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Scottish singer-songwriter Dean Owens has been a constant on the UK and beyond music scene for a number of years. I believe I would be on safe ground if I were to claim today Owens sounds as sharp as he ever has. Recorded in Neilsen Hubbard’s Mr Lemon Studios in Nashville Owens captures a healthy slice of music of across the pond, he does after all have East Nashville multi-talented great Will Kimbrough join him! 

Awash in energy Owens’ latest album Southern Wind has him display the full gamut of his music, steeped in Americana. But Owens has always been that way.

Whether with his old band, The Felsons, Whisky Hearts, solo, or his more recent partnership with Amy Geddes. Owens music has always been filled with uninhibited adventure.  

Breezing along, he dips his feet into themes from the other side of the Atlantic as he speaks, with great affection of Elvis Presley (“Elvis Was My Brother”) and of a mellow note he speaks of occasions “When The Whisky’s Not Enough”. His moody lyrics are wrapped in among other things feisty Dobro, piano, powerful rhythm and bruising electric lead guitar to  prompt the listener to cock an ear to what he has to say. “Bad News” isn’t a bunch of laughs, but such is his lived in though still warm tones and keyboards he weaves a stout fabric of everyday life and of how we can so easily be hurt.    

Opening track “The Last Song” embraces the music and legacy of Ronnie Lane and Ian MacLagan (Small Faces) as he takes a trip down memory land. “No Way Around It” is a song to parallel and most worthy of mention alongside a song written by Buddy Miller. Such the depth and big bodied sound, as he has spirited female harmony vocals and a terrific wall-to-wall accompaniment that has of all things, banjo join a heavy rhythm. While swirling electric lead guitar is given licence to burn the paint off.  

After a couple of standard fare Owens lifts the tempo considerably on “Mother”, this as he throws off the shackles. Plus you have slow burner “Famous Last Words” lend a melancholy feel as the album progresses in a steady, if not ground moving fashion. Better follows. This as he slows things down and with an intimate feel throughout he nails “Love Prevails”, as for its value as a well-penned composition there is no doubt. It’s another of those defying moments on Southern Wind, his lyrics beautifully nourished by stellar support (to go with some of the most authoritative vocals on show) it closes the official track listing. Prior to a foreboding additional song, that powers forth to the accompaniment of dobro, mandolin and rock solid rhythm. This as Owens speaks of going over the mountain to the golden hill, and it is well worth not only a listen but listing!  

  Maurice Hope

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This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

It is the sum total of over ten years of tending a tender love of music by Shaun, a life time with Trailer Star and five or so years of an association with Rob Ellen from Medicine Music.

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May 2018

John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Continental Song City
Charley Crockett
30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
Ed Romanoff
27 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
Joan Baez
27 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
Pharis and Jason Romero
27 pts.
Sweet Old Religion
Lula Records
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
Old Crow Medicine Show
24 pts.
Columbia Records
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
Ben Reel
22 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
Birds Of Chicago
22 pts.
Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
Emily Herring
22 pts.
Eight 30 Records
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Mary Gauthier
21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Bloodshot Records
David Starr
19 pts.
South And East
Cold Tone Harvest
18 pts.
After You
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2

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