Bill Powers

Bill Powers

BandFolkAcoustic

Bill Powers is a songwriter, singer and player of an array of stringed instruments. For the past seven years he has helped lead the much lauded and highly respected old time bluegrass band Sweet Sunny South, writing a good portion of the original music the band has become so well loved for.

Biography

Bill Powers is a songwriter, singer and player of an array of stringed instruments. For the past seven years he has helped lead the much lauded and highly respected old time bluegrass band Sweet Sunny South, writing a good portion of the original music the band has become so well loved for. With SSS he sings lead, harmony and plays mandolin and has created his own innovative approach to old time banjo utilizing a plectrum rather than a 5 string. This along with an equally unique approach to bluegrass inspired music helped to propel the bands reputation as a fire-storming acoustic quartet all across the Western region of the United States. In 2006, SSS gained the recognition of the International Bluegrass Music Association and earned an official showcase slot at its yearly expo in Nashville, TN. The bands success has been a result of the combination of all the members’ exceptional talents and at the heart of the group has been its creative spark plug, songwriting and wise cracking front man, Bill Powers.

Born and raised in Mississippi, Bill draws influences from his southern upbringing and his rural Western Colorado surroundings. His respect and reverence is obvious for songwriters like Robert Hunter, Utah Phillips, Tim O’Brien, Robert Earl Keen, Townes Van Zant, Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, John Prine, and John Hartford, just to name a few. Powers is a DJ at Public Radio Station KVNF in his hometown of Paonia, Colorado with 13 years experience, hosting shows featuring everything from Bluegrass and Country, World Music, Folk, Funk, Lounge and more. All of this music has become a part of his collective conscience and comes out in his songs providing a feel and vibe all his own. He is a prolific writer specializing in simple catchy melodies with singable refrains and has a knack for crafting “story songs” that fans request again and again.

Sweet Sunny South is enjoying a break from playing in ’08 and Bill is taking the time to present some old favorites from the SSS catalog and feature a whole slew of new songs and tunes. He may be found solo on stage with guitar or banjo, sharing the stage with his lovely wife, Shelley Gray on bass and vocals (Bill & Shelley make up one half of Sweet Sunny South) in a duo called “Honey Don’t”, or with a revolving group of musicians known collectively as “The Silvertone Devils”. Any which way you find him, whether its bluegrass, old-time, country, ragtime, blues or folk you can be guaranteed some fine original, award winning music played impeccably with fire and soul. Good time music played for good time, music-loving people. Let Bill Powers entertain you!

“Your writing and singing have a unique quality that goes right to the root of why I like bluegrass and country.” Pete Wernick Sept. ‘08

Lyrics

Me & My Old Still

Written By: Bill Powers

Way back in the woods tucked in a place you’d never know
Where the oak trees and the hickories and the wildwood flowers grow
We’d turn the corn to liquor just that old gray still and me
Never messin with nobody, everybody let us be

Now there’s nuthin that can stop a man from drinkin when he’s dry
No lady, no love, no law, no need to even try
And if I help a soul or two to find comfort therein
Is there anyone can tell me, tell me that I’ve sinned

Chorus
Me and my old still
We’d rock and we’d reel
We’d have ourselves a time or two
Way back in them hills
When we’d fill them jars
Me and my, me and my old still

I had myself a real fine girl her name was Jill McCree
I’d asked her for her hand but her daddy wouldn’t set her free
He said she’d have no other for she had a space to fill
She was the only girl for me but I said good-bye to Jill

Then I got myself a new girl with a kettle and some pipe
She told me I could take her near bout anytime I like
And now I’m just as happy as I once was with Jill
She’s a knockout, she’s my lover, she’s my copper headed still

Chorus

I got word the woods was thick with law men from the state
I never thought that they would find me, boys, but that was my mistake
I took a pick axe to a man, laid him right on down
Sent him to his maker, man, he barely made a sound

But I knew there’d be others coming right up behind
So I said goodbye to darlin and took another pull of shine
Well I never thought I had the mind to kill a man until
They come foolin round looking for me and my old still

Chorus

Well you think they’ll never find you but I tell you man they will
They found me, me and my, me and my old still……

You Can't Get Your Kicks (on Route 66)

Written By: Bill Powers

Man, I can remember way back in the day
We used to love to drive out west
The girls were long and the roads were cool
We took the highway that’s the best

Yeah the cars and the bars
and the sand and the stars
You know I won’t soon forget
Lord knows those days are gone

Well the neon signs and the long white lines
They’re all gone, gone, gone
The greasy spoons and all night saloons
They’re gone – no, no, no, no

