Kid Congo Powers

Kid Congo Powers

Kid Congo Powers is the stage name of Brian Tristan (born 1960, Los Angeles, California), an American rock guitarist and singer, best known as a member of The Gun Club, The Cramps, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Most of his career has found him exploring the territory where punk rock joins older "roots music" styles (see psychobilly, cowpunk, horror punk).


Powers is a second generation Mexican American born and raised in Los Angeles. In 1976 he was president of The Ramones fan club, then ran a fanzine for The Screamers. After travelling to London and New York City he returned to L.A. and in 1979 met Jeffrey Lee Pierce. Pierce taught him to play guitar using open tuning, and they formed 'The Creeping Ritual', which became The Gun Club. Powers left that group before their recording debut, instead joining New York-based band The Cramps in December 1980, who dubbed him 'Kid Congo Powers'. He rejoined the Gun Club from 1983-1988, when he again left to join Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in Berlin, for several albums and their associated tours. Powers has also played with The Divine Horsemen, The Angels of Light, and Die Haut.

Most recently Kid has collaborated with New York City guitarist Jack Martin on projects like The Pink Monkey Birds, Congo Norvell, and Knoxville Girls.

elected discography

*1981 The Cramps - "Psychedelic Jungle"
*1984 The Cramps - "Smell of Female"
*1984 The Gun Club - "The Las Vegas Story"
*1987 The Gun Club - "Mother Juno"
*1990 The Gun Club - "Pastoral Hide and Seek"
*1991 The Gun Club - "Divinity" EP
*1987 The Fur Bible EP
*1988 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - "Tender Prey"
*1990 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - "The Good Son"
*2006 Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds - "Philosophy and Underwear"
*Congo Norvell

External links

* [ Kid Congo Powers official site]
* [ Kid's page from his label, New York Night Train]
* [ The ultimate Kid Congo Powers resource - Kid discusses his life and career in over 4 hours of audio, text, mp3s, rare photos, and more] from
* [ 2006 Interview with Kid Congo Powers from the Modern Pea Pod]
*two part 2006 interview with Kid Congo Powers on [ part one] [ part two]

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