By Johnny Cole
Photos by Stephen Anderson
Recently while discussing Summerlyn Power’s song “Healing Like I Am” with a multiple Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, he expressed how much he enjoyed her unique approach to an atypical song about a breakup. Interestingly, the song recognizes the hurt, heartbreak, and healing on both sides of the equation. As Powers light-heartedly describes it “the nicest breakup song ever written.” For the most part, she very well may be right.
Summerlyn Powers’ latest EP The Hive has five brilliantly placed songs that flow pleasantly with each listen. When describing the EP, she says “The heart behind this project is hospitality. I want listeners to be able to see themselves and see their own stories in this record, and to feel known in that way.”
Additionally to “Healing Like I Am,” her new EP delves into an array of ideas and emotions. When listening to the Powers’ songs, there is often a deeper underlying message being told – a true sign of a gifted songwriter. She has a willingness to take on such subjects as loss and healing and she never shies away from her strong spiritual conviction. Having followed Summerlyn for many years, I am impressed with her growth as a musician, very much demonstated in her song “Let’s Roll.” She delivers equally on her ability to grab the subconscious mind with songs that stick with us in a good way such as the title track and the catchy “Always on My Mind.” Summerlyn’s moving “Nana & Papas House,” a song inspired by her grandmother, who struggles with dementia. The way she reminisces about her grandparents is moving and heartfelt. Summerlyn says, “It’s the most honest song I’ve ever released.” Along with “Healing Like I Am,” this song further cements her ability to write an amazing song.
The EP proves that Powers has learned from her musical influences, something that she and I have discussed many times. Her willingness to humbly learn from others is an endearing quality she has and one demonstated throughout the EP.
Presently, Powers is performing in support of her new EP. Recently, she performed at the Mississippi Songwriters Festival, including an appearance at The Julep Room in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, a place once frequented by Elvis. She also performed alongside Cary Laine and Katie Jones for the exciting showcase, Secrets of the South Songwriters Series at The Parlour on Lorraine in Gulfport, Mississippi. A couple of nights later she participated in a special event held at the popular Ground Zero Blues Club in nearby Biloxi. Most recently, she with a full band celebrated her official EP release of The Hive at The Basement in Nashville.
The Southland Music Line was first introduced to Summerlyn Powers at The Mississippi Songwriters Festival when she was in her early teens. She is now a graduate of Belmont University and continuing her musical journey, receiving high praise from both music fans and critics from across the country.
In the past three and half years, I have gotten to know Summerlyn and come to appreciate her amazing creative drive and determination. There is something unique and original about this young lady and I am not alone in thinking so. She is far more mature than her years, yet stays true her age. A few years ago, she invited me to her show at The Peoples Room of Mobile, where I was pleasantly surprised with her growth as a singer-songwriter and live performer. Summerlyn’s gift for communicating with an audience is one of her most endearing qualities. In 2021, she was the subject of one of The Southland Music Line’s most popular articles of that year, Summerlyn Powers – Heartfelt Songs & Creative Expressions. We have featured her in a couple of photo shoots since 2021 and she has been photographed on several occasions by The Line’s chief photographer Stephen “Andy” Anderson.
Powers’ upcoming schedule has her performing at Honeybee Meadery in Nashville (Oct. 13), a house concert in Tucson, AZ (Oct. 18), The Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival in Dripping Springs, TX (Oct. 21 & 22), The Book Cellar at Page & Palette in Fairhope, AL (Nov. 2), Fairhope High School in Fairhope, AL (Nov. 3) and a much-anticipated show with a full band at Callaghan’s Irish Social Club in Mobile, AL. (Oct. 5). She is also returning to the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival (Nov. 9).
To quote Americana Highways‘ John Apice: “Summerlyn Powers has that musical attraction on many of her songs that I got the first time I heard ‘Red High Heels,’ by Kellie Pickler… country with a touch of Dolly Parton energy and enthusiasm… This young lady kicks some serious ass as a singer… I like her melodies; I enjoy her lyrics and she has lots of moxie, baby.”
Summerlyn continues to amaze us with her strong sense of self-confidence, but also her kind and generous demeanor. What she does seems natural and effortless – just goes with the flow. I have been professionally following music for decades and Summerlyn Powers is someone I believe has that incredible “it factor” not only as a songwriter, but also as a performer. She has limitless potential and I believe has a bright future. The release of The Hive is her latest accomplishment on what is certain to be a wonderful journey.
The Hive (Kind Blue Eyes Records, released on Oct. 6)
*All songs written by Summerlyn Powers, except where noted:
1. “The Hive”
2. “Always on My Mind” (Powers, Avila Mauk, and Sara Bares)
3. “Healing Like I Am”
4. “Nana & Papa’s House”
5. “Let’s Roll” (Powers and Daryl Wayne Dasher)
● Mixing & Production: Reid Sorel
● Mastering: Joe Hutchinson (Garage Masters Audio Mastering)
● Studio: Jordan Lehning’s The Duck
● Summerlyn Powers (Lead Vox, BGVs, Acoustic Guitar)
● Jackson Anderson (Electric Guitar, 12 String)
● Cole Ritter (Fiddle, Mandolin, Piano, Resonator Guitar)
● Adam Story (Keys)
● Tom Davis (Upright & Electric Bass)
● Cole Pomeroy (Drums)
“Honey from The Hive”
Page Designed & Edited by Johnny Cole
Additional Editing by Deborah Chatham
© The Southland Music Line. 2023. All rights reserved
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: We welcome requests for permission to use content from The Southland Music Line website and Facebook page. Any shared articles or photos may not be altered, edited nor cropped and must include the appropriate copyright of The Southland Music Line.