The Powell Brothers have played for some huge crowds over the past couple of years. The country rock power trio entertained fans during the 2019 World Series, let ’er rip in Las Vegas for the 2018 National Finals Rodeo and for three consecutive years played during the “Red River Showdown,” the epic rivalry between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners.
But this week, brothers Taylor and Blake will face a different kind of challenge when they take to the intimate, in-your-face stage at the Wort Hotel’s Silver Dollar Showroom for two free evening concerts.
Born and raised in Houston, the two multi-instrumentalists started gigging professionally in high school. After a short stint at the Berklee College of Music, they found steady work as session players, producers and songwriters, penning tunes with the likes of Drew Cline, Grace Pettis, Granger Smith, Haley Cole, Jon Wolfe, Sam Riggs and the Night People and Will Makar.
In 2014 it looked like their career trajectories would take them to opposite ends of the country. Instead they formed the Powell Brothers, writing their own material, touring an average 150 days out of each year, and being picked by top country acts such as Jon Pardi, Josh Tuner, Cody Johnson, Gary Allan, Mark Chesnutt, Suzy Bogguss, the Bellamy Brothers, Pat Green and Jack Ingram to share their stages.
The brothers also have spent a fair amount of time in the recording studio over the past six year and have released three EPs and eight singles. This year, in February, their very first full-length CD, “Leave On The Light,” hit the airwaves.
By turns folksy and rocking, defiant and vulnerable, “Leave On The Light” was made in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Category 4 storm that in August 2017 stalled out over the Houston region and dumped up to 5 feet of rain, eventually causing an estimated $125 billion in damages, including destroying the brothers’ home studio.
“Hurricane Harvey definitely changed a lot of things for us,” Taylor Powell told Texas Lifestyle Magazine in 2019. “The plans we had been making for the previous few months were completely wiped out. As we were tearing down our childhood home, there were definitely many moments of despair.”
But as the 10 songs on “Leave On The Light” suggest, the dogged musicians didn’t let a little catastrophe like Harvey slow them down much. In fact, it appears to have left them stronger and more resolved than ever to make it on the world country music scene.
The Wort Hotel welcomes the brothers, along with drummer Mike Smith, to its Silver Dollar Showcase as part of its “Sit Down Get Down” series, a COVID-19-aware offering that allows for appropriate social distancing.
That means the room is operating at less than half capacity, which means audiences will get two up-close-and-personal performances from a band that’s hot right now and prepared to get even hotter. ￼