We have been following the Anderson, IN-based artist/songwriter, Joshua Powell, for years. The first time I experienced the music of the long-haired blonde rocker was in 2012 with the release of an early 3-song EP, We All Say Hello. And if you have followed me through out the last seven years, you will know that my initial assessment of Joshua Powell & The Great Train Robbery was unfavorable. The EP did not inspire me and I was honest about how it made me feel, which was not much.
But shortly after the release of that review, I received an email from the artist himself and started a dialogue about his music and his vision. He was not mad or upset about the negative review, but was encouraged that someone was being honest. Joshua Powell asked, politely and respectfully, if I would be willing to review his upcoming full-length album, Traveler, and see if it were more to my liking. The grassroots folk that was the We All Say Hello was still present, but the addition of multiple genre-bending riffs and beats created a unique and varied sound that drew me in. Traveler was a coming out party for the Indiana rocker and I was a convert.
In the year that have followed the release of Traveler in 2012, the band went dropped another album, Man Is Born For Trouble, in the summer of 2013. While Traveler progressed them from a standard folk-rock band into a burgeoning indie rock with soul and folk thrown. Man Is Born For Trouble, was purposeful and deliberate. There was a direction that Joshua Powell wanted to go and this was the start of that journey.
Just a few years later the singer-songwriter unveiled a third record, Alyosha. Let me just make this easy, I stated the following in my review:
“Alyosha is the needed uppercut to the humdrum folk world. It is a wakeup call that screams there is so much more to the genre than a singer sitting on a stool with an acoustic guitar. Making fun, unique music that could change the musical landscape, this is what it means to be an independent artist and Joshua Powell & the Great Train Robbery is doing just that. Alyosha is proof.”
So when I received the preview of the latest album, PSYCHO/TROPIC, I was ecstatic to finally get some new music after more than 3 years. I was just hoping that he would find his voice again like he had so masterfully done on the previous albums and I was not disappointed.
While, the style is still rooted in folk, it is so much more than that now. It is a blend of psychedelic-rock meshed with the subtly of acoustic guitars and those lovely ballads that bands like Pink Floyd and Queen produced during their heydays of the 1970s. Throw in Joshua Powell‘s clean, falsetto vocals across the 11-song record and you have a masterful, varied album that encompasses pretty much every genre that sounds spectacular with a folk backbone.
Now is your chance, listen to the brand new album, PSYCHO/TROPIC, by Joshua Powell on Spotify below and purchase the new music on iTunes now!
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