Wes Powers - Drums, Percussion, Banjo
Wes Powers was born of a musical mother and has been playing and performing music for a large portion of his life. “My mother was a church organist from middle school age and I grew up with lots of piano being played around the house. From a young age I knew how to work the record player and rhythm was present in everyday life. As a child I wouldput a record on and ride my hobby horse up and down to the beat of the music then back and forth.” Later Powers participated in youth choir for several years but the percussion/ rhythmic-mindset took a front seat to singing. “After years of air guitar and drums, and makeshift drum kits I finally had a proper Ludwig snare drum and was starting 6th Grade Band.” Through middle school and high school Wes participated in All County Band Clinics, Marching and Concert Band Festivals and began playing and studying drum kit with local drum guru Rick Dilling (Unifour Jazz Ensemble, Asheville Jazz Orchestra, Todd Wright Quintet). In high school Powers joined Copperhead, a Classic/ Southern Rock band, and began playing shows professionally. “Copperhead was a great experience for me as a young musician. We played all kinds of gigs and toured throughout the Southeast. There were several occasions where I had to get out of high school early in order to make it to a show a state away.
We practiced, wrote songs, played and made albums together, from 1986-90.” Copperhead eventually landed a record deal with Mercury Polygram but it was also time for Powers to further his education at East Carolina University.
In 1990, Wes’ musical opportunities expanded at University. “It was intense being immersed in a music program, playing, and studying so many types of music: Concert, Marching, Jazz Ensemble and combos, Percussion Ensemble, Orchestra, World Music, and private studies on keyboard percussion, timpani, snare and drumset took a lot of dedication. In addition to school I was working with different bands around the Eastern North Carolina area playing Jazz, Funk, Rock, Latin, Reggae, and Beach Music. In ’91 I marched Drum and Bugel Corp with the Spirit of Atlanta. Touring the US and competing on a high level with other Drum Corp International groups was a tough but enriching experience that I’ll never forget”. Powers earned a Music Business Degree in 1995.
That same year, Wes moved back to his hometown of Morganton, NC and began playing in area bands, working and teaching lessons at the local music store, and working with
high school marching percussion groups. During this time he had the fortunate opportunities to hone his methods as a teacher and player. Some highlights of that season for Powers include
teaching and writing for the Freedom High School Drumline for ten years, working as an adjunct percussion teacher at East Burke High School in 1999, playing Merlefest, playing with Vassar Clements, opening for Patti Paige, recording and touring with Francois Vola (New Age/ Jazz), and Sentimental Journey (Big Band/ Swing), being a part of numerous groups like the Harris Brothers, Triage, Equinox, Laditude, Sarah Evans, Todd Wright, Steve Davidowski, Chris Clifton, the Groove Gypsies and many more, judging the Appalachian State Marching Band Contest, and touring other countries with the Calvary Baptist Church Contemporary Group (Honduras) and the Grandfather Mountain Highlanders Pipe Band (Canada and Scotland).
Next Powers’ career would take him to Music City, Nashville, Tennessee, in 2006. “My career thus far had taken place in and around my hometown, playing and teaching mostly in Western North Carolina. I wanted to branch out”. In Nashville Wes played and toured the US with Nashville Scene 2014 Breakout Artist of the Year, Derryl Perry. He also put a band together with longtime friend and talented singer/ songwriter Neil Carswell. “Carswell was making albums with some notable players. I’m thankful that I got to work alongside him and the cast of talented musicians, engineers and producers he employed at the time. Folks like Chris Anderson (The Outlaws), Barry Goodreau (Boston), Johnny Neel (the Allman Brothers), Danny Toler (the Allmän Brothers), Stu Kimball (Bob Dlyan), and Ben Fowler (Eric Clapton) were involved in those projects. I met a lot of amazing folks and got a chance to record and tour with world class musicians”. In addition, while living in the area, Powers developed a successful teaching practice at Mary’s Music in Clarksville, KY, North of Music City and started a Community Percussion Ensemble at Austin Peay University, also in Clarksville. Nashville was great but in 2008 a former student of Powers, Phill Eason, called on him to replace him in his unique band, Sol Driven Train, from Charleston, South Carolina.
Powers made the move to Charleston to play with Sol Driven Train in early 2009. “This band is special for me because it kind of allows me to bring all my skills to the table. There’s elements of Rock, Americana, Funk, Latin, Reggae, World Beat, and Blues all wrapped up in this weird, eclectic package. I say that in the most loving way possible! With Sol Driven Train, I toured extensively throughout the US from 2008-2015 (around 150 dates per year). We’ve made some incredible records and had the times of our lives all the while. We still tour, but on a much more leisurely schedule these days. In January 2019 we will tour the US and British Virgin Islands for the tenth time”. Wes has taught adjunct percussion at James Island Charter High School since 2008 and in 2015-17 served as their Auditorium Manager. In Charleston, Wes has also had the opportunity to play and/ or record with local artists like Jeff Kozelski, The Lowhills, Sunflowers and Sin, Gaslight Street, Sideshow Americans, Dangermuffin, Shelly Waters, Joe Clarke, Johnny Mac, the Reckoning (Grateful Dead tribute), Idlewild Revival (Allman Brothers tribute), the Emerald Empire Orchestra, Seacoast Church and others. He continues to teach privately and is proud to be on staff at Lowcountry Music lessons.
“My teaching and playing mindset are one in the same: Honest, consistent hard work is what gets the job done. Attention to detail as well as the overall picture are equals. Patience and persistence are paramount. Respect your craft and those you work with”. Through many years of playing and teaching Powers has the insight and skills to tackle a wide variety of playing situations and guide students towards reaching their potential. “My simple philosophy is to serve the song and situation and serve the student’s needs”.
Individual Lesson Rates
INTRO LESSON - $10 for 20 min
$30 for 30 min
$60 for 1 Hour
Monthly Lesson Rates
4- 30 min Lessons = $110 ($10 OFF)
4- 1 Hour Lessons = $200 ($40 OFF)