kevin McLeod

  • Ed Mocko

  • Gary Schoenberger

  • Roger Silverberg

  • Mark Yodice

  • Tim Dillon

  • Hank Stone

  • Patricia Shih

  • Stu Markus

  • Christy Baker

    Our host this evening was Ira Perlman.

    If you weren't here tonight, you missed yet another of the very best programs of the year ...