Considered one of the finest Americana musicians performing today, Dirk Powell is set to release his fourth solo album and Sugar Hill Records debut, Walking Through Clay, on February 4, 2014. The album finds Powell, whom Steve Earle calls “the greatest old-time banjo player alive,” uniting the hard-hitting drums of guests like Levon Helm with homegrown electric guitars, fiddles, amplified fretless banjos and Creole accordions. Barriers between styles are cooked off and what remains is a fearlessly emotional portrait of rural American music presented as only Powell could. Listen to the title track below and pre-order now!
Throughout the album’s 12 tracks, the longtime Lafayette, La., resident speaks many musical languages with amazing fluency, bringing in guests like Jerry Douglas, Aoife O’Donovan, and Mike McGoldrick to help with the task.
“This is my life and what I love and what moves me,” Powell says. “It’s time to share it without any limitations.”
Powell’s musical identity shapes every note of his craft: He’s plucked his share of strings in Kentucky, where his grandfather passed down Appalachian fiddle and banjo tunes in the great aural tradition, and absorbed Cajun bowing straight from Dewey Balfa. But it’s his ability to unite those traditions with more modern sensibilities, while maintaining a deep commitment to expression as the goal of any artistic endeavor, that has led to work with artists such as Jack White, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Linda Ronstadt, Kris Kistofferson and Joan Baez, who says of Dirk, “God gave this one an overdose of talent.”
On Walking Through Clay, Powell has created a project that is the definition of Americana — a quilt that stitches together the past and present in a way that honors both.
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