Mike Powell now scoring with music career
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Mike Powell Now Scoring With Music Career

Editor’s note: The following excerpt is from a story about 2x Tewaaraton award recipient turned singer-songwriter Mike Powell by Chris Brock of the Watertown Daily Times. A link at the bottom of this page will take you to the full article.

As a youngster and young adult, Michael Powell wielded a lacrosse stick to carry himself to fame, eventually becoming one of the most decorated college lacrosse players in history and playing professionally.

He now carries a guitar to find that fame. He’s had some poke checks along the way, but he is back on track to put his love of music on offense.

Mr. Powell, 34, who will perform Friday, Dec. 2, at the Kallett Theater in Pulaski with his Black River Band, is one of the best-known singer-songwriters in Central New York. He has also toured the country. “He’s like a polite rebel,” the Boston Globe wrote, “… a truly unique and inspiring American voice.”

Mr. Powell first became aware of the power and joy of music as a child growing up in West Carthage. He has four siblings, including two older brothers, Casey and Ryan, who also excelled at lacrosse and played professionally. But it was young Michael who took a special interest in music, when his father, Lawrence Powell, and uncle, Charles Eldridge, got out their guitars at times and played old-time country songs.

In a Monday phone interview from his Cazenovia home, Mr. Powell said he didn’t come from a family of musicians.

“It was a family of partiers,” he said. “We would sit around the kitchen table and they knew three chords. I was always amazed when they pulled out the guitars and how much it changed the party, the room and everyone’s attitude. I was moved by the fact that just by playing three chords, you could play so many songs.”

In the back of his mind, Mr. Powell told himself: “If I could just learn these chords, I could write stories through them.”

Lawrence Powell, who is retired from Champion International in Deferiet and also lives in Cazenovia with his wife, Susan, said he learned guitar by taking an adult class at Carthage High School.

“I learned three chords and it went from there,” he said.

His favorite songs were by Hank Williams and Willie Nelson. He took notice of his son’s musical talent and isn’t surprised by his success.

“No matter what Mike wanted to do, he always excelled in it,” he said. “If he picked up a set of golf clubs — my gracious, he could have been another Arnold Palmer. He’s blessed with a lot of talent.”

Continue reading this story about Mike Powell at WatertownDailyTimes.com

The amount of time that I had to put into lacrosse helped me to transition into music and made me understand that if I really wanted to move forward with it, it would take everything that I had and my full laser focus to become good.

– Mike Powell