Saturday, December 11, 2010

EX33 on The Music of Douglas E Powell

It has been a busy couple of years since EX33 last caught up with songwriter Douglas E Powell. In 2009 Douglas got married to his wife Tamsin. In 2010 they bought a house together in Devon and soon followed the birth of their first child Joshua. “It’s has been a whirlwind year for us all and it’s amazing I have found the time to fit in the music”, says Douglas, but somehow he does. “It has all been made a lot easier with the piecing together of a home studio to record my latest musical project with new band Central Casting. I wanted to put a band together to record my third album after the success of my last two albums The Still and West in 2006 and The Iron Coast in 2008. Both albums were mostly recorded with vocals and acoustic guitars. I wanted to experiment with percussion, strings and electric guitars on this new project but still stay true to my folk music roots. Fiddle player Jason Pratt and I had been talking about a musical collaboration for ages but we just didn’t seem to get around to putting anything into action. I gave Jay some acoustic demos of the new songs I had been working on and he started writing fiddle parts. Once Jay and I had the basis of songs worked out I sort the talents of other local musicians. Life long friend and bass player Andrew “Tizz’ Tizzard was more used to playing distorted electric guitar in front of a stack of vintage valve amps in grunge bands back in the 90’s rather than a bass player and backing vocalist in a folk band but he gladly rose to the challenge. Percussionist Will Greeves was borrowed from fellow songwriter Jim Jones’s band”. Line up complete, in March 2010 they stared rehearsals as the band Central Casting, “a name usually associated with the casting agencies in the American film industry but it seemed to fit with the concept of a musical collaboration between like minded local musicians”, says Douglas.
Douglas had already been booked to perform solo sets at various folk festivals and shows around the country over the summer of 2010 so Central Casting was billed to perform along side Douglas. For the record the first ever Central Casting gig was at the Holmfirth Folk Festival, Yorkshire in May 2010. “It was a bit of a baptism of fire for us in front of a tough northern crowd who had never heard of us, but we survived unscathed and played a second set the following day at the beautiful Victorian Picturedrome Theatre to a sell out audience”. Other standout shows over the summer included headline slots at the Goldcoast Oceanfest, The Hatherleigh Folk Festival, The Tobacco Factory, Bristol, Lilicos, Barnstaple, The White Lion, Braunton, Pilton Village Hall playing support to American songsmith Forest Sun and a live session on BBC radio Devon, Central Casting described by the BBC Introducing Session as “classic English folk with a hint of Americana”. Once their busy schedule of gigs over the summer had been completed the band set their sites on recording an album in Douglas’ home studio in Knowle. “We hope to have the recording process completed by early 2011, and once all the tracks are mixed and mastered and the cover artwork is sorted we can release the album on my label Twister Valley Records in the spring/summer of 2011”. Central Casting are booking shows around the UK for 2011 and I am sure that they will be performing live at the usual local venues in the not to distant future. Douglas is also working on the score for the long awaited surf film One Day directed by filmmaker Richard Gregory.

For more information on the music of Douglas E Powell, Central Casting and Twister Valley Records visit their web sites at, and
To win a CD copy of Douglas’ last album The Iron Coast simply add your name and the word WIN to the mailing list at and we will randomly pick a winner before the end of the year.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

SHNDG5 - The Loft, Portsmouth, Dec 3rd

Line Up:

The Magic Horns (live Av remix)- Jez Stevens has been asked to re/deconstruct the drone rock track "The Morning Haze". Originally recorded by a mysterious duo from Devon. The remix will serve as a soundtrack to found footage of Hilsea Lines Ramparts and environs...

Dangerous/Poindexter (live soundtrack)- Dangerous (Tom Day) / Poindexter (Jez Stevens) will be improvising a set comprising live electronics, guitar and effects. Heavily influenced by motorik/kraut beats and swirling psych P/D will provide a soundtrack to highlights taken from Peter Sykes The Committee(1968). (starring Paul Jones).

Black Powdr Engine (live AV set)- A shndg stalwart, Black Powdr Engine continues to develop his post-breakbeat, psyche dub. The only real AV/VJ in town - imagine Meat Beat Manifesto playing live with mangatronic visuals by a VJ out of a William Gibson novel...

The Random Scarves (DJ set)- Shndg bumped into these trilby wearing, scarf flinging nut jobs at Hospitality - funkalectic their words: "The Random Scarves – purveyors of the finest weirdno and circus of sounds around. These creatures can be heard, here & there, sticking some indiscriminate beats and funky bass to various congregations of the electronic way."

