[COUNTRY ROCK] Local twang-rock outfit Power of County has been kicking shit, so to speak, around Portland for a few years now. But thanks to a serendipitous tour with prodigal grandson Hank Williams III and alt-country writer Jim Goad, Power of County recently got the chance to showcase its matching, moniker-bearing black leather vests to a whole new crowd. Guitarist-vocalist David Rives Curtright shares his experience of “doing a real tour.”
WW: How'd this tour come about?
David Rives Curtright: I was good friends with Jim Goad. He's a pretty notorious writer—[The
] Redneck Manifesto
, Shit Magnet
, ANSWER Me!
He sings country songs, but he's not really a country musician. It's kinda like the Detroit Cobras: They don't write anything, they just do old songs in the rock-'n'-roll vein. Jim Goad's doing the same, except with trucker songs and obscure country. He heard from Hank III and called us up and was like, “Hey, man, I've got this gig. I'm not a musician. I don't know any musicians, and I need a band.”
Was touring with Hank as fun as one might imagine?
Hank would come up to us and say, “You guys are doing a really good job,” because he realized we weren't on a fucking stagecoach like he was, a big tour bus. We were in an air-conditioned Dodge 2500 van following these guys around and had to make the same regimen. They would leave every night after the show, while we'd crash out wherever we played and have to wake up and go to the next town…which is kinda brutal.
I felt like I went to school. I learned what it's like to play for a lot of people—1,000, 1,500, sold-out every night. Such a great dynamic. We saw emo kids, we saw rednecks, we saw lesbians. They were so out of fucking control, even when we went onstage, the warm-up band, you can imagine how it was for Hank. But he was such a cool guy...real down to earth. He was always like, “I'm gonna be doing this shit for years—I hope you guys are, too. I want you to be with me.”
What's in store for Power of County now?
Doing a new EP, first of all—the kind of songs we don't usually play in our sets, acoustic instruments with electric rhythm section. We all broke through to a new level on tour. It's gonna be a cool, new kind of experience.
Power of County plays Thursday, Aug. 30, with Dry County Crooks, the Koozies and Spigot at Dante's. 9:30 pm. $5. 21+.