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Artist Profile: Robert Powell

Robert Powell musician and sound engineer ROBERT POWELL plays a variety of stringed instruments and is known internationally for his distinctive approach to the pedal steel guitar. As a musician, songwriter and producer Robert has worked with many diverse artists from around the world as well as having composed soundtracks for film, television and multi-media.

His past projects include work with Ustad Salamat Ali Kahn, Sachiko, and Titos Sompa. Through his work with Amnesty International he has produced and recorded with many artists including Peter Gabriel, John Lee Hooker and Jackson Browne.

Robert currently performs with a variety of San Francisco based bands and produces artists in his home recording studio. He lives in Fairfax, California with his wife.


'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 quality)
— 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
     Nationally 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


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Albums by
Robert Powell

Desert Beach

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