Shannon Powell: Playing in the Spotlight

Feb 28, 2013

Shannon Powell.
Credit infrogmation / Flickr


When does a side dish become the main attraction?? When it's as hot and zesty as Shannon Powell on the bandstand. 

Powell, who began drumming professionally as a tween, was born to play in the spotlight. Danny Barker was his teacher, as was Tommy Ridgley, Johnny Adams, Ellis Marsalis and even Ernie K-Doe — who reminded Powell to hit the bell on the drum kit once in a while. 

This week, Powell is back for a second helping of fun. He tells Gwen Thompkins about his years as a sideman, playing with both Harry Connicks and a whole lot of Marsalises. Before returning to New Orleans and leading his own trio, Powell spent years on the road. He's got one naughty story after another about what musicians do in their hotel rooms. But most of Powell's confessions involve lamb, green beans, hot sauce and a smothered chicken. Shhhh. Don't tell room service. 

For a complete playlist of the music in this week's show, visit our Facebook page. And while you're there, why not "Like" us?  Here's just a selection of the music on this week's program — scroll inside the Spotify player to see more.

In January of 2012, Shannon Powell was in Stavanger, Norway for the Trad Jazz Weekend. Here's a recording made during his workshop.