Kerri Powers – Love Is Why
Kerri Powers – Love Is Why
Label: Must Have – Wildflower Records – Continental Record Services
Release date: October 27, 2023
THROUGH HIGHS AND LOWS, LOSS AND GRIEVING, NEW ENGLAND’S KERRI POWERS SPREADS SOULFUL UNIVERSAL MESSAGE ON NEW FULL-LENGTH ALBUM, LOVE IS WHY
Singer-songwriter Kerri Powers channels blues and soul with an eye-to-eye, earthy sensibility that makes for honest listening and reflection. She’s your sage girlfriend speaking from the heart and does so with a new collection of songs written from a place of grief and longing – something that speaks to us all.
With ‘Love is Why,’ Powers’ first self penned full-length album since 2018 to be released on October 27th, the New England-based artist explores the universal emotion that is love and its huge influence on the decisions we all make in life. In particular, she examines love in the context of holding on or letting go through human loss and grieving. The album’s original songs were written during the pandemic and after Powers lost her father, whom she calls “my best friend.”
“I wrote the songs from a place of loss and grieving and went from there,” she says. “Writing the songs was hard but a necessary part of healing. At the end of the day, all the songs were written from a place of love for humanity and the need to spread the message that love is essential.”
Love is Why was recorded in February 2021 at Dagotown Recorders in Boston. Produced by drummer Marco Giovino (Robert Plant, Tom Jones, Norah Jones) and engineered by Sam Margolis.
The album includes musical luminaries Bo Ramsey, slide guitar; Luther Dickinson, slide guitar; Kelvin Holly, electric guitar; Doug Lancio, electric guitar; John Putnam, electric guitar; Regina and Anne McCrary, background vocals; Brother Paul Brown, Hammond/keyboard, Marty Ballou, bass; Charles Giordano, accordion; Asa Brosius, pedal steel; and singer-songwriter Paul Thorn on duet vocals during a transcendent cover of Gregg Allman’s “Please Call Home.”
Let’s talk about a few standout originals from Love is Why. “Rummage Through My Love” is a saloon-sizzling blues burner with a call-and-response vibe that immediately hooks the listener. “When it Rains” is a Hammond-fueled mid-tempo number that recalls Bonnie Raitt in her best blues-Americana form. And then there’s the title cut, an infectious homage to the beauty of the L-word with a bluesy-soul groove and compelling vocals from Powers.
Such ease behind the microphone and the songwriting pen could certainly be traced to Powers’ formative years and her family heritage. Powers was immersed in painting, writing, and music from an early age. She composed her first song at 9. Child prodigy? Perhaps, but there is no denying that artistic talent came mixed in her genes. Bing Crosby was a distant relative on her father’s side, while on her mother’s side, there is a kinship to Herman Melville. Her paternal grandmother even maintained a position playing piano as an accompaniment for silent movies, as was customary in those days.
By the time she reached her teens, Powers was performing in local coffeehouses throughout New England. Love, marriage, and motherhood put a hold on her musically creative dreams. But after raising her son and putting a difficult divorce behind her, Powers returned to her musical passion.
“I wasn’t sure I would ever get back to performing,” she says. “But I did continue to write. Writing the songs was what ultimately gave me the incentive to keep going. Music and art have always been a healing force in my life.”
Powers jumped in, fully committed. In 2014, she released a self-titled EP that, even with zero radio or publicity assistance, earned the #1 spot on Roots Music Report’s list of “Top 50 Folk Albums of 2014.” Powers gave us Starseeds four years later, which earned her critical praise and expanded her following.
Both releases opened doors for Powers. She has appeared at numerous prestigious venues and musical gatherings, including The Boston Folk Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. She has toured throughout the United States as well as overseas, making appearances in The Netherlands, Belgium, and the U.K. Her song “Diamond Day” was featured in the motion picture Chuck, and other tracks have made their way into the television series Rescue Me and Justified.
When you catch Kerri Powers on stage, you will immediately feel the realness and rawness of her artistry. She delivers art at its purest, a musical canvas painted with all the soulful colors and emotion that will pull you into her talent and message of love.
01. Rosie Blue (4:28)
02. Love Is Why (4:18)
03. Morning Glory, Midnight Blue (3:40)
04. When It Rains (4:09)
05. Wine and Spirits (4:40)
06. Rummage Through My Love (3:08)
07. Please Call Home (3:31) (feat Paul Thorn)
08. Presence of the Faithful (3:52)
09. Rusted Bell (3:13)
10. Someone Else’s Prayer (4:25)
11. Are We Free (3:56)