Saturday, December 11, 2010
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 www.douglasepowell.co.uk, www.myspace.com/centralcasting and www.myspace.com/twistervalleyrecords.
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 www.douglasepowell.co.uk and we will randomly pick a winner before the end of the year.