Larkin Poe went down to the Crossroads, and beyond, last year. The rootsy sibling duo’s trip to the Delta, at the behest of the Grammy Museum, spawned a new song, “Mississippi,” and a video, premiering exclusively on Billboard today (Dec. 17), to accompany it.
“We had an opportunity to go tour around some of the rural Mississippi holy grail spots — Son House’s grave, some really important sites in music history that were just incredible,” Rebecca Lovell tells Billboard. “Being down in the Delta was so inspiring for us. We decided that whenever we got home we would write a tune that would be an homage to Southern culture and that musical legacy of the South.”
For the video, meanwhile, Larkin Poe teamed with videographers Andy Snyder and Sean O’Halloran — who they met while touring in 2018 with Keith Urban — for a performance of the song at the Enterprise Laundromat in Nashville, where they live. “I’ve actually been there and done my laundry a couple of times,” Lovell says, “so I met the owner and asked. He was a bit skeptical at first, but it worked out well. It took us maybe an hour and a half, two hours, so those people who were there really got to know the song ‘Mississippi.’”
Megan Lovell adds, “We didn’t particularly tell people to stay out of the shot, so I love that they’re walking by in the background, doing their laundry, like this was nothing unusual. This just happens every day. It was pretty funny.”
“Mississippi” serves as a bit of a tweener for Larkin Poe, which has recently started recording its fifth album after spending time writing during October and November. The duo is also reveling in a Grammy nomination for best contemporary blues album for 2018’s Venom & Faith, which hit No. 1 on the Blues Album chart.
“We are really excited,” Rebecca says. “Given that we are independent and that this record really did come from such a close space in our hearts, it gives this a validation and feels good for all of us.”
Larkin Poe is planning a full family trip to the Grammys in January, with husbands and parents in tow. “We’re gonna have a big ol’ time,” Rebecca promises. “Half the battle is trying to bring awareness to the blues. The fact the Grammys reinstated this category is so wonderful. I do think there are a lot of people out there who are searching for this kind of music, searching for the relevancy of the blues and traditional American music. We’re stoked the category exists again, and that we get to be in the ranks.”
Watch the video for “Mississippi” below.