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Patty Larkin - 13 November 2009
with support from Vanessa Peters with Manuel Schicchi

Artist's website:

"Patty Larkin has long been regarded as one of the best guitarists in contemporary folk, and each album helps cement that reputation. The music she brings forth from the guitar is both beautiful to the ear and challenging to the mind. Should you have the chance to see her live, DO IT! To hear the ability on an album is one thing: to see her replicate it live with only one guitar is breathtaking."

"I just saw Patty play live here in town last night, accompanied by her acoustic 6-string, bazouki, and Fender Telecaster. When she started into her "Phone Message" song, first she started the triphop/trance drum loop, and when she started playing her bazouki before singing, it felt like the kind of hip instrumental that you might hear walking into a nightclub in Eastern Europe. When she picked up her Fender Telecaster to play the high-reverb slide guitar "Bound Brook" instrumental, she called it her "folk Fender", and towards the end of that piece, she actually picked up a violin bow to also play the guitar with that."

“Patty Larkin transmits eccentric magic with taut, amused gems delivered in a rich alto. An uncommonly articulate guitarist, she has evolved into one of the finest self-accompanists anywhere in popular music.” – Boston Globe

Patty is a rare combination of talents. A poetic songwriter, a passionate vocalist, a knockout guitar player, a savvy entertainer, and a creator of music she plays herself on a multitude of instruments: guitars, lap steel, mandolin, accordion, and keyboards. Over her 10 CD history, she has honed a reputation as a “musician’s musician”, working with some of the brightest talents in American music. Long a favorite with critics, Patty is that unique level of artistic sophistication – one that her audiences have come to appreciate and her new fans will love. Patty Larkin has achieved a personal best with “Watch the Sky.” The ever evolving artist has continued to search for a new voice, a fresh palate. Watch the Sky. Watch Patty Larkin.

Patty Larkin has always prided herself in her creative approach to music. With WATCH THE SKY, Larkin has created a one of a kind release that she wrote, produced, engineered and edited. Larkin wrote and recorded much of the material as it came to her, assembling tracks and sounds as she went. The result is a raw, intimate gorgeous sound that is all her own. Here Larkin has experimented with a kaleidoscope of sounds, from her “slapsteel” guitar (lap steel detuned, played with drumstick and hand) to the “baribow,” an organic take on a string section, played on electric baritone guitar with a child’s violin bow. Things take off with a hip hop tinged piece, sung in the voice of a ghost walking the house with a wailing electric blues guitar part, to intimate acoustic guitar with orchestral underpinnings and vocals in the style of Nick Drake. The concept of combining acoustic instruments with modern technology has always intrigued Larkin, and she accomplishes this feat gracefully on SKY.

Vanessa Peters:

“Peters gets it right ... reminiscent of Suzanne Vega and Beth Orton” – Maverick Magazine (UK)

“Hooks a-plenty…there isn’t a bad track on the record. I defy anyone with an ear for a catchy melody sung in a beautiful, rich, and completely engaging voice not to be enamoured with this baby.” (8 of 10 stars) – Americana UK

In a world made small by airplanes and email, Vanessa Peters is at home everywhere she goes - an essential trait for a wandering gypsy songwriter. Vanessa Peters’s music reflects the influences of growing up in Texas as much as it reflects how her music has matured out on the road. Voted as one of the top 10 folk artists in Austin a few years ago, Vanessa then packed her things, took her show on the road, and hasn’t looked back since. In the last three years, she has released three albums and played over 250 shows in 10 countries. Together with Manuel Schicchi (lead guitar and harmonies), Vanessa has toured throughout the US and performed at some of the best venues in Europe: Folk Club in Torino (IT), Roepean in Ottersum (NL), Mono in Oslo, and Electro-Acoustic in London.

This past summer, the band got another surge of interest when Vanessa and Manuel entered Aimee Mann’s video contest for her hit single, “Freeway.” They placed as runners-up in the contest and overnight their video went from 3,000 hits to 30,000 – it’s now over 100,000! Aimee even singled out their video as one of her favorites when she announced the winners.

Delta Maid’s love affair with roots music began as far back as she can remember. Her biggest influence emanated from her parents appreciation for all things “Country Blues” which played a major role in her early fascination for the genre she so ardently holds in admiration. From young, Delta listened and adopted a high regard for Country Greats such as Hank Williams and Patsy Cline together with Blues legends like Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, Stevie Ray Vaughan to name but a few.

It was at thirteen years of age when her parents by chance bought a copy of Rory Block’s Best Blues and Originals from a tourist trip to New York that Delta’s life as she sees it, changed completely.

“I was in awe; words cannot describe the feeling I had when I heard this music. I became fascinated by the style of play, the whole feeling of it; nothing struck me more to the core than this. It was at this point that I began actively searching for the history and legends that were behind Delta Blues. After hearing the likes of Son House, Skip James, Bessie Smith and Robert Johnson for the first time I dived head first into a world that has since become a part of my own makeup.”

Delta had always sung and played guitar and piano on and off from an early age, never really pursuing the idea of making it as a performer until she began writing her own material. In the summer of 2007, Delta graduated from university and landed herself a job as a trainee vascular scientist, a career in music was far from on the cards…

Earlier, around March 2007 after playing a charity gig in Liverpool doing old blues covers with her brother Dominic as her accompanying guitarist, Delta got the bug for performing live. Unfortunately early on into their gigging, Dominic suffered a hand injury that put him out of playing for quite a while. “I really left the guitar work up to him, he was as much a fan of the blues as I was and could play like those I’d heard off the records.” Disappointed, but adamant she would keep up the performing, Delta had to really learn to accompany herself with her guitar as opposed to playing the odd chord or two. It was then Delta’s own relationship with the guitar began. Delta has created her own style of playing which she continues to develop.

Delta’s own songs are mainly influenced by the Blues, but they also have Country and Folk labels attached to them. As a white girl from Liverpool, a far cry from early rural Mississippi, it’s hard to draw any parallels but as she sees it, being from Liverpool, roots music is genetically bred. What the music means, where it’s from and the believability in the way it’s performed is paramount to her, this she feels must be encapsulated in her own music and performance.

"...jazz, folk and all points blues. Her playing is relaxed, soothing and seductive, while her voice possesses an unassuming versatility that conjures up the heartbreak of Julianne Regan, the bounce of Katie Melua and easy-on-the-ear blues of Bailey-Rae."

"Tonight she excels herself again leaving me both stunned and moved, along with the rest of the audience." (review 2009)