FROM "MAN IS BORN FOR TROUBLE" TO "ALYOSHA" - The Rise of Joshua Powell
It was Saturday July 6th, 2013 when I first met Joshua Powell. It was at a tiny little bar in north Portland, OR. He and his band were on tour and my band at the time, Zinnie for Short, opened for them. Even before we played I took notice of Joshua's dedication and almost supernatural kindness. I picked his brain about the tour and the band and found him more than willing to share all he knew. It was incredibly inspiring to me and a big reason why Dead Men Talking decided to book and play a national tour of our own.
As I watched Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery play, I saw a raw and powerful poet and folk singer accompanied by talented musicians and beautiful harmonies. He told me after, as we smoked cigarettes on the patio, that he had been called to be a musician by a higher power. And I believe it.
The band's first and second records "Man is Born for Trouble" & "Traveler" matched the live performance in inspired intensity and rawness. I played the shit out of those things, deeply appreciating the poetic, literary lyrics and undeniable catchiness. With their new record "Alyosha" the plot thickens. The subjects run deeper, touching on home, love, the natural world and the appreciation of life. Joshua's lyrics and voice dance between hauntingly beautiful and gritty as a lush forest of guitars and harmony textures build artfully. Switching between ethereal indie rock (check out "Gunfighter Ballad for the 21st Century),
Bon Iver-esque intimate folk (check out "Indiana") and timeless americana (check out "Telekinesis"), "Alyosha" is a testament to Joshua Powell's striking and dynamic song-writing and also to his and the band's painstaking dedication to creating a great recording. The depth of this record is something to behold and I highly recommend putting on headphones, closing your eyes and getting lost in it.
The record has received high acclaim and deservedly so. It's wondeful to watch a great band succeed.
Check out other music off the album and the latest news on the band here:
~Corey Distler of Dead Men Talking