First Appeared in The Music Box, March 2007, Volume 14, #3
Written by John Metzger
After decades spent slipping through the cracks in the music industryís foundation, Michael Powers returned in 2004 with Onyx Root, an eclectic collection of cover songs and original material that earned him some long overdue respect. His latest effort Prodigal Son largely follows the same blueprint, and not surprisingly, itís an equally masterful and mature affair. Alternating between bracing, electric rock and shadowy, acoustic ruminations, Powers explores the blues from an array of perspectives as he winds his way from the hard-driving, Hendrix-ian fury of Goiní Down to a luminous, gospel-soul interpretation of Bob Dylanís Every Grain of Sand. His cover of Sonny Boy Williamsonís Itís a Bloody Life is particularly chilling as Jimmy Vivino supplies a spooky Wurlitzer accompaniment that casts a spectral pallor across the proceedings. Similarly, the manner in which Powers uses the pillowy atmosphere of his instrumental Compassion to cushion the desperate lament of a heroin addict, as outlined on his haunting rendition of Arthur Leeís Signed D.C., is positively brilliant. Just as Onyx Root garnered a handful of W.C. Handy Award nominations, Prodigal Son is a contender for Contemporary Blues Album of the Year, and its title track has been recognized in the Song of the Year category. Maybe this time, Powers will be able to take home a prize. Ĺ
Prodigal Son is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2007 The Music Box