I must admit, I was very much looking forward to seeing Carly Simon play at Lilith Fair in Massachusetts Friday night, but apparently she does have time for the pain, because she broke her foot and had to cancel the three dates of the tour she was scheduled to play.

My anticipation, however, remains steadfast, because her replacement is none other than Beth Orton. Not to mention I am finally seeing Tegan and Sara perform live. I’ll file a brief report next week for sure.

Closer to home, my only regret for venturing to Lilith is missing Patty Larkin’s Friday-night show at One Longfellow Square.

Her new two-CD set, “25,” was released earlier this year, and it’s a celebratory collection of love songs from her catalog that marks 25 years in the recording industry.

She re-recorded all of the songs, then sent them off one by one to a who’s who list of her musician friends, asking them to sing and then send their recordings back to her. The results were stunning.

I spoke to Larkin from her Massachusetts home a few weeks ago to talk about the making of “25,” among other things.

“It was all very organic in many ways. I cried several times when the tracks came back,” said Larkin.

She explained how many of the musicians, including Mary Chapin Carpenter, Martin Sexton, Shawn Colvin and Rosanne Cash, were all incredibly busy but still made time to be part of the project.

“I’ll be forever grateful,” she said. “I’m kind of blown away.”

Our next topic was the economy, and Larkin said she first starting feeling it toward the end of 2008 and into the beginning of this year, but that things are starting to turn around.

“There’s not as much fear, people are coming out to shows more, knock on wood.”

Larkin also notes the change in the music business, in particular the role of a record label.

“I always call them a cross between a bad mortgage and a grant — you’re never going to be able to pay it back in terms of CD sales from stores,” she said.

As a veteran artist, Larkin knows firsthand about the key role a label can play with promotion, not to mention a label’s ability to support the recording of an album with a band.

“That’s pretty much gone,” she said. “They’re not selling stuff either, so everything is really shifting very quickly, and I am inspired by it.”

Larkin has read the tea leaves, and is standing strong.

“We are our own small business. We are promoting ourselves, going out there ourselves and have become troubadours again,” she said. “We’re back out there on the road, and that’s where you really have to work to make a living — if you’re making a living from it.”

Patty Larkin with Birdsong at Morning. 8 p.m. Friday. One Longfellow Square, Portland. $22 in advance; $25 at the door. 761-1757; www.onelongfellow square.com.

Aimsel Ponti is a Portland freelance writer. Contact her at:

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