Patty Larkin with special guest Katie Barbato
PATTY LARKIN is a visionary of sound and wonder, a real deal version of artistry made of equal parts guitar wizardry, vocals shot through with soul and inventive lyrics that ripple across the terrain of the heart. Described as “riveting” (Chicago Tribune), “hypnotic” (Entertainment Weekly), and a “drop-dead brilliant” performer (Performing Songwriter), Patty has captured audiences for over 30 years with an imagination, enchantment, and technical artistry that has redefined the boundaries of the guitar driven singer songwriter.
With eleven studio albums and two live recordings under her belt, Patty mines the intersections of poetry and song with her innovative 14th release, Bird in a Cage, released on her own Road Narrows Records. Bird in a Cage puts poems from ten notable poets to song, including US Poet Laureates William Carlos Williams, Stanley Kunitz, Kay Ryan, Robert Pinsky and Billy Collins, for a new and haunting collection that pulses with the magic of lyricism. Poems are made to be shared aloud, and with Bird, Patty takes up that tradition and sets it aglow: her extraordinary musical shadings make each poem a star.
Bird in a Cage grew out of her songwriting practice. As Patty describes it, “Over the years I began my writing days by reading my favorite poets just to be amazed and inspired. I looked to poetry as I look at nature: with awe. This morning ritual evolved into a desire to make music of some of my favorite poems. The rhythm and cadence of the lines felt new and fresh to me, the melody slowly revealing itself. And uncovering a melody that is slowly revealed by the words was pure joy.”
This new album leaves standard songwriting forms behind, crossing instead into a world where rhyme is optional and phrases unfold at their own speed. Bird in a Cage embraces those creative spaces where boundaries are fluid; its ten tracks are full of cross-disciplinary energy, the hot spark of one artist collaborating with another. The album’s liner notes say it best with this reflection from Patty on Bird’s genesis: “This project is my way of holding brilliance in my hand.”
Barbato brings great talent and a generous heart to bear on her 2018 release “Art of Falling” and 2019 release “Long Night Moon.” Musically, The Art of Falling is by no means dark, however, the production by multi-instrumentalist Brett Kull (Grey Eye Glances, Echolyn) feels warm, hopeful and openhearted, brightened by Barbato’s sweet and expressive voice, as a singer and as a writer. Katie is a two-time finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. She has performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and she is a regularly featured artist on WXPN, the University of Pennsylvania’s public radio station. In addition to releasing her own music, Barbato composes music for TV and film, such as the theme she wrote for the movie Sugar, starring Shenae Grimes and Marshall Allman. Her song “Magical Ending” was recently featured in the Netflix drama “Yankee.” Katie’s new album “Long Night Moon” was released on October 11, 2019.