Musician, Composer, Producer, Writer
HAND ME DOWN
CD Now, 1999
"Dirk Powell is well known as the button accordion wiz of the Cajun neo-traditionalist band Balfa Toujours, but thie Kentucky native's musical breadth and background encompasses roots music of all sorts. Hand Me Down is an aptly titled album, for what Powell performs here is traditional Appalachian music -- the tunes handed down to him not only from his grandfather James Clarence hay but also bequeathed to him by generations of pickers in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.
The album delivers 18 tracks of pure mountain music. Powell's mastery of this genre is undeniable, as is the fervor with which he approaches these engaging tunes.This is one of the finest traditional music albums of 1999."
"Dirk has assembled a stellar cast of supporting players who bring his potential to fruition. There is verve to this recording. Dirk is featured on several fine banjo solos, as on Near and Far. This cut especially displays his prowess on the fretless banjo and the subtleties that make it such a rewarding instrument. His fiddling takes on a grit and edge on this project that bestow it with an authoritative advantage. Instead of rehashing old tunes, they are brought to a new level with these performances. The next to the last cut, "Cumberland Gap," is a fine example of this strength. Dirk's fiddle catches fire with the drive it infuses into that fine old number. The standout cuts are too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say, there's not a filler in the lot."