Steve Power | Power Lines

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Power Lines

by Steve Power

A potent roots music mix of Texas style Americana from blues to outlaw country, Memphis soul, folk, rock and roll and all points in between, performed by world class players and created by someone who knows what the hell he's doing.
Genre: Country: Americana
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Beware My Heart
3:11 album only
2. Stuff That Works
3:39 album only
3. Over and over and Over
2:26 album only
4. In the River
3:41 album only
5. I'd Have to Be Crazy
4:18 album only
6. The Cowboy Way
3:57 album only
7. Do You Feel Like Falling in Love
2:39 album only
8. Big Horn Mountain Blues
4:35 album only
9. The L&n Don't Stop Here Anymore
4:55 album only
10. The Wedding Song
3:31 album only
11. A Vertical Expression of Horizontal Desire
3:29 album only
12. Well, Well, Well
3:14 album only
13. Pour out My Heart
2:41 album only
14. You Left the Water Running
4:06 album only
15. Till We Kiss
4:00 album only
16. Dimaggio
4:45 album only
17. Feelin' Like This
4:34 album only
18. Texas Bound
3:56 album only


Album Notes
“You write good songs. I mean really good songs.”\– Billy Joe Shaver

“See and hear Steve Power every chance you get. One of my favorite singers in Austin!!! POWER LINES--Excellent Recording!”
– Earl Poole Ball

"... Power's colourful life oozes from all the songs, where his Tom Russell type delivery meets Willie Nelson with a touch Waylon.
It's all good stuff.... he manages to combine straight ahead rock with some excellent ballads." - Americana UK 

",, a very unique artist with a unique musical approach.. " "a fascinating way to discover sounds of American music .. " "..such a musical approach is really essential..." 
-Mike Pennard, ISA Radio, France

The adage write (and sing) what you know finds winning fruition on Power Lines, the latest album from Austin-based singer, songwriter and guitar and harmonica player Steve Power. After all, Power – who's been described as "Dave Edmunds meets The Fabulous Thunderbirds on the way to see Led Zeppelin" by CBS TV – has lived a rich life filled with many musical and personal adventures. It all feeds into a potent musical mix: strong and smart original songs and a canny ear for covers, an authoritative and pliable voice, and a firm feel for delivering (and intermixing) the breadth of roots music styles with both credibility and alluring listener appeal.

Along the way he's led what was the hottest rocking blues'n'roots combo on the Wales and Western England pub circuit, Sting Like a Bee. Conceived a Blues Brothers homage act based in Holland, Cotton & Morganfield, that played major stages, festivals and events across Europe (and got the thumbs up from Elwood Blues via Dan Ackroyd). And since making his home in the Texas capital in 2003, has established himself as a solid and versatile musical presence on the world-renowned Austin scene.

Power Lines, produced by Ron D’Argenio and released on Power's One Man and His Dog Records, reflects how, as Americana UK observes, he can "turn his hand vocally to any type of music from rock to blues to gospel to ballads – and manages the transition between these different genres with the greatest of ease." It features a blue-ribbon list of top Austin players that includes pianist Earl Poole Ball (who has worked with such luminaries as Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, The Byrds, Merle Haggard and more), longtime Haggard guitarist Redd Volkeart and fiddler Warren Hood, and more.

Half of the tracks on the album are original songs by Power, about which Texas songwriting legend Billy Joe Shaver told him, "You’ve got good songs. I mean really good songs." They include the upbeat C&W pledge of devotion "Over and Over and Over," the haunting gospel-flavored country-blues "The River," a waltzing salute to the old school Western life, "The Cowboy Way," and the Buddy Holly-ish, "Do You Feel Like Falling In Love?" The originals on the disc are rounded out by the endearing sentiments of "The Wedding Song," the jump blues of "Well, Well, Well" – which showcases what Big Western Flavor calls Power's "evil blues harp tone" – and the oldies-pop-meets-country drinking number "Pour Out My Heart."

Power has teamed up with Austin’s Motorcycle Missions through his song, “The Cowboy Way” . A portion of sales of both the single and the album will be donated directly to Motorcycle Missions, an Austin volunteer organization helping first responders and vets dealing with PTSD and suicidal ideation to find hope and healing through motorcycles. “The Cowboy Way” is Power’s homage to the old school values embodied in the Western heroes of his youth and the “…real heroes still with us today.”

The other seven songs spotlight Power's gift for bringing his own touch to songs by others, some of them classics. "Beware My Heart," the album's first single written by former Edmunds bassist John David, who co-produced Steve's 2002 album, The Journey, kicks off the collection with a lively slice of swinging swamp rock. Steve's multifaceted stylistic facility shines on tracks ranging from his classic country take on the Guy Clark/Rodney Crowell gem "Stuff That Works" to his stately and graceful rendition of "I'd Have to be Crazy" by late Texas songwriting legend/poet laureate Steven Fromholz to the sprightly bluegrass picking fest "Big Horn Mountain" (by Wyoming musical legend Jalan Crossland) and bringing his own distinctively dusky atmospheric feel to Appalachian folk icon Jean Ritchie's "The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore," adding it to an honor roll of versions by Johnny Cash, Michelle Shocked, Kathy Mattea and others. He adds tasty Tex-Mex hot sauce and border rhythms to the Bellamy Brothers tune "A Vertical Expression of Horizontal Desire," which features guest vocals by Joanna Ramirez. And wraps up the album with the soulful strains of "You Left the Water Running," made famous by Otis Redding, and then charmingly weaves into it the Temptations hit "Just My Imagination" for a final grace note that makes the collection echo in the listeners' own imaginations.

