A rich and intriguing sojourn
in the many languages of guitar
Much as sand meets the water and earth meets the sky, Robert skillfully
blends contrasting elements of ambient, folk, country, African
and Hawaiian music to give DESERT BEACH its lyrical and highly
evocative signature sound. This is Robert’s first solo album.
'When I first heard of this release I was intrigued because
it features pedal steel guitar in a format known as New Age.
If it sounds a tad weird, trust me: it works and works well.
Mr. Powell handles all the guitar chores (which include acoustic
and electric, resonator, 12-string and Hawaiian), as well as
bass and the occasional keyboard. He is joined by several talented
session players, including Michael Pluznick, who handles the
percussive end of things as only he can. If you enjoy good guitar-based
instrumental music, I strongly recommend you check out this disc
- it's easy to take and soothing after a hectic day.' (9.5-performance/9-sound
— Lucky Clark Compact Disc-ussions,
Central Maine Morning Centinal
"One of the most refreshing new guitar albums we have ever
heard. The pedal steel work is extraordinary"
- Frank Forest, Program Director Musical Starstreams
Syndicated Radio Show Musical Starstreams
Powell's pedal steel guitar phrasing will be relished by anyone
who ever got excited by the country-rock bands of the early 70's
. The songs are longish, but once you get involved in the mellow
groove that he establishes, you are in no hurry for them to end.
I know this album knocked me out.
— Richard Price - It's Hip Magazine
Desert Beach calls to mind visions of palm trees, sparkling
oceans, and relaxing sunny days. It's an interesting combination
of pedal steel guitar, acoustic and electric guitars, percussion,
and bass, with touches of background synthesizers. What gives
it it's distinctive touch is the creative use of pedal steel
guitar, as it romps through a wide variety of musical styles.
Desert Beach offers a potpourri of Hawaiian, world music, and
country rock with elements of space music. This is definitely
a new and interesting use of pedal steel guitar! You'll find
that this recording blends nicely into the New Age easy listening
category and should easily bridge to the mainstream audience.
Favorite tracks are 'Rhythm Congress' and 'Shadows.’
Robert Powell is a musician with a track record, having performed
with Opafire, Titos Sompa and Chris Hedge, Jim Chappell,
Jordan De La Sierra, Barry Cleveland, as well as numerous rock,
worldbeat, and country artists. It's this diverse experience
that is clearly revealed in this recording. This is a quality
recording with professional packaging.
—New Age Retailer
"Robert Powell is a talented guitarist whose playing has
grace several of the past year's more interesting albums by artists
as diverse as Opafire, Barry Cleveland, JIm Cappell and Michael
Pluznick. On tunes ranging from the upbeat countrified rock of
'Truckstop Mirage' to the languid cruise of 'Pony Owens,' the
pedal steel soars and glides, creating elegant washes of sound.
World music touches abound, thanks in part to Michael Pluznik
whose atmospheric percussion illuminates three tracks, notably
the aptly named 'Rhythm Congress' where, using African talking
drums and angklung rattles, Michael sets a densely charged field
of rhythm as a foundation for Robert's multi-tracked electric
guitars. Drums and bass, both played by co-producer Dave Burn,
complement Robert's guitar orchestra, with occasional background
synthesizer, and, on one track, Venezuelan harp by Diana Stork
of the group Geist. Desert Beach is a most auspicious, as well
as enjoyable, debut release."
— Heartbeats / Backroads