The Powell Brothers ready their return to Park City
Country music duo back on the road
Blake and Taylor Powell, known as the country music duo The Powell Brothers, can’t wait to get back to Park City after a no-tour year due to COVID-19.
“It’s been a strange year for everybody, but we’re back on our big summer tour right now and we’re thankful we’re coming to Park City,” said Taylor, who has played with his brother Blake at the Park Silly Sunday Market and the DeJoria Center over the past couple of years.
This year, the siblings, along with their drummer Mike Bishop Smith, will play a Grand Valley Bank Community Concert, presented by Mountain Town Music, at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28, at Deer Valley’s Snow Park Amphitheater.
“When people ask us about the most beautiful places to play, Park City is always at the top of the list,” Blake said.
Playing in front of live audiences is something the Powells do not take for granted, and the coronavirus pandemic only strengthened their resolve.
“It’s great to be traveling again,” Blake said. “We’re not the types of people who are particularly used to living in one particular place for an entire year. So it feels good being back on the road.”
Taylor enjoys the in-person interaction with the fans.
“Now, we’re coming back to being on stage, we can see people’s faces and feel their energy,” he said. “We weren’t able to do that last year.”
Although the Powells didn’t tour last year, they made great use of their time, according to Blake.
“When it began to look like we weren’t going to be able to tour, we quickly got our team together and decided to do something productive,” he said. “We wanted to do the best we could do with the circumstances we had been given.”
The brothers decided to turn their barn into a video and audio studio and started producing and presenting live streams.
“During the first couple of months, we were doing several streams a day, and we started a segment called ‘5 at 5’ where we would play five songs at 5 o’clock,” Blake said.
In addition, the Powell Brothers decided to embark on a virtual tour, according to Taylor.
“When things shut down and we had to postpone the concerts, we began working with each of the venues we had booked and scheduled Facebook Live concerts on their web pages for the nights we were supposed to play,” he said. “So basically we kept our tour schedule, but we just did it from our home.”
The Powell Brothers noticed a different type of fan energy through the live streams.
“We had a totally different kind of interaction with people,” Taylor said. “We would set up a TV screen and we could watch comments from the audience come in real time. And in that context, we could read those comments, which was something you really can’t do in a live arena show.”
The live streams weren’t the only musical thing the Powells did for the past few months. They worked hard writing and recording new music that will be released in the future.
“While we were home, we recorded albums and albums worth of music,” Taylor said. “We wrote and recorded constantly, because when you make a record, you want to have more songs than you are going to release. That way we will be able to make a calculated decision on what songs will be best to release.”
The Powell Brothers’ songs are inspired by an array of things, Taylor said.
“We take inspiration where we can find it, whether it’s a lyric or a melody, or a set of chords,” he said. “We also have songs that started out with us playing riffs with the band at a sound check.”
In February, the Powell Brothers released “Twenty Twenty,” a five-song extended play that features the song “How It’s Done,” which is the theme for the “Texas Voices” TV show. And the duo’s single, “Hopeless,” is currently on rotation on country radio stations. A few weeks ago, the Powell’s released a cover of the Weeknd’s hit, “Blinding Lights.”
“I remember talking about the song and not knowing if we should do it,” Taylor said. “I thought it was really out there, and I didn’t think it was going to work. But when we played it, it was amazing.”
Stretching musical boundaries is nothing new to the Powell Brothers. In addition to sharing the stage with country acts that include Big & Rich, Gary Allan and the Brothers Osborne, Blake and Taylor opened for singer-songwriter and rapper Flo Rida on July 10, during the Bands In The Backyard festival in Pueblo, Colorado.
Before the COVID-19 shutdown, the Powell Brothers were preparing to perform concerts overseas, Blake said.
“I imagine it’s just a matter of time before that would be booked again,” he said.
In the meantime, the brothers are also finding ways to sing the National Anthem at all the baseball stadiums across the country while they tour.
“We want to do things and hit all the places we’ve never played before,” Taylor said.
When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 28
Where: Deer Valley’s Snow Park Amphitheater
Web: mountaintownmusic.org and powellbrothersmusic.com
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