Power first hit the musical stage as a youngster in San Diego, singing duets with his cocktail waitress mother in piano bars for generous tips from the drinkers. After taking up harmonica and guitar, living primarily in Los Angeles during his twenties, Power played and sang with bands as merely a fun sideline, albeit sometimes seven nights a week. During those years he had his first near-miss with the musical big time, auditioning for the lead singer spot in the legendary Elektra Records recording act Clear Light. Afterward, he was told by the band's drummer and his neighbor, Dallas Taylor (later to find fame in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young): "The good news is that you've got the job. The bad news is we're breaking up."

Power has also had such brushes with fame as singing with Joe Cocker, standing as a bodyguard for Little Richard and playing harmonica with John Lee Hooker. One afternoon backstage at an L.A. music club, he was jamming on harp with some players when harmonica legend James Cotton walked in. Steve stopped playing, but Cotton signaled to him to keep going. He then told Power: "I can hear everyone you are listening to. Don't play like them, play like you."

"That really stuck in my head, and has always been a foundation of whatever I do," Power says.

His first recordings, made after Steve moved to the U.K. and settled in Wales, reflected such originality. It was a two-track EP by his band Lincoln and The Continentals with on one side a major-key bluegrass version of "House of the Rising Sun" (which made author Ted Anthony's "short list of favorites" in his book about the oft-covered song, "Chasing the Rising Sun"). The flipside was a new country take on Louis Prima's "Jump, Jive an' Wail" (that preceded Brian Setzer's Grammy-winning revival of the classic by many years). The tracks so impressed noted English record producer Mike Vernon – who worked with Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers (with Eric Clapton), David Bowie, Ten Years After and other greats – that he offered to help Power get a record deal.

Steve's first album was a 1990 self-titled disc by his band Sting Like a Bee, whose membership included world-class players who've worked with the likes of Edmunds, Tom Jones, Bo Diddley, Van Morrison and other notables. The set mixed his own songs and well-chosen covers, and launched that band from being a pub-packing U.K. phenomenon to becoming cult favorites on the European tour circuit.

After relocating to the Netherlands, Power formed the Blues Brothers tribute act Cotton & Morganfield, writing a theater piece for it called "On A Mission From Jake," and cutting an album. They played a range of gigs from festivals to major corporate parties to a show at Feynoord Stadium in Rotterdam before 35,000 rabid soccer fans. "I’m happy they are keeping the flame of blues music alive," said Elwood Blues via Ackroyd on hearing the group.

Power journeyed back to Wales to record his first album as a singer-songwriter with John David for his Javelin Records label, The Journey. He was backed by such top UK players as drummer Colin Griffin (Van Morrison), guitarist Pete Matheson (Ray Davies), guitar/dobro player Ian Lawrence (Steve Young, Shakin' Stevens) and bassist Bob Watkins (Shakin' Stevens) on a set that was hailed as "an elegant collection of pure atmospheric moments" and "so good that it is totally a treasured possession" by Belgium's Rootstime. A number of its tracks enjoyed success on European charts: "Money and Fun" hit #1 in the Alternative Country Chart, "Charlene" reached #2 in the Cardiff Talent Chart, and in an impressive feat of longevity "'Till We Kiss" was #1 on the Indie Country Online Chart five years after release.

Power then returned to the U.S. and landed in the musical hotbed of Austin where he became is an established, and versatile musical presence. An EP, Somewhere in Texas, soon followed, cut in collaboration with former Joe Ely band axeman and Texas musical legend Jesse "Guitar" Taylor. Another EP, Nothing On The Radio, preceded Steve's second solo singer-songwriter album in 2013, The Austin Chronicles.

In 2014 he shifted gears to help relaunch the career of Texas blues icon Matthew Robinson, putting together a band to back him, The Jelly Kings, playing harp with them, and producing and releasing an album by the outfit, Work That Jelly!. Robinson & The Jelly Kings won the 2015 Heart of Texas Blues Challenge, became a regular fixture at the famed Antone's nightclub, "Austin's Home of the Blues," and earned Artist Deserving More
Attention in Living Blues magazine's annual Critics and Readers Poll.

Now the aptly-named Power Lines transmits the electricity of Steve's artistry and the gifts and wisdom he accumulated on the journey that led him to this album. And that's only part of a vivid life in which Power hitchhiked coast to coast and border to border across America, dogged bullets, survived catastrophic car wrecks and has performed everywhere from brothels and dive bars to stadiums and arenas, giving him more tales to tell than Scheherazade. And a sure sense of how to make music that captures the ear of anyone that loves a well-crafted song, performed by world class players and sung by a guy who knows what the hell he’s doing.



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