Now they got the freeway honey,
but it don’t feel free to me
cuz You can drive all day but
there still aint nothin’ to see

First stop, baby, St. Louis town
the river still rolls but nobody’s around
you know the king of beers done lost his crown,
its gone

Next up Oklahoma City
Aw man, they got the town lit up so pretty
but the red dirt rules and all the motorin’ fools, they’re gone

All the pin-up girls with their shapely curls
They’re all gone, gone, gone
The convertible rides with the power-glides
They’re gone – no, no, no, no

Well now we got the freeway honey
but it don’t feel free to me
You can drive all day but
there still aint nothin’ to see

On into Texas where the cowboys roam
Down to Gallop, New Mexico
on to Arizona, just forget about Winona,
She’s gone

Barstow California, little girl I knew
You could tell her by her little tattoo
She wasn’t pretty but she sure could……..
She’s gone

All the drive-in movies with the double features
They’re gone, gone, gone
The bathing beauties and the swamp creatures
They’re gone – no, no, no, no

Well now we got the freeway honey
but it don’t feel free to me
You can drive all day but
there still aint nothin’ to see

aint nuthin to see, aint nuthin to see
aint nuthin to see—sure aint nithin to see

Well you can’t get your kicks
Out there on Route 66
No, No, No, No, no, no…
Father time he’s at it again
you know he’s up to his old tricks
Lord knows those days are gone

All the hamburger stands and the great big bands
They’re all gone, gone, gone
Nickel beers and the golden years
They’re gone - no, no, no, no, no

Now they got the freeway honey
but it don’t feel free to me
you can drive all day but
there still aint nuthin to see

aint nuthin to see, aint nuthin to see
aint nuthin to see—sure aint nithin to see

Four Eyed Boy

Written By: Bill Powers

Four Eyed Boy

Four eyed boy was low and lonesome
For his own true lovers sake
Four eyed boy he laid his head down
Prayed the lord his soul to take

Chorus:
Hey, little four eyed boy
You can’t see straight you can’t be happy
Oh, little four eyed boy
Just run on home and find your pappy
(twice)

Four eyed boy he went a courting
And he court young Lilly Mae
Lilly Mae she turned the boy down
Wasn’t that an aweful day

Chorus (twice)

Four eyed boy he got a guitar
Played the guitar night and day
Thought if he could play the guitar
Win the love of Lilly Mae

Chorus (twice)

Four eyed boy he called on Lilly
What you think ol Lilly say?
Boy you know you play so sweet
You won the heart of Lilly Mae

Chorus (twice)
last line is:
Bring your darling home to Pappy

Two Dolla Pistols

Written By: Bill Powers

Two Dolla Pistols

Hey hey everybody, look who’s coming to town
They got hi-top shoes low-down blues
And a new old timey sound
They’re layin it down on the corner, out in the street
they got two dolla pistols, they’re straight outta Bristol
and they’re hotter than the devils feet

They got that fire on the gut box
Makin’ Mama Carter proud
So just praise the Lord, pass the snakes
Don’t worry if you get too loud

Break

Now if your dog is salty, here’s what you can do
Just gimme a call its nuthin at all
And I’ll bring it on home to you
And we’ll get down, down and dirty, dirt up to our knees
We got cheap thrills, hundred dollar bills
And all the means to please

And I will be your one and only, only till it’s time to fly
So don’t try to stop, you just come to Papa
We’ll do a little rock and rye

Break

Sleep all day when the sun shines (sleep all day!)
Rock all night when it’s gone (rock all night!)
Stomp down all of the juke joints (pretty mama!)
Everybody’s stompin along
They got that Boogie woogie out in the barnyard (boogie-woogie!)
Shimme-shakin’ out in the shack (jump back!)
Two dolla pistols on the second line
Marchin on down the track

They make your Daddy go down to the court house
Mama go on a spree
Brother make a knocked out fool of himself
Now sister come along with me

Hearts Like a Wheel

Written By: Bill Powers


Baby's callin home to me
she cant hardly wait to see
she cant wait to see me again
Im just thinkin how long its been
She comin back home, Im just thinkin how long its been



Says she wants to hear a song
   something Ive been working on

something she can get up inside
a place that she can hide from the wind
She wants a song, Im just thinkin how long its been



Maybe Ill be lucky maybe Ill lose
maybe shell be layin me low with the blues
but she's got the cards and i know the deal
baby says her hearts like a wheel
shes comin back home
baby says her hearts like a wheel



Man, if I could get up the nerve
I could really throw her a curve
I could tell her where she went wrong
show her how strongly I feel
look at her spin, baby says her hearts like a wheel



