Life On The Road / 13 December 2017

Dave Powers of MountainCity Talks Love and Personal Identity

Folk, pop, country, and with sprinkles of blue-eyed soul – the resulting mish-mash is an evergreen love story shared through music. MountainCity is a husband and wife duo based in Denver, Colorado. They have refashioned the love song genre, gathering over 8,000 viewers on their weekly streaming sessions.

They’ve also just released a Christmas EP, Love’s Gonna Find You. And with live concerts, house concerts, and festivals lined up, we grabbed Dave for a chat on the year that’s passed, and to hear his half of this amazing love story.

What was the moment that made you want to be a musician?

Man, I was hitting pots and pans in the kitchen as a toddler, and then found out about the guitar and fell in love! Got my first one on my 8th birthday! My mom is a great pianist and my brother is a killer drummer, so music runs in the family.

Who were/are your musical heroes?

People like Tommy Emmanuel, Keith Urban, Lincoln Brewster, Eric Clapton, Brad Paisley, Martin Smith, John Mayer, Darrell Evans, David Wilcox, Dave Beegle, and Trace Bundy are super inspirational to me!

What do you never leave home without when you’re on tour?

Oh man… that’s a list! I always have:

  • My wife, Tara (she is both the eye candy and the real talent in our band!)
  • My MONO wallet
  • At least 1 of my MONO guitar cases (I have a few… it’s getting a bit crowded in my office)
  • MONO pedalboard case
  • My MONO Flyby Backpack
  • My Temple Audio pedalboard, with my LR Baggs and Strymon pedals.
  • My Bluechip guitar picks
  • Our 64 Audio IEM’s
  • Our throat humidifier
  • And because I’m like a 90 year old stuck in a 36 year old body, I have my vitamins and this ridiculous toothbrush/mouthwash kit that Tara makes fun of me for having!

What’s your pre-gig ritual?

We do vocal warm ups and sometimes steam/humidify our vocal chords, and then:

  • Go through the set list and show in our heads.
  • We try to sit in the seats of the people that might be in the room that night… by this, I mean we imagine what they could be going through (the good, the bad, the heartaches, the wins, the losses, etc). We imagine our lives, music, and stories meeting them right where they are and hopefully inviting them in the direction of a real encounter with peace and love.
  • We are deeply spiritual people, so prayer and meditation play a significant role of our pre-show routine.
  • Usually I will go through some of my identity statements… things that remind me who I am.

What accessory can’t you function without when playing live?

A Bluechip guitar pick, a Shubb capo, and a Franklin Strap!

What MONO gear do you use at home, in the studio or on tour?

I feel like a walking billboard for MONO and I LOVE IT! I use:

What’s your proudest achievement?

Not sure if this is an achievement, but marrying Tara, and fathering my 2 sons, Hunter and Kai. There is literally nothing cooler than that for me.

What would be your fantasy band line-up?

Haha! Great question! I think Brad Paisley’s entire band is outrageous… like every player! But I’m about 100% sure that, if I were to step in and play guitar in that band, they would all quit because I suck compared to Brad! Haha!

What’s your favourite album of all time?

I don’t know if it’s even possible to narrow it down to one album… Top 5-7? And in no particular order…

  • Purpose By Design: Fred Hammond
  • All the Way: Celine Dion
  • Time Well Wasted: Brad Paisley
  • Cutting Edge: Delirious?
  • Jesus Freaks: DC Talk
  • Golden Road: Keith Urban
  • Come Away With Me: Norah Jones

Who was the last band/artist you saw live?

I think I saw Tommy Emmanuel last… what a fricken’ mind-blower! He has amazing showmanship and class!

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