When singer/songwriter Patty Larkin was growing up in Milwaukee, music was an important source of generational bonds between her family members. “My grandmothers both played piano, and when we would get together, we would sing,” Larkin says. “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 piano and guitar on her own as a teenager, Larkin honed her incisive writing approach with an English Literature degree from the University of Oregon and developed her broad musical palette while studying at Berklee College of Music.
During Larkin's remarkable musical evolution, she has been hailed for her
acoustic guitar wizardry and blazing wit and has never hesitated to expand
her musical horizons. She rewrote the sonic and lyric rulebook for acoustic
based song craft with 1997's Perishable Fruit (Highstreet) and 2000's
Regrooving the Dream (Vanguard), which include percussive use of the lap
steel ("slapsteel"), loops, and samples. Her latest recording on Vanguard,
2003's Red = Luck, has been named by critics as one of her finest recordings to date.
Her songs have been covered by artists ranging from modern-day chanteuse Holly Cole, to pop-diva icon Cher, while her own renditions have been heard in movies including Evolution, and Random Hearts . She has received multiple awards, including 11 Boston Music Awards, an honorary doctorate from Berklee College of Music and the designation of “Patty Larkin Day” in Boston.
While Larkin is gratified by these accolades, her eye is on the bigger picture. Like many master artists, she has made the brave decision to keep growing, rather than resting 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,” Larkin says.
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