Dirk & Amelia Powell

Friday 16th August 2024
#PVFF24

You can also see Dirk perform on Friday night with his Square Dance gig with Jock.

Dirk and Amelia Powell are a daughter/father duo with strong roots in the bayous of Louisiana and the mountains of Kentucky. Amelia’s grandfather, Dewey Balfa, was known as a premier Cajun fiddler and cultural ambassador. She grew up experiencing the deep center of that tradition while simultaneously exploring the old-time music of her Appalachian heritage with her father, Dirk, who learned banjo, fiddle, and guitar from his own grandfather, J.C. Hay.

Amelia is known for her hard-driving guitar playing and soulful vocals. Dirk has been regarded as a “musician’s musician” for the last few decades: Steve Earle and Eric Clapton have each given him the nickname “Maestro.” He’s been a frequent part of Transatlantic Sessions and made influential records that dig into the emotional potential of tradition. Together, they perform music of their heritage, write and craft original songs, and bring audiences the kind of soulful connection that comes from family playing together with trust, humour, and love.

“One of the most respected Americana-Folk musicians of his generation, with four Grammys to his name, and a decade as Joan Baez’s ‘band’, Dirk Powell has more laurels than you can shake a banjo at. He’s not resting on them, he’s building a legacy. That legacy takes the form of Amelia Powell, daughter, and granddaughter of legendary Louisiana fiddler Dewey Balfa. The younger Powell’s talents are immediately clear. She has just the right potent, soulful voice for the job, coupled to a burning passion for the music. Dirk’s instrumental skills and Amelia’s evocative voice made for a night of masterfully performed Cajun and Appalachian music hosted by two charming, and deeply likeable human beings.” – The Quintessential Review, Edinburgh, Scotland

“Dirk Powell is a badass. To the bone. He is, in addition to being the greatest old-time banjo player alive, a graduate student of both mountain and Cajun fiddle styles, and diatonic button accordion, an instrument that fights you back, take it from me, I’ve tried. He is a singer, songwriter, producer, recording engineer and, all in all, an artist of unique vision and unbending integrity. As far as I can tell there is no genre of American roots music that Dirk doesn’t understand, no primordial mode he can’t master, no polyrhythmic code he can’t crack.” – Steve Earle

“God gave this one an overdose of talent.” – Joan Baez

Dirk & Amelia Powell image. Amelia and Dirk are sat down on a step outside of a house. Amelia is playing her guitar, and Dirk is playing his banjo.