Interview: Dave and Tara Powers discuss their musical project, MountainCity
Photo courtesy Nashville Publicity and used with permission

With diverse musical influences and a sound best described as a mixture of folk, pop, country and blue-eyed soul, MountainCity (the husband and wife duo of Dave and Tara Powers) mixes creativity, inspiration and the power of love into one magical combination.

Drawing from contemporaries like Johnny Swim, Johnny and June and Joey & Rory, MountainCity is revolutionizing the love song genre. Their songs cover—and celebrate—it all. Everything from love and loss to fulfilled and failed dreams. All with the intent of giving language to people’s experiences and the encouragement to go love some more.

The duo has been releasing singles and hosting weekly streaming sessions on Facebook Live Wednesdays at 7:30pm MST where they sing songs, tell stories and interact with their virtual audience, which is more than 8,000 strong. MountainCity also plans to release a Christmas EP later this year.

AXS recently spoke with Dave and Tara Powers about their music and more in this exclusive new interview.

AXS: How did the two of you meet?

Dave Powers: I was playing music one night at an outdoor venue and during the third song in my set, Tara came awaking down the aisle. I was totally distracted and could barely focus [laughs]. We quickly developed a super cool friendship and dated for three months. I asked her to marry me and three months later we were married.

AXS: What inspired MountainCity?

DP: About four years ago we had the privilege of adopting our youngest son. A few months later, the adoption advocacy group called and asked if we’d be interested playing some dinner music for a fundraiser they were having, but when we got there the program said “Special Concert by David and Tara Powers”. I remember being nervous because we weren’t prepared for as “concert” but Tara was cool as ice and we went in. The experience was amazing and afterwards our friends suggested that we should consider doing it more.

Tara Powers: Up to that point, we had always been “David and Tara”, but I remember how excited I was for us to be singing love songs together. It was so much fun and there was so much life in it. That’s when we decided to start writing songs and announced that we would be a band.

AXS: What’s your songwriting process like?

TP: It’s different every time. For me, I’m a very lyrical and melody-driven writer. I usually write most of the songs in my head while I’m driving and using my voice memo. I’ll have a hook in my head and will start playing around with the melody. Then I’ll bring it to Dave and he’ll make the magic with guitar.

DP: I’m a story guy from a songwriting standpoint. If I have lyrics in front of me I can create melodies and harmonies around it. I think that’s what makes us a great combination.

AXS: You have thousands of fans tuning in to your Facebook Live shows each week. What can you tell me about it?

DP: Facebook Live is a cool platform. It’s given us an opportunity to tell stories, interact with fans and shine a light on some cool artists in the area. Tara and I both believe in building a platform where you share stories worth telling.

TP: It was the right thing at the right time. It’s also a great way for us to hang out with fans from the comfort of their own homes. It ended up getting a lot of traction.

AXS: What are your current tour plans like?

DP: Right now, we’re booking dates for a tour next spring and for summer festivals. We do a variety of different kinds of show. In fact, our jam is doing house concerts. They’re great because you can really connect with people in unique and profound ways. 

AXS: What can you tell me about your upcoming Christmas album?

TP: We love Christmas music and are doing a seven-song EP with some of our favorite songs as well as a few originals. We’re also going to be doing a mini tour in December. We’re really excited about it.

AXS: What excites you the most about this next phase of your careers?

DP: Honestly, my favorite part of this whole thing is watching Tara bloom and flourish. She’s finding her voice and it’s awesome watching her stretch her legs with songwriting and seeing how comfortable she is on stage. There are a lot of cool things coming up but it’s so much fun just watching her do her thing.

TP: We’ve discovered that bringing creativity and love songs together can be so powerful. When people leave our show, they feel rested and restored. For me personally, getting the chance to do music with the person I love is also pretty amazing. I love the fact that we’re doing it together.