On the wings of a sweet
summer breeze, a talented new duo has been swept from the hills of eastern Tennessee
landing at Audium Records where The Larkins have recorded their debut album, self titled,
The debut CD is a blend of
traditional country and the effervescence of bluegrass that they were raised on, all mixed
with a dash of the original sound that are Shaunna and Tina Larkin's own dash of modern
While The Larkins have a
newly honed edge to their sound, they were reared on pure tradition - the tradition of
life in the Tennessee hills - the tradition of family and roots that made them the third
generation of country artists - and the tradition of mountain music that they have
performed on stage with their father, Lowell and their mother, Barbara as the Larkin
Family since they were children. "We grew up surrounded by traditional music - we
traveled the bluegrass circuit with out parents literally from the time we could toddle
around," says 21 year old Shaunna. Tina, 19, adds, "Add that to the fact that
we're part of a young generation of musicians and songwriters who want to make a mark with
our own originality and I think we have some awesome advantages from both worlds."
The Larkin family have been
a staple of traditional country and bluegrass music in Eastern Tennessee for many, many
years, traveling all over the area to perform their music for all to enjoy. One native of
the area, Dolly Parton took a particular interest in this talented family. Dolly put the
Larkin Family to work in Dollywood where they performed for eight years. It was Dolly who
wrote the first release from the Larkin's album and it is Dolly who sings harmony with
Shaunna and Tina on their first release, "Steady as the Rain". Dolly has also
agreed to be a part of the video which will debut later this summer.
Tina plays mandolin as
beautifully as she sings the lead vocals and Shaunna's fiddle and rich vocals on lead and
harmony come to the forefront of the music. Both are accomplished musicians,
lyricists, and arrangers. Maintaining that family togetherness, Shaunna and Tina are
backed by their mother, Barbara, on banjo and piano; while father, Lowell, covers guitar
and baritone vocals. Combine all of that with the talents that were involved in creating
"The Larkins" and you've got a sure fire winner on your hands.
With ten tracks, all of them wonderfully
written and performed, it's difficult to chose a favorite... but if I had to chose, I'd
say, "Jesus, Daddy And You". This is as traditional as it gets and the lyrics
sung by the angelic voices of Tina and Shaunna give me goosebumps everytime I hear it.
"The first of 3 men I gave my heart to... Jesus, Daddy and You..."
So get ready for the The
Larkins, country fans. These gals are more than just a pretty picture!
© Marlene Slater (Marli)
My Kind of Country