The pulse of all our lives… Irvine Welsh
**** A little bit country, a little bit rock and soul… hits a sweet spot… MOJO
One of Scotland’s best troubadours… fabulous… Bob Harris (BBC)
Award winning Scottish singer songwriter Dean Owens is widely hailed as one of UK’s finest troubadours, with fans including Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh and BBC legend “Whispering” Bob Harris.
IRVINE WELSH: Dean Owens’ music and story feels like a tribute to the songs inside us, the tales of our lives, reaching into us to find the threads of our common humanity… As a vocalist Dean is possessed with a voice which soars to the exuberant highs and swoops to melancholic lows that I’ve witnessed break hearts far, far harder than mine. And it perfectly delivers those beautiful