A N D Y P O W E L L
Born in Stepney, East London on February 19th 1950, Andy Powell was first inspired by the guitar based music of the Shadows and took up the guitar at the age of eleven. His first band was a Shadows-based group, before his direction turned towards soul in semi-professional groups such as the Sunsets, the Decoys and the Sugarband. The Sugarband would open for established acts of the day such as the Small Faces and the Who. When the band broke up, Andy turned to blues, joining band such as the Ashley Ward Delegation. In the Summer of 1969, Andy was invited by Martin Turner and Steve Upton to join their new band alongside Ted Turner.
The twin lead guitar sound would eventually become a Wishbone Ash hallmark and Andy's playing was twinned first with Ted Turner and laterly with Laurie Wisefield. In addition to his guitar playing, his harmony vocal work was a key feature of the band's sound on albums such as Argus, while as a songwriter he was largely responsible for the band's folkier side - on tracks such as 'Errors Of My Way', 'Valediction' and 'Ballad of the Beacon' - and, in later years, a more bluesy direction with songs such as 'Strange Affair' and 'Hard Times'.
Following the departure of original drummer Steve Upton in 1990, Andy went on to take over Wishbone Ash's managerial duties which Upton had previously handled. In 1994, following the disintegration of the reformed original Wishbone Ash line-up, Andy reconstructed the band and from this point the band would operate as a personal business venture rather than the group democracy that had previously existed. Various line-ups have followed with Andy at the helm.
The mid 90's also saw Andy playing with US blues band Blue Law with whom he recorded the 1996 album Gonna Getcha.
Andy Powell - his name synonymous with the Gibson Flying V - remains one of the leading exponents of his chosen instrument.