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Prodigal Son

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Album Review

Although his career spans four decades (as a member of cult acts the Ad Libs and Moonbeam), blues-rock singer/guitarist Michael Powers largely flew under the radar. But in the early 21st century, he was "rediscovered" in New York City, and has embarked on a recording career once again, first with 2004's Onyx Root, and two years later with Prodigal Son. On this album comprised mostly of cover tunes, Powers has enlisted a pair of players who should be familiar to rock fans — Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley on drums and Conan O'Brien's Jimmy Vivino on guitar, among others. Overall, the music reflects other similar blues-rock revivalists of the modern age, especially evident by its clean production. Included are versions of such blues-rock standards as "Goin' Down" and "Train Kept A Rollin'" (has every single blues-rocker post-1970 covered these two tunes at one point or another?), as well as Jimmy Reed's "Oh John." While certainly not musically groundbreaking, Prodigal Son should appeal to fans of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jonny Lang, Los Lonely Boys, etc.


Born: 1952 in Bayonne, NJ

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Growing up in northern New Jersey and North Carolina, guitarist, singer and songwriter Michael Powers (born Michael Murchison) learned about the rural south, and gospel and blues music, at a young age. His father was a Merchant Marine who sailed around the world before settling in Bayonne and opening a small store. Powers' father, James B. Murchison, divided his time between northern New Jersey and spending summers working the tobacco fields in North Carolina; as a result, young Michael spent summers...
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Prodigal Son, Michael Powers
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