Corner Cafe Show: January 27, 2018
Falling somewhere between a random accident, an organic progression and a romantic destiny, the Denver-based duo comprised of Dave & Tara Powers definitely stumbled upon a gem of an idea when they merged as musical partners in MountainCity. Perhaps more than any other act in recent memory, the pair is revolutionizing the love song genre, building a tight-knit community based on purposeful intent in the process, but without even the slightest shred of industry agenda.
“We try to create musical environments that are memorable and meaningful,” suggests Dave of these expert storytellers who derive their name from a mutual affinity for both nature and nightlife. “As much as we love telling stories, we’re also just as much the question askers because getting to know other people’s stories is an equally important part of wherever this journey may take us all.”
And since December of 2015 (at least in official capacity), that’s exactly what MountainCity’s been up to in spades, whether it be through a series of single releases every month or two spanning folk-pop, country, blue-eyed soul, electronic remixes and instrumentals, performing at various venues and even people’s homes. However, none of that would’ve even been considered let alone come to fruition had it not been for a fateful night a few years before when these parents of two children received unexpected marquee billing at an advocacy event.
“Originally we were just going to provide some very low key background music at a fundraiser,” notes singer/guitar player, Dave, who’s shared a musical bond with his walking jukebox of a wife and fellow vocalist/songwriter, Tara, since they struck up a relationship in their early twenties. “We had a few our of favorite love song covers ready, but when we arrived, there we were printed right on the program ‘Special Concert: Dave and Tara Powers!’”
Although Tara was totally cool as ice, Dave admits to having a bit more trepidation, and while the underprepared performance was far from flawless, it was an absolute blast. That unexpected night also began the thought process for the pair to legitimately string together a show of covers and attempts at striking some of their own songwriting oil, which after a season of germination, led the pair to rent out a local venue and spread the word amongst friends and family, spawning an instant sell out and sparking an idea to eventually go in the studio thanks to support from friends and family on Kickstarter.
“It was almost as hilarious as it was mind-blowing because we didn’t ever have a dream of starting a band together, so this is really just an extension of us- playful, authentic and deeply in love- on stage,” continues Dave, who along with Tara, constantly radiate huge smiles, laughter and an all-around easy going, disarming demeanor. “We’re married to each other, but we also actually really like each other and we have a blast doing this together…”
“When the creativity of music is mixed with the power of love, something like magic happens.” echoes Tara. “MountainCity started after a few really difficult years for us. Playing music together has always been a part of our lives, but when we started writing and singing love songs together, there was so much life and joy in it for us. Our music is us being genuinely, authentically who we are and offering our creativity to the world through the simple gift of a song and the powerful gift of love.”
Drawing inspiration from affectionately-linked couples like JohnnySwim, Johnny and June Carter Cash and Joey & Rory or the individual likes of Carole King, Al Green, Norah Jones, John Mayer, Ingrid Michaelson, Jason Mraz and so many more greats dating back to the standards era has led to diverse yet consistently timeless results. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the soulful, pure and powerfully voiced Dave has played guitar since he was 8, began performing publicly by 16 and really became a melodic six-string slayer by his early twenties, while Tara (known for a singing cocktail that swirls around the sweet, smooth, breathy and sultry) practically breathed love-themed music spanning from the 1940’s through the ‘90s throughout her childhood.
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