Basic Folk Podcast: Patty Larkin

Patty Larkin is a monster on the guitar. Although starting on the piano, after her uncle gave her a guitar it was all over for young Patty. The main appeal of the instrument was the privacy in which one could play. She holed up for hours playing. In high school she furthered experimented with different ways to play, while working on her singing and writing. She moved to Boston in the 70’s to study jazz guitar. She played in several rock bands on electric, but switched her focus to acoustic in the 80’s which broadened her range. She rediscovered jazz styles and studied the work of Richard Thompson among others. Around that time, she became an integral part of the New England folk circuit along with people like Bill Morrissey, Jonatha Brooke and Martin Sexton. For decades Patty Larkin has been a household name within the folk world as she continues to wow us with her intricate style and sophisticated work that has a particular high level humor within her writing and delivery.

Patty’s latest is a record that sets poetry to her original music. Work by Billy Collins, Natalie Diaz, Nick Flynn and Marie Howe all make their way onto Bird in a Cage. In our conversation, she discusses why she was intrigued to combine music and poetry. She would work the practice of reading poetry out loud into her mornings in order to inspire herself into her day. This left her amazed enough to dedicate an entire record to the process. The project also happened to be the last collaboration Patty completed with the much revered and loved producer, Mike Dennen, who sadly died in 2018. She and Mike co-produced Bird in a Cage and she speaks of their connection and how they would work together. Also, she has the most epic lightning round answer to “Where is the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited,” so I hope you listen all the way to the end!

Bird In A Cageavailable HERE


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