# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Dean Owens - Southern Wind

  by Cila Warncke

published: 15 / 4 / 2018

Dean Owens - Southern Wind
Label: At the Helm Records
Format: CD


Fine latest album recorded in Nashville from Scottish singer-songwriter Dean Owens, who takes his influences from American roots music

Scottish singer-songwriter Dean Owens is obsessed with American roots music. At first, this might appear to be the obverse of the robust subculture of Americans fascinated by their Celtic ancestry (however tenuous or downright fictitious it is). On closer examination, Owens' folksy tunes are less homage and more reclaiming of something rightfully his. After all, country music - the music of white Southerners - sprang from that immigrant group's deep Scotch-Irish roots. Owens' new album, 'Southern Wind', was recorded in Nashville, and would comfortably rub shoulders with any native output. It opens with backroom bar toe-tapper 'The Last Song', a swingy, guitar-forward number that goes down as easy as a bottle of cold Bud Light. 'No Way Around' is another catchy slice of countrified pop that chugs along with defiant optimism, lifted by a soaring falsetto backing vocal. His voice is an instrument in itself, the highlight of downtempo tracks like 'Madeira Street' and 'When the Whisky's Not Enough'. It is smooth, rich and expressive, with nary a rough edge. If anything, it comes across as slick on some of the slow cuts. It, however, shines when he tells stories. 'Elvis Was My Brother' is about a lonely kid growing up with the radio. "I never really had a father in my life/Or older brother to offer me advice..." Owens sings. "Elvis was my brother/Elvis was my friend... He introduced me to the blues/Gospel, country, blue suede shoes." The words ring true with anyone who ever sought solace in pop and his voice weaves like silver thread through the jaunty beat and articulate lyrics. The other stand-out track is 'Anything Helps', a sweet-sad ditty of a down-and-outer who describes "standing in line at the mission" and notes, "It ain't always been like this/ You can swing in life and miss/So if you're feeling kind/Anything helps". Owens harks, here, to the fine country tradition of empathy for the beleaguered, bereft or plain unlucky. 'Southern Wind' shows how rewarding cultural exchange can be, in the right hands.

Track Listing:-
1 The Last Song
2 Southern Wind
3 Elvis Was My Brother
4 When the Whisky's Not Enough
5 Bad News
6 No Way Around It
7 Louisville Lip
8 Anything Helps
9 Mother
10 Famous Last Words
11 Madeira Street
12 Love Prevails

Band Links:-

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors