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Club Bangas
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Two Dollar Shoes
The Cratez
Sore Eyes l Childish Gambino x Drake l No Samples
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» go to the music page for more
play hi-fi  Mexicali Gringo
play hi-fi  Falling For You
play hi-fi  Time Time (Keeps On Movin' On)
play hi-fi  A Simple Song
play hi-fi  The God Pill
play hi-fi  I Realize (I Live In A Dream)
play hi-fi  Christ Is *alternate mix*
play hi-fi  Unfinished Business
play hi-fi  When I'm Gone
play hi-fi  Silly Women
The original Two Dollar Shoes were created in 1976 in Galesburg, IL, birthplace of famed poet Carl Sandburg, and home of other notable Illinois bands, including Freedom Field, The Bushes, The Buster Browns, Good Friends, Tank, Fresh Aire, and Deszeray. The band featured Chuck Hines: Lead Guitar, James Powelson: Drums/Percussion/Vocals, David Powelson: Bass/Guitar/Vocals, Jeff McCarthy: Rhythm Guitar/Vocals, Gary Butz: Vocals/Percussion, and Donnie Gladfelter: Vocals/Percussion.
Within a year after the band's launch the group became established as a high-energy act and graduated from small clubs to prominent clubs and concert venues. The band developed a loyal fan-base and it's independent releases generated airplay on commercial and college stations.
All songs written by James and David Powelson (c)(p)powelson.
Why this name?
The name was coined after many days of fasting and deep meditation. Just kidding, it came out of the blue.
Do you play live?
Two Dollar Shoes performed incessantly during the 1970's and into the 80's and 90's and developed a loyal following of fans. It is now primarily a studio-centered group.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
The internet has revolutionized the world and the availability of mp3 and digital music recordings has revolutionized the music industry. It has allowed bands to reach fans and music lovers in ways that were never foreseen in the early days of rock 'n roll. It has placed access to music in the hands of the artists and fans in amazing ways. Although mp3 is inferior in sound quality to analog and other forms of digital reproduction, it is a viable music format.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Of course. Major record labels still play a viable part in making music available to music fans.
Band History:
TWO DOLLAR SHOES: From Humble Roots - Polished Music Machine.

From humble roots... Before Two Dollar Shoes took the stage for their debut performance at the J & J Tap in Williamsfield, IL on December 17, 1976, the band had already logged multi-hundreds of rehearsal hours in preparation for that show - a lot of work by any standards, for what was possibly going to be the bands only performance. "We had no idea what was going to happen or if we would even keep playing after that" remembers James Powelson, drummer. "Even though this was just a small club we didn't want to go out there like just some schlock outfit and try to pretend like we were a band. We wanted to be professional and let people know we were dead serious, because we were. After all the practice I had not, and the other guys hadn't either, really considered an audience reaction to us, and then all of a sudden there were cheers and for the first time it hit us: wow, we really do have something going on here! We all looked at each other with high-fives and right then we knew it was going to be good and people really were into what we were doing." It is agreed by everyone in the band that the solid foundation of dedication to serious practice and rehearsal before venturing into the public eye gave Two Dollar Shoes a competitive edge over the many bands struggling to stake their claim in 1970's Midwestern music scene. It was in the heartland of the nation where many of rock's most treasured acts were born. In the early days the band capitalized on the popular southern/country-rock genre as well as "standard" rock but quickly expanded it's repertoire to encompass many formats including pop, guitar oriented jazz-rock, progressive, hard rock, and psychedelic rock.

Essentially what followed was literally an explosion of music, fans, flash-pots, and dry ice fog - the stuff of 1970's rock 'n roll legend. A steady stream of bookings followed and the band immediately acquired a manager and agent. Original singer Gary Butz recalls, "You know how it is in a band. Its all about attitude and Two Dollar Shoes definitely had attitude. Wherever we went everyone knew we were the kings of the party!"

Manager Randy Roberts was impressed by the groups' live stage-presence and impending success and bought a bar in celebration naming it "The Two Dollar Shoes Saloon" in honor of the act. The band performed there on numerous occasions when home from the road. It became known for the "Jamboree Feast" festival hog roast, cuisine, and kegger. The band was famous for it's generosity and gratitude to loyal hometown fans throwing parties such as the annual "Champagne Celebration" (wherein a bottle of champagne was given away by ticket drawing every 10 minutes throughout the show), and other club dates where the band provided free kegs of beer. In 1979 Two Dollar Shoes sponsored and funded a benefit concert the band organized which generated $10,000 in donations for a local child with a terminal illness. This was one of many benefit shows the group organized for various causes.

As most bands, Two Dollar Shoes began in small clubs, parties, and other dates, but within a year the group became established as a high-energy act and graduated to larger clubs and concert venues. Remembers bassist Dave Powelson fondly, "The first time we ever played I think we made 135 bucks. Back then you had to join the union to be allowed to play certain clubs and concert venues and the union guaranteed us a whopping $125 per night! Later on we could get $2500 and more per show but no matter what, thanks to the union, if something went wrong they promised to make sure we got our $125 because it was guaranteed by the union contract! The union thing was kind of a joke but actually we did feel pretty cool getting our cards because we knew that meant we weren't amateurs, we were "Professional Musicians, baby!""

During the 70's and into the 1980's Two Dollar Shoes performed incessantly and developed a loyal following of die-hard fans throughout the Midwestern U.S.. In it's heyday the bands booking agent became the legendary Blytham Agency which represented major Illinois born artists such as Dan Fogelberg and REO Speedwagon in the early days of their careers. The band released recordings on the independent RPI Records label including two singles: The straight-up rock 'n roller "Silly Women" and the lighter guitar jazz-rock "Tomorrows End." The two cuts highlighted the groups diversity and garnered airplay but failed to become chart-toppers. The first major commercial rock station to air the bands music was WWCT in Peoria, Illinois, followed by the university station, KSHU in Hunstville, Texas - evidence of the bands broad and diverse appeal. In the early 80's the band went on hiatus due to road-fatigue from nearly five years of nonstop performing. After a few years off the Powelson brothers, the core bass/drums rhythm section of the band, resumed writing and recording original material. At this point the band became mainly a studio-centered endeavor. During the hiatus members of the group split-off and joined other bands. Hines and McCarthy were recruited as guitarists by Deszeray, another prominent band from the groups hometown of Galesburg, Il.


In 1990 the Powelson Brothers were rejoined by Jeff "Birdy" McCarthy on guitar and vocals for a recording project as a band called Jimi Powels Youth In Asia. Some initial tracks were recorded at Barn Burner Studios and the project was completed at other studios around the country including Avalanche, The Associated Recording Group, CIA studios in Denver, and SoundCheck Studios in Florida. The conceptional band name reflects a fictional character/singer Jimi Powel (ala Jethro Tull, etc.), who through the profundity-of-being, becomes euthanised by his own life experience. When pending deals pushed by producers associated with Capitol and Columbia Records bogged down in the abyss of corporate machinery, the band grew restless and the project became and independent release in 1992. Two cuts, upbeat rockers "Time Time (Keeps On Movin' On)," and "Falling For You" generated airplay on both commercial and college radio stations. This led to a loyal "underground" following, especially in Colorado; the group being based in Boulder. The band name Jimi Powels Youth In Asia was officially retired when regrettably (the non-trademarked name) "Youth In Asia" began to show up in various forms and other uses in the 1990's. The name has been adopted by other unrelated bands in the US and Canada.

In the 2000's the Two Dollar Shoes and Jimi Powels Youth In Asia do not perform live but the music lives on and the Powelson Brothers continue to write and record their brand of original music, some of which is featured on Soundclick. All songs on this website (except Silly Women and Tomorrow End written by TDS) were written by James and David Powelson. All songs (c)(p)powelson
Your influences?
To name a few... The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Humble Pie, Lynard Skynard, Rick Derringer, Edgar Winter, Johnny Winter, Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, The Doobie Bros., The Allman Bros., The Rolling Stones, Jo Jo Gunne, Motown, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Dave Clark Five....
Favorite spot?
Heaven! Or in the earthly realm the Island of Moorea, 15 miles off the western coast of Tahiti.
Equipment used:
Standard gear and instruments: Marshall, Ludwig, Fender. Gibson, Yamaha, ........
Anything else...?
Engineering Credits: The Powelson Brothers are professional recording/mix engineers and produce music in multiple genres. Some of the major-label artists they have worked with, individually or collectively as engineers include: The Dixie Chicks, George Clinton and P-Funk, Rick Derringer, Cowboy Junkies, Brian Howe (Bad Company), Pat Travers, Cliff Williams (AC DC), Elliott Randall (The Doobie Bros., Steely Dan, Sha Na Na), John Mooney, Images, Firefall, Molly Hatchet, Ronnie Dove, Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul, & Mary), the late great Todd Buffa, Billy Thomas (Vince Gill), Producer/Artist Jim Mason (Firefall, Poco, Guess Who), Paula Abdul, The Night Crawlers (members of Sugar Loaf), Character Voice-Overs for the 1990's MTV series Celebrity Death Match, Young Black Teenagers, Tuff, and others.
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