Get this crazy baby off my head!


Michael Powers

Michael Powers - Prodigal Son - 2006 - Baryon Records

4 stars out of 5 - Powers offers more character and fervour per ounce than most of what's currently on sale in the blues market - Mojo

Growing up to the sounds of Jimmy Reed, Jimi Hendrix, The Yardbirds, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones, it's no surprise that Michael Powers' music is steeped in Delta Blues tinged with the soul of Brit Rock. Following up the critically-acclaimed Onyx Root (2004), Prodigal Son explores Michael's spiritual roots with a mix of originals and covers that display forgiveness and compassion - Editorial Review http://www.amazon.com/Prodigal-Son-Michael-Powers/dp/B000HT2M5K © 1996-2013, Amazon.com, Inc

Michael Powers is a breath of fresh, blues air. If outrageous blues guitar is your thing, if the electric Delta blues Jimi Hendrix played fires your soul - but if you also appreciate the humble tones of acoustic guitar - you need to check out Michael Powers. His first record, Onyx Root, was released in 2004 and received two Blues Music Award nominations, including contemporary blues album of the year. Wow. And this 2006 follow-up? It, too, has two Blues Music Award nominations, also again, contemporary blues album of the Year. Powers jumps into the blues rock fray with the classic rocker, “Goin’ Down.” Part Hendrix, part Led Zeppelin, Powers’ guitar explosion hammers home fusion. But believe me, Powers is no one- trick guitarist. On Sonny Boy Williamson’s “It’s A Bloody Life,” you have Powers on the Dobro drum brushes and an upright bass that sell the deep blues cries. Powers’ second nomination is for “Prodigal Son” as song of the year. It has my vote. The song accurately tells what happens when a hard working son returns home and his family doesn’t recognize him because they are too high. A very different take on the well-known tale. Powers’ delicately played guitar transforms the singer’s emotional pains. His expressive take on Bob Dylan’s “Every Grain of Sand” showcases Powers’ other instrument, his leathery vocals. Traditional blues fans should enjoy “Every Grain of Sand” - a tune that Muddy or Little Walter might have performed in the 1950s - as a change of pace from the Chicago blues shuffle. There’s also Jimmy Reed’s “Oh John.” Reed is an important blues singer to Powers. When Powers was 12 and growing up in New Jersey, he would hear Reed perform at a tavern across the street from his family’s business. In the 1960s, singer-songwriter Arthur Lee fronted Love, one of the most experimental bands from the West Coast. Powers’ cover of Lee’s dark toned classic, “Signed D.C.,” sets the perfect nostalgic mood of Love’s music, and of those Fillmore West, Electra Records days. Powers and NYC’s Jimmy Vivino trade Dobro and acoustic guitar feelings on the poignant “Compassion.” Then they call in the country blues on Rev. Gary Davis’ “You Got To Go Down.” Powers returns to his over-the-top blues rock guitar on “Wild Side” and the Yardbirds’ classic “Train Kept A Rollin.” In all, Powers, who was born in 1952, might well become one of the blues torch bearers in this new millennium. Take it from me, this is one of the most exciting blues guitar records of the year. Oh yeah, if you’re lucky enough to find one of Powers pre-releases of this record, you will find Jimi’s “Voodoo Chile” performed in a way you’d not expect, with Powers on Dobro and upright bass, and Vivino on mandolin. (Due to licensing issues, it does not appear on the regular release.) By & © Art Tipaldi January 2007 © http://www.bostonblues.com/features.php?key=cdpowers-prodigal

Michael Powers was born and raised in Bayonne, NJ and spent his Summers down South, where porch bluesman were often the normal evening's entertainment. The legendary Jimmy Reed taught Michael the barre chording technique on guitar. Michael toured and recorded "The Boy From New York City" with the cult group, The AdLibs. During his Summers at high school he toured and played with James Cotton's Band. He has recorded, performed with, or opened for artists like James Brown, Johnny Winter, Pinetop Perkins, Popa Chubby, and Hubert Sumlin. Although Michael Powers is a great and hugely underrated guitarist, he is never flashy and plays in the "less is more" style. "Prodigal Son" is great, authentic Delta and Chicago Blues with a strong taste of 60's/70's Brit Rock. Buy Michael's "Onyx Root" album and support the blues [Tracks @ 213-270 Kbps: File size = 92.9 Mb]