Maybe ill be lucky, maybe ill lose
Maybe she'll be layin me low with the blues
but she holds the cards, man, and I know the deal
Baby says her hearts like a wheel



Lord here she comes
babys got a heart like a wheel
look at go
baby s got heart like a wheel

My Mississippi

Written By: Bill Powers

My Mississippi, down where that mighty rollin river
Rambles on to the Gulf of Mexico
Well, that’s my home and I have not seen her for some time
I’ve been out wandering, a lost and lonely fool
And I’ve drunk to luck, and luck has always let me down
That’s why I could not help but move from town to town
But now I’m tired, and now I wanna go back home
So she can rock me in her arms my Mississippi

Chorus:
So take me back home, back to that Sweet Sunny South
Mighty river rollin’ on down to the sea
Louisiana, you are no stranger to me well I love you but
Mississippi you’re my home

Now Colorado, you’ve been so kind to take me in
Your shining mountains lift me up so I can see
But down in the Delta, there’s a little girl waiting there for me
She sings the only song that truly sets me free

Bridge:
Now some people talk about lovin Oklahoma
Florida, Georgia, South Carolina
And I know Alabama’s somebody’s sweet home
Well, I’ve seen em all and there ain’t nothing to it
I like Texas but you can’t drive through it
Get to the other side and still be alone

Chorus:
Oh, lord I got to get back home, back to that Sweet Sunny South
Mighty river rollin’ on down to the sea
Louisiana, you are no stranger to me well I love you but
Mississippi you’re my home

Do en do en do do….

Now I’m tired, now I wanna go back home so she can rock me in her arms my….

60 Years

Written By: Bill Powers

Sixty years and a million more
Honey It’s you I do adore
Whether bright sunshine or rain
I love you, you have my name
You have my heart
You have my soul
And I’ll have you when I grow old
Sixty years and a million more
Honey it’s you, I do adore

There you were, pretty as a peach
And just my luck, with in my reach
I fell hard and I fell fast
How could I know, how long it’d last
We’d walk among the orchard rows
The trees would bloom and our love would grow
There you were, pretty as a peach
And just my luck, within my reach

Sixty years and a million more
Honey It’s you I do adore
Whether bright sunshine or rain
I love you, you have my name
You have my heart
You have my soul
And I’ll have you when I grow old
Sixty years and a million more
Honey it’s you, I do adore

Talk to Me Tennessee

Written By: B. Powers/B. Gallaway

Talk to me now Tennessee, aint no place I’d rather be
Aint nowhere Id rather go, but Tenn I gotta know
If you feel the same way too, bring me back and home to you
With a banjo on my knee, talk to me now Tennessee

You gotta live that southern dream, the land you love and all I brings
And all the secrets you’ve been told, country roads all paved with gold
And if you feel the same way too, bring me back and home to you
The truth is good enough for me, talk to me now Tennessee

The fairest Flowers in the land, a wish come true fell in my hand
Your scarlet Ribbons came undone, that’s when I knew you were the one
Lord you had a songbird in your hair, magnolia blossoms everywhere
This was always meant to be, and now Im with you Tennessee

Remember walkin in the rain, along that quiet country lane
We shared a jug cold cherry wine
The days were long sweet summertime
I hear a fiddle on the wind, and old guitar a mandolin
With a banjo on my knee, Talk to me now Tennessee

With a banjo on my knee……talk to me now Tennessee

There’s Dixie dewdrops on the ground
Im on the porch with my old hound
I hear a fiddle on the wind
an old guitar a mandolin
Driftin in like fireflies and I keep thinking bout your eyes
And all the wonder of this place
Im winding down the Natchez Trace
You know Ive never felt so free, must be the way you’re holdin me
Rockin chairs and good sweet tea
comin home to Tennessee…..

Discography

Sweet Sunny South, Bell Creek Dance Club 2004
"A nostalgic venture back to a simpler time that bubbles with originality and imagination" Bluegrass Unlimited
Wild and Swingin 2005
"Oldtime music delivered with style and Gusto" Bluegrass Unlimited
Live At The Radio Room 2006
Showtime 2007
"Showtime is is new oldtime music at its finest and a total delight from every aspect." Bluegrass Now, "The world needs to hear more from this band" Tim O'Brien feb 07'

I have examples of my solo stuff and other projects and songs available to stream on myspace.com/billpowerssongs

Set List

Not many covers, plenty of songs for many sets. the songs range from bluegrass inspired tunes to countryish stuff, swing, rock and roll--all presented with a great groove--easy to dance to my music or sit and listen and watch--entertaining a crowd comes naturally