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October 30, 1987 - Image 8

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-10-30

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4

Page 8 -The Michigan Daily-Friday, October 30, 1987
Patty Larkin plays acoustic mix

By Timothy Huet
Patty Larkin is both proof and
product of the resurgent folk scene.
Her ample talent would certainly
seem a sufficient explanation of her
success. Larkin is a sensitive, witty,
and musically creative songwriter.
Her talent has received recognition in
the form of critical praise and
prestigious honors, the Boston
Music Awards for best folk act and
best folk album.
But the crucial form of
recognition for a singer is audience
appreciation. The positive feedback
of an audience is the sustenance

necessary for nurturance of a
performer. Larkin obtained this sus-
tenance in the supportive environs of
Boston. She made the transition
from more popular electrical music
to acoustic forms in 1981 in reaction
to burnout an unfulfilling audiences.
Larkin was able to make this move
sucessfully at the height of syntho-
pop and nadir of (well, how does one
put it?) good music, in part, because
of Boston's rarified musical
atmosphere. A New England
following sustained Larkin through
the years of artistic atavism
sometimes referred to as the "Disco
Era."

With the countrywide growth of a
folk following and the propulsion of
two well-received records, Larkin has
been able to launch a national tour
and gain greater exposure. The
singer's concert at the Ark o n
Sunday will mark her first visit to
Ann Arbor. This provides many of
us with the first opportunity to see
live this gifted performer.
Larkin is a rare songwriter to the
degree that she possesses both lyrical
talent and a solid musical
background. Her musical training
began as a child with several years of
classical piano lessons. During this
time she also first picked up a

guitar. As she has grown older,
Larkin's musical abilities have
matured and expanded. Her albums
include songs with R&B, blues,
swing, folk, and many other
influences. Indeed, Larkin prefers,
with some iustification, to be
classified as a "acoustic" musician.
The popular conception or miscon-
ception of folk music certainly does
not suit Larkin.
Although Larkin's repertoire
contains a number of the sensitive
ballads with which folk is
associated, more than a few of her
numbers are raucous blues renditions
and humorous ditties. Within the
breadth of Larkin's music, there is
something for everyone and
everything for some.
Larkin will be at the Ark on
Sunday night at 8 p.m.

Singer-songwriter Patty Larkin plays blues, folk, jazz and beyond. Catch
her in action Sunday night at the Ark.

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By Timothy Huet
The Chenille Sisters. They're not
sisters. None of them are named
"Chenille." So what are they? A lot
of people are asking that question,
and the Chenille Sisters like it that
way. The band has a very
consciously cultivated style, a sort
of a caricature of their own natural
insanity. The name, which is a
parody of "fabricated" '60s groups
like the Chiffons, is only one of the
symptoms.
The most apparent manifestation
of Chenille peculiarity is wardrobe.

The costumery of the three "sisters"
has a stage presence equivalent to
that of a fourth member. If the
Sisters' attire seems not wholly
abnormal at tonight's concert, it will
only be the result of proximity to
Halloween. If you have ever given
clothes to Goodwill, you may see
them on stage this evening.
And batty is not only skin deep.
The Chenille Sisters sing a selection
of songs rarely rivaled in lunacy and
ability to elicit laughter. The Sisters
do a devastating version of Christine
Lavin's "Regretting What I Said...(A
Musical Apology" and a racy-as-
advertised "Seduced." The Chenille's
"salacious" performance of the latter
song on the nationally-aired Prairie
Home Companion garnered a record-
setting number of complaining

f comedy
letters for the show and a return
invitation for the group.
But the trio boast more than a
sense for the outrageous a n d
provocative. They are polished and
practiced singers. For even the most
bawdy and brash lyrics, the Chenille
Sisters can affect a deceptively
angelic church choir sound. The
sweetly harmonized delivery, in its
softness, amplifies the comic
impact.
The inimitable style of the
Chenille Sisters is attracting a loyal
local following some wider airplay
Ann Arborites fans have known for
years what the rest of the country's
folkies are just beginning to sensa
Substantial proof of the Sisters"'
ascendence on the local scene is that
they sold out tonight's Power Center
concert days in advance.

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