Local Band in Focus

Jeff Powers

Meet the Band: Singer and guitarist Powers is often joined onstage by Steven T. Winston (bassist), Mark Nanni (keyboardist), Mark Tiffault (drummer), and occasionally guests Colin Aberdeen (slide guitar and harmonica) and Jose Alvarez (guitar).

The Gringo With a Guitar: Powers is a classically trained guitarist who found his calling in south-of-the-border blues. He graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Music, but got lost in Mexico City for seven years teaching guitar and playing in blues bands.

Sweet Home Ohio: Once back in Cleveland, Powers performed under the name Dead Guy Blues until his latest record. In addition to solo gigs, he often performs with Jose Alvarez's backing band Los Blancos and singer-songwriter Liz Mazzei throughout the year.

Moaning the Blues: While Powers recalls Neil Young, John Fogerty, Eric Clapton, and other classic rockers who embrace the blues, he refers to his music as "singer song-whiner." "It's a real hot genre today," he quips.

Why You Should Hear Him: Powers has a heavy hand and a sharp ax. His self-titled debut under his own name preaches a heady mix of hellfire blues and soul-searching folk, summoning a sound that falls somewhere between Johnny Cash and Johnny Winter.

Where You Can Hear Him: jeffpowers.net.

Where You Can See Him: At Edison's Pub on August 2, the Quarry in Avon Lake on August 11, and the South Side on August 12. – Keith Gribbins