By BRENDAN SORRELL, for THE LACONIA DAILY SUN
FRANKLIN — If one caught Guydell Powell and his son Xoren's drill-team drumming performance at the end of Saturday's Franklin Community Day Parade, it would only be a glimpse of the talent. Guydell has been making music from a young age, a hobby that has grown with him. His talent is remarkable and varied. He plays skillful renditions of his own original works in genres including, but certainly not limited to, jazz, funk, rock, country, and even some spiritual works he calls "righteous."
"I classify my music and say, 'It's just Guydell,'" he said. "I think of got a little something of everything because that's the way I think. I'm an artist that believes in music – not just category." Guydell is vibrant and engaging when talking about his own music, finding joy and energy from others' interest in his work.
Entering his house in Tilton, you are greeted by a cozy, relaxed atmosphere and are quickly taken to a nook that he refers to as his studio. Drum kit, keyboards and his sound equipment complete the enclosure.
"This is where I do most of my personal creative work," he said. He quickly passed through four CD cases packed with 474 discs made since the turn of the millennium. "These are my original songs," he said.
Hearing Guydell perform is a real treat, although almost any length of session will not allow for the true breadth of his work to be demonstrated. Still, the range he showed in an hour and a half was impressive.
He transitioned from his drum kit to the keyboards, where he does most of his work. In one five-minute period he went from a song "I Knew When I Seen It", a post-9/11 inspired song about seeing the flag, to an upbeat funky number, to a song called "Ride," which he wrote for friends who are bikers. Worried he was only showing his rock voice, he did a couple of a cappella songs that utilized more of his vocal range.
With the sounds from the studio often reverberating through the house, it's obvious that his family is very supportive of his musical endeavors.
"My wife and son are a very much a part of me being this (creative entity,)" he said. His son Xoren joined him on the drums while he was playing dexterously and freely on the keyboards.
As the person who maintains the park in front of the Franklin Hannaford, Guydell has given eight years and countless hours to his community. These days, however, he's looking to break into another kind of community and be distributed to reach a wider audience. Earlier in his life, he was offered different types of production for his work but found that the professional studios impinged upon his originality. He's currently working on putting together his top tracks to be sent off to record labels.
As our time came to a close, the impassioned Guydell said "last song" about five times. For Guydell Powell, there will never be one.
Music reverberates through Guydell Powell's house in Tilton as he plays one of his countless original songs in his home studio. (Brendan Sorrell/for The Laconia Daily Sun)