I've always thought that Patty Larkin should be included in the usual lists of guitar gods — or goddesses, if such a list exists. But because she's a "folkie," her amazing guitar chops will have to remain another one of Americana's best kept secrets.
For the discerning music fan, though, Larkin's charms are many and immediately apparent: She crafts brainy and beautiful songs with wry insight and rare grace. That Larkin has been at it for 25 years is a testament to her talent and, probably, doggedness. Clearly, her sense of humor has served her well.
With the music business being what it is, it may seem a mixed blessing to mark such an anniversary, but Larkin does it with style — issuing a double-disc release called 25, on which her many gifted musician friends have helped her re-imagine 25 of her love songs. Those friends were clearly happy to help: From Shawn Colvin to Rosanne Cash, they've pitched in vocal and instrumental flourishes that often elevate these songs to new heights. In fact, Erin McKeown (no slouch in the songwriting department herself) accompanied Larkin to this WFUV studio session to do little more than sing Larkin's praises and her songs. It seems that, in celebrating her 25th anniversary, Larkin is the one doing the gift-giving: providing her musician friends and fans an opportunity to share in her terrific songs.