by Patty Larkin


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Many veteran artists have taken to re-recording some of their finest songs with new twists put on them. Veteran songwriter and guitarist Patty Larkin is the latest to join the procession. The 25 tracks on this set represent aspects of her writing and recording career thus far. As the subtitle suggests, these are all love songs, and include friends to to aid and abet her in the endeavor. The list is impressive: Martin Sexton, Rosanne Cash, Suzanne Vega, Bruce Cockburn, Jonatha Brooke, Jennifer Kimball, Lucy Kaplansky, Erin McKeown, Greg Brown, Beppe Gambetta, the Nields, Chris Smither, Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Shawn Colvin, and more. The possible trap for a collection like this is that this "new" retrospective" is already bound by nostalgia, as these tracks come from ten previous albums. It does transcend this because Larkin, despite not being particularly well-known for her love songs, writes exceptional ones. Her guitar style is signature, rooted in old-school folk traditions and the grit of the acoustic blues. Lyrically, she avoids cliches at all times, and infuses her words with metaphors and images that stretch at the form. Check "The Cranes," with David Wilcox, where Larkin uses the natural world as a backdrop of winter turning into spring with all its atmospheric blessings then calmly contrasts this with her protagonist's plea of desperation. "Brazil," with Chris Smither's trademark bass vocal, creates an unforgettable portrait of impossible lovers leaving their individual worlds to inhabit a new one, without the resolution that they will every meet, let alone become a couple. "Pablo Neruda," with Vega, is a breezy look at the poet's view of love as eternal -- even after the honeymoon's over. On "Here," The contrast between Larkin's voice and Brown's deep bass mumble brings elements of the jazz standard into an age-old Celtic melody. The reminiscence in "St. Augustine" and its metaphors is pricelessly poetic. For Larkin's fans, 25 is a way to revisit the past while aurally observing how deeply and fully the singer lives inside her songs as she grows. With its sparse, clean, warm production, this is a fine introduction for the newcomer, to an artist who may not be a household name, but who has consistently pushed at her own boundaries of excellence to become the thing itself.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/09/2010
Label: Signature Sounds
UPC: 0701237202822
catalogNumber: 2028
Rank: 195373

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Patty Larkin   Primary Artist
Chris Smither   Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Rosanne Cash   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Greg Brown   Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Catie Curtis   Vocals,Guest Appearance
John Gorka   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Cheryl Wheeler   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Bruce Cockburn   Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Shawn Colvin   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Janis Ian   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Suzanne Vega   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Dar Williams   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Lucy Kaplansky   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Nields   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Jonatha Brooke   Mandolin,Vocals,Toy Piano,Guest Appearance
Mary Chapin Carpenter   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Catharine David   Group Member
Jennifer Kimball   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Greg Porter   Group Member
Darleen Wilson   Group Member
Beppe Gambetta   Vocals,12-string Guitar,Guest Appearance
Willy Porter   Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
David Wilcox   Ukulele,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Martin Sexton   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Peter Mulvey   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Merrie Amsterburg   Mandolin,Vocals,Toy Piano,Guest Appearance,Group Member
Katryna Nields   Group Member
Sheila Larkin   Group Member
Nerissa Nields   Group Member
Erin McKeown   Organ,Piano,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Allan Williams   Group Member
Birdsong At Morning   Bass,Vocals,Guest Appearance
She-Ias   Vocals,Guest Appearance

Technical Credits

John Gorka   Engineer
Patty Larkin   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Vocal Engineer,Guitar Engineer
Chris Hunter   Engineer
Tom Dube   Engineer
Fred Remmert   Engineer
Bette Warner   Executive Producer,Vocal Engineer,Guitar Engineer
Ben Wittman   Engineer
Frank Gallagher   Producer
Chuck Ainlay   Engineer
David Wilcox   Engineer
Martin Sexton   Whistle
Peter Mulvey   Engineer
Merrie Amsterburg   Engineer
Carla Leighton   Art Direction
Neil McGrory   Engineer
Jana Leon   Cover Photo
Jesse Nichols   Engineer
Colin Bricker   Engineer
Brandon Bell   Engineer
Peter Linton   Engineer
Allan Williams   Engineer
David Chalfant   Engineer
25 Friends   Producer
Roberto Vigo   Engineer
Liam Craig   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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25 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
chicago-born More than 1 year ago
Patty Larkin is a guitar virtuoso of the highest order. Her rhythms are complex, interesting and above all entertaining. She has a lovely voice that is paired well with her friends on these tracks. Her song writing is thoughtful, funny, timely, rhythmic and it rocks. She is a multi talented singer, song writer and guitar player. Her guitar playing is searing and at times beyond belief in its excellence. Her talented friends that accompany her on this album are also worth getting to know and complement her well. This is a great album for anyone who is unfamiliar with Patty's work or for the Patty fan it is a must. 25 great songs by 25 great artists and the key anchor to the work the fabulous Patty Larkin. Buy this album and enjoy one this worlds most talented singer songwriters. If you don't know Patty's work than you haven't lived, she is a force. She is awesome and so is 25.