Saturday, March 27, 2010

Leroy Powell & The Messengers: "Atlantis" (album review)

Atlantis is the fourth full length album from country rock artist Leroy Powell and the first with his new backing band The Messengers.  Prior to going solo, Powell served as guitarist for Shooter Jennings and has also worked with big names like Hank Williams Jr, Dickey Betts, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Waylon Jennings.

Powell doesn't shy away from his country roots.  Whether it's twangy ballads like "It's Our Turn Now" and "Family Tree", or grittier dirt roads-and-dust tunes like "Tumbin' Down" (which boasts a wagon wheel-sized groove), the Nashville influence shines through.

Separating Powell from the pick-up truck loads of country acts around though is his ability to pull inspiration from other genres and incorporate them seamlessly into his sound.  He seems equally comfortable taking a bluesy turn on "Evil" and "Look Out World (I'm Coming)" as he does stacking a swampy classic rock riff onto "Gravedigger's Blues".  The soulful back-up singers give many of the tracks a Gospel feel.

The songs on Atlantis are heartfelt and authentic.  Powell does hold back, laying it all out in his honest, personal lyrics and delivered with vocals to match.

If you're looking for your fix of Outlaw Country Gospel Blues Rock with a timeless quality, then I think the only man you can turn to is Leroy Powell.

Best tracks: "Look Out World (I'm Coming)", "Tumblin' Down"

Track listing for Atlantis:
  • I Ain't Human
  • Tumblin' Down
  • Telluride
  • Break It Easy
  • It's Our Turn Now
  • Evil
  • Gravedigger's Blues
  • The House Is Rockin'
  • Family Tree
  • Look Out World (I'm Coming)
  • You Can Count On Me
  • One Kiss, One Love
  • When The Morning Comes
  • Song For You
Leroy Powell's website
Leroy Powell's Myspace

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