Dirk Powell: Walking through Clay

By Berkowitz, Kenny | Acoustic Guitar, July 2014 | Go to article overview

Dirk Powell: Walking through Clay


Berkowitz, Kenny, Acoustic Guitar


Dirk Powell

Walking Through Clay

Sugar Hill

Singer makes Bayou music with an Appalachian touch

With one foot planted in Ashland, Kentucky, where he grew up, and the other in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he's lived for the past 20 years, Dirk Powell straddles the worlds of Appalachian fiddle, clawhammer banjo, Cajun/ Creole accordion, New Orleans jazz, and country-blues guitar music.

Better yet, he makes it look easy, even when he's producing, engineering, writing, singing, and playing a dozen instruments, as he does on Walking Through Clay, his first solo album in a decade.

From start to finish, the album is an incredible accomplishment, shifting among gritty, swampy, blues-based boasting ("Rollin' Round this Town"); epic, country-rock storytelling ("Walking Though Clay"); hopeful lamenting ("Break the Chains"); soulful shuffling ("That Ain't Right"); sweet, sacred testifying ("Abide with Me"); and one downhome country-rocker that wouldn't sound out of place on a classic Band album ("Spoonbread"). …

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