"Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery" may not fit on a marquis, but the name suits the band just fine. Joshua and his folk band borrowed their brand from a 1903 silent Western and have crafted their sound in that sure-footed Americana tradition ever since. The crux of their music is in the storytelling - stories that embrace the fact that we are all human together. The band has two new releases: The Commonwealth EP, available for free on Noise Trade, and a new LP, Man Is Born For Trouble, available from digital outlets.
The band may have originated in the heartland, but there is something distinctly Southern about their songs. There is dusty peacefulness in the lulling folk that evokes comparisons to Iron and Wine and Fleet Foxes, and an unmistakable grit that erupts like a bar fight when the band delves into their rockier side. Joshua and the band spent two years in Indiana perfecting this duality in the Midwest before striking out for almost a year's worth of tour in 43 states.
Their self-produced debut EP, We All Say Hello, enjoyed immense exposure and success on Noise Trade in 2011, sharing the chart with acts like The Civil Wars and Young the Giant. They subsequently released their first full length, Traveler, which Stereo Subversion heralded as having "diverse harmonies" and "immense depth," and followed up in 2013 with their newest record, Man Is Born For Trouble, which No Depression called "lushly composed chamber-folk with its creator's heartstrings unwound while portraying vivid snapshots of rustic romanticismwith no throwaway moments."