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Tue, Sept. 17

Go ahead and close your eyes for J Powers Band

The J Powers band poses for a photo with none other than Billy Joel sitting in on keys. <br>
Courtesy photo

The J Powers band poses for a photo with none other than Billy Joel sitting in on keys. <br> Courtesy photo

The J Powers Band's recent performance at the Bird Cage Saloon was memorable as guitarist Thomas Oliver rocked out on "Black Magic Woman." Joanne Powers, leader of the band, said the performance by Oliver was "so phenomenal that if you closed your eyes you would have thought that Santana was in the house."

The J Powers Band performs rhythm and blues, blues, soul, Motown, reggae, pop and classic rock. This eclectic band includes three-part harmony and four of the five members of the band sing lead. The J Powers Band usually has five members, but on this night moved up to six. One of the band members, keyboardist Tom Powers, is on a leave of absence so two new members joined the band for the Prescott performance.

Oliver, who has played with Hot Foot, was an added guitar. Dave Russell, who has played with Cold Shott and the Hurricane Horns, added his sax to the mix. "The added horns gave us a different sound. We were able to play songs by Stevie Wonder and James Brown," Powers said. "It made us more authentic and funky."

The Phoenix-based J Powers Band performs at the Bird Cage every six to eight weeks, with their next show set for June 20-21.

"I love playing at the Bird Cage because of its great history. It's intriguing," she said. "When you say you played at the Bird Cage, it gets people's attention because it's a historical destination. With the renovations, the stage is better, the sound and the lighting is great. The old wooden bar is unique. I'm proud to be part of the lineup."

The J Powers Band has been together for 13 years and all of the members have been with the band at least eight years. "My secret to keeping the band together is keeping them busy and making sure we sound tight," she said. The other mainstays are:

• Rick Henry, on guitar, is known for his tasteful solos and mellow blues. He also loves coming from Chicago because of that city's history for blues.

• Michael Black, on bass, also hails from Chicago. He's known as the showman in the group because of his high energy.

• Mike Mattingly, on drums, is known for his "Perfect Timing" business name.

• Joann Powers, from Michigan, was the lead soloist for several bands including Take Five, Kamage and Starlight before moving to Arizona in 1985.

• Tom Powers was the keyboardist for many years. He is known as an outstanding musician and songwriter, but coming off a stroke the band is searching for another keyboardist.

For more information, Google "J Powers Band," or look them up on Facebook. 

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