1. Goin Down - Michael Murchison 3:46
2. It's a Bloody Life - Sonny Boy Williamson I 3:20
3. Prodigal Son - Michael Murchison 4:37
4. White Lightning - Michael Murchison 4:06
5. Voodoo Chile - Jimi Hendrix 5:50 *
6. Wild Side - Michael Murchison 3:59
7. Every Grain Of Sand - Bob Dylan 4:49
8. Lay The Hooch - Michael Murchison 2:41
9. Oh John - Jimmy Reed 3:33
10. Signed D.C. - Arthur Lee 4:32
11. Compassion - Michael Murchison & Jimmy Vivino 4:36
12. You Got To Go Down - Blind Gary Davis 4:30
13. Train Kept A Rollin - Tiny Bradshaw & Lois Mann 3:13

* N.B: Jimi Hendrix's “Voodoo Chile” is only found on pre-releases of this CD. Because of licensing issues, it does not appear on the regular CD issue


Michael Powers - Electric/Acoustic & Dobro Guitars, Vocals
Jimi Shivago - 12 String g., Hammond, Vibes
Jimmy Vivino - Acoustic g., Wurlitzer Piano, Hammond B3, Mellotron
Cliff Schmitt & Michael Merritt - Bass/Upright
James Wormworth & Steve Shelley - Drums


Music was his destiny from the moment Michael Powers entered the world in 1952 in Bayonne, New Jersey. His father, James B. Murchison, was a merchant marine who sailed around the world before settling in Bayonne where he opened a local shop. Mr. Murchison divided his time between New Jersey and North Carolina working on tobacco fields in the summers. From early on, Michael would be familiar with the rural South, the blues, Gospel and segregation. He would always remember "Porch Blues"… men gathering nightly on their porches with their electric guitars and tiny amplifiers. The Sunday Gospel, the preacher's rap, the choir of women going into trances were permanently etched in Michael’s mind. Watching Michael at age 7 walk around with a broom pretending it was a guitar when the Rock It Hour appeared on television, Doris Powers bought her son a guitar by cashing in a book of saving stamps. Soon after, a friend visited with a guitar and played a song. Michael rushed back to his room and played that exact tune. From then on, Doris was convinced that her son had a special talent and imposed a strict musical routine. Every day, Michael had to listen to records and play along with them. Doris' words 'Michael turn the record over" still echo in his ears. It would prove to be a strong influence as Doris' favorites included Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Jimmy Reed, Billie Holiday, and John Lee Hooker. At 12 Michael Powers would run across the street from the family shop in New Jersey to see an entertainer that played weekly at Max's – none other than the great Jimmy Reed. Jimmy Reed played harmonica and guitar, sang and stomped while his wife played tambourine and sang in harmony. Seeing Jimmy Reed was a true revelation and influence, quickly followed by the first US televised performance of the Beatles and the guitar wizardry of Jimi Hendrix, all of which had an impact on Michael’s musical direction. While in high school, Michael started his first band the RB ZigZags. He then joined the Ad Libs during the time the band recorded the cult hit "Boy from New York City". The Ad Libs routinely toured with the top ten bands of the country and opened, among others, for the Everly Brothers, Kool & the Gang (then called the Soul Town Review), The Box Tops, and Richie Havens. By his late teens, Michael was touring with James Cotton, sharing the stage with such icons as Chuck Berry, Johnny Winter, Robert Cray and John Lee Hooker. Upon settling back in New York in the 70s, Michael formed a new band, Moonbeam, and played the New York City club circuit during the heyday of the Blues Brothers, The Ritz, and the New York Dolls. The band, which would stay together for 13 years, toured all over the country and opened for such artists as James Brown, Bo Diddley, and the Ronettes. After the Moonbeam's breakup, Michael Powers went solo taking his virtuosity and sound for both acoustic and electric guitar and writing powerful originals. In 2002, after many years and many gigs, Michael was “rediscovered” one night in a New York City club by Andrew Mullhaupt of Baryon Records. Influenced by the greatest bluesmen in history, Michael Powers is one of them with his own unique sound, style and soulful talent. More information on Michael Powers is posted at http://www.michaelpowers.com/. Baryon Records © 2004 http://www.baryonrecords.com/artists/m_powers/index.html


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Anonymous said...

Looking forward to this. Thank you!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Anon. Let me know your opinion. Thanks