Simon Heartfield (live AV set)- Will be previewing new material from the as yet untitled forthcoming album of music based on the extraordinary 1970 novel Bomber by Len Deighton, which was nominated this year for the Lost Booker prize. The album is due for release 2Q 2011 and this will be an exclusive glimpse at work in progress.

Geodesic (DJ set) - Keith Seatman playing kraut rock oddities.

Dr. Lighthouse (VJ)- A figurative blend of mashed up films and incandescent images.

Shed Dweller (VJ)- Offers a geometric onslaught of monochrome patterning.

The Loft
Above the Kings, Albert Rd
Southsea, United Kingdom

£4 on the door

The Iron Coast re-issued on itunes

It's not only the Beatles who are issuing their back catalogue on itunes. The Iron Coast by Douglas E Powell has now been re-issued on itunes. So get your copy before the Christmas rush.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Office Top 10 Play List October 2010

1. Broadcast & The Focus Group - Investigates Witchcults of the Radio Age (Warp) - Hauntology is still alive and being practiced in a village hall near you.

2. The Great Lake Swimmers - The Legion Sessions (Nettwerk) - Canada's finest live in one of their favorite venues.

3. Otis Gibbs - Grandpa Walked A Picketline (Wanamaker Recording Company) - Another slice of country soul from the bearded one.

4. Sleepy Sun - Fever (ATP Records) - Stoner rock from San Francisco.

5. Money Mark - Push The Button (Mowax) - A classic from the prince of lo-fi.

6. Forest Sun - Walk Through Walls (Painted Sun) - A group of friends rent a cabin in the wood and a beautiful record is made.

7. Hot Rod City - Compilation (Sundazed) - Songs about custom cars and girls from the 60's.

8. Rough Trade - Country Sampler 1 (Rough Trade) - A must have benchmark in Americana.

9. Songs of Witchcraft & Magic - Compilation (Wild Goose Records) - Before Hauntology there was this.

10. Dillard & Clark - The Fantastic Expedition / Through the Morning Through the Night (A&M) - Two for the price of one from this under rated duo.

Visit our myspace site for more of our favorite bands and music

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Forest Sun with support from Central Casting, Pilton Village Hall, Devon, 20th August

Douglas E Powell will be playing a support slot with his band Central Casting for Americana song smith Forest Sun at the Pilton Village Hall, Barnstaple, Devon on the 20th August. Forest Sun is an award winning songwriter based in San Francisco and he is spending a few days in the West Country as part of his European tour.

Tickets are on sale for £7 and are available from Wild West Country or simply email us to reserve your tickets and pick them up on the door. It's a BYO evening making it a very cheap Friday night out!

Doors at 8.00pm, DJ sets from the Happy Cowboys, live music from 9.00pm to 11.30.

Here are a few things the American press have said about Forest Sun:

‘The music of Forest Sun radiates warmth and enthusiasm. It catches. You can't possibly listen to his music without feeling good. I have had the good fortune of presenting Forest Sun and his music to the listeners of my radio show, "In The Spirit." Pick up and listen to any one of his many CDs and go for a joyride.’
Gary Goldberg - WRPI - In the Spirit.

‘Artists that he recalls include Ryan Adams, Jack Johnson, John Gorka, Todd Snider, even Van Morrison and Lyle Lovett. But I think it's more of an attitude; his songs are jaunty, timeless and spirit raising, even life-affirming.’
Mac McDonald - Monterey Herald.

‘Forest's performance Saturday night reminded us of the good old days when the San Francisco folk music scene happened in small and intimate venues – where you felt like you were part of the music.’
La Tienda News.

We hope to see you there.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Central Casting play live session for BBC Radio Devon

Central Casting travelled to Plymouth last week to play a live radio session the the BBC. The full session can be heard on the BBC Listen again Iplayer and a review of the session can be read at BBC Radio Introducing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Home Sweet Home Concert

Odd things happen when you go for a hair cut at Ken’s in Braunton, North Devon. Ken’s salon is a place not only of inspired hair sculpture but a place of cultural diversity and good vibes. So it came as no surprise that whilst getting my bi-monthly quiff I was introduced to Joel a world-class singer songwriter from Switzerland that just happed to passing through Devon visiting long time friend Ken. It was suggested that Joel should play some gigs whilst he was in Devon but sadly Swiss time was running out for and Joel as he had to hit the road in his camper and head off into the sunset on Monday morning.
So Ken decided there and then to put a show on in the salon. Text messages were dispatched emails were send and on a sunny afternoon on Sunday 11th April the first Home Sweet Home Concert took place. Too many folks show up to fit into the salon itself so the event spilled out into the sun filled garden.
First on the bill Douglas E Powell a regular on the Southwest music scene playing his blend of 60’s inspired folk with moments of Americana.

Visiting travelling musician Joel followed with a set a self-penned gospel inspired acoustic ballads including a tear-jerking version of a French acoustic pop tune accompanied by Douglas E Powell on the harmonica.
Another local song writing standout Brendon Taylor played a set of finger picked acoustic beauties from his soon to recorded studio album and Sarah Cox strummed and sang through a few tunes bringing a country lilt to the whole affair.
Brendon Taylor and Will Greaves also kept perfect time by dropping a few beats on the Cajon (a sit on drum from Latin America). In short a fantastic afternoon of spontaneity and beautifully delivered music. Thank you to Ken and Becky for providing such a fitting venue.
The next Home Sweet Home Concert is in the planning stage. We will keep you posted on its location as soon as we here.
If you are interested in performing at the next Home Sweet Home Concert or if you would like to offer your home as venue. Please send Twister Valley Records your details and we will pass them onto Ken and Becky.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

We're on the road to Holmfirth

Central Casting will be performing at this years Holmfirth Folk Festival, Yorkshire, 8th and 9th May. Performers from all over the UK and Europe will desend upon the town of Holmfirth where the bars, pubs, restaurants and even the local cinema become live music venues for the weekend.
Central Casting will be performing a set at Herveys wine bar on Saturday night, 8th May, and a second set at The Picturedrome on Sunday afternoon, 9th May.
Festival organizer James Munroe talks to local radio station Two Valleys Radio about the festival and Central Castings song Hawks and Larks gets some airplay 51 minutes into the show. Click here to listen to the whole show. Hit the North!

A few more dates for the diary:

Central Casting, Douglas E Powell, Robin Courtnage - Lilicos, Barnstaple, Devon, 27th May
Central Casting, Douglas E Powell - Tobacco Factory, Bristol, 30th May
Central Casting - The Hatherleigh Festival, Devon, July 23rd

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Welcome aboard Central Casting

Twister Valley Records are proud to present their latest signing Central Casting.
Central Casting is a four-piece band, based on the West coast of the United Kingdom, which was formed during the long winter of 2009 by songwriter and guitarist Douglas E Powell. Citing as their musical influences bands such as Pentangle, Neil Young, Iron and Wine, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Ryan Adams making Central Casting an eclectic mix of alt-folk, vocal harmony and Americana.
The band will be touring the UK in the spring/summer of 2010 and will be releasing an album in the autumn of 2010.
For more information on the music of Central Casting or to book them to perform at your venue, contact CP Mandrake at or visit their myspace site.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Devon Music Scene gets a big mention in Devon Life

Songwriters and performers Douglas E Powell and Amy Newton and Goldcoast Oceanfest organizers Warren and Shaun Latham get a very complementary write up in the February edition of Devon Life. The article was penned by author Tim Kevan, the writer of the newly published novel BabyBarista and the Art of War.
All of us here at TVR would like to say a big thank you to Tim and Devon life for taking the time to recognising that there is a diverse and immensely talented 'local' music scene here in Devon.
You can read the full article here on Tim's blog.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Vic Chesnutt dies 25th Dec, 2009 aged 45.

On Christmas day 2009 another great songwriter died. A man very close to my heart. A man who sculpted the way I write songs, after he gave me a copy of his album, Is the Actor Happy as payment for a support slot at a club in Portsmouth, England in 1995. That man's name was Vic Chesnutt. A name not ceremonious with world wide acclaim or stardom. The very opposite. He wrote the songs that others emulated. Artists such as REM, Smashing Pumpkins, Madonna even.
Vic was a true poet and song-smith of the highest order. To say that his songs were morose, maudlin and down beat would be a considerable under statement. That was the man's gift. Writing songs about the dark ironic comedic side of life. Often served with a healthy dose of impending doom.
His untimely death leaves a cavernous void in the world of song writing.
Vic leaves us a legacy (give or take a few side projects) of 15 studio albums spanning a 19 career.

Douglas E Powell