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Patty Larkin is a Christmas Angel

Venue: One Longfellow Square, Portland ME ~ December 13, 2013 ~

Jan 9, 2014
Kimmy Sophia Brown

Seeing Celtic musical priestess, Patty Larkin, live and up-close was indeed a Christmas blessing! The house was packed with fans anxious to hear the two-set concert. Patty came out looking fabulous, with her long red curls, tight jeans, a jacket and little red ankle boots. All I can say is, people over sixty sure look different than when I was a kid!

She started with a very fast instrumental piece on the guitar. There is no question that she not only keeps up with the boys but surpasses many of them. I have to say that as a woman, it is so satisfying to see that kind of skill. After that she played the song “Lately,” with the line:

“I used to analyze my love/ wonder where it came from/ but no more.”

Patty LarkinShe switched to her blue electric guitar and played “Dear Heart” with a beautiful reverb effect. Then with an effects pedal she added a kind of Chris Isaak sound, then played with a slide, and then made fascinating use of a violin bow across the strings. Wow. She is an enthralling singer as well, expressing both passion and gentleness. You can tell when someone expresses their inner-most self through their music – it’s not performance any more, it’s their life. And boy, did she carry us away.

Interspersed with the music, she talked about being a mommy, and what life is like where she lives in Truro, Massachusetts, which sits on the elbow of Cape Cod. She conveyed her love of nature, and love for her fellow musicians. She shared one of her favorite John Muir quotes, “Throw some tea and bread in an old sack and jump over the back fence.”

She performed “Green Behind the Ears,” with  the lyrics provided by poet laureate, Kay Ryan, who wrote the poem. Patty added the music. It’s on her new album, Still Green.

We heard the tale about her friend, Flip Skipio, and the “Larkio” – a cigar-box guitar they invented. We basked in the beautiful light of the song “I Told Him My Dog Wouldn’t Run,” with the line, “Where does old love go?”

She has a droll sense of humor – she said, “Holidays mean you have to choose a religion!”

Another song was “New Hotel,” which also foretold the coming of a new Starbucks. We laughed and she said we got the joke.

She played wistful, longing songs like “Me and that Train,” and one with a Roy Orbison feeling, called “It Could Be Worse,” and intense songs like “Too Bad,” and “Johnny was a Pyro.” She finished with an energetic version of “Wolf at the Door.” But the encore was the jewel in the crown of the evening. She sang a soul tingling rendition of “O Come Emmanuel” that she said she learned from Jim Olson, by way of David Wilcox. It was so sensitive and pretty that the whole place was lifted to the stars. We’re still up there. Visit her website at:

Image(s) from Wikimedia Commons
Image by Thom C.

For music lovers visiting Portland, Maine, I highly recommend
One Longfellow Square ~ "Portland's Premier Arts Venue"
Check them out at

Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.

She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews". Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD. For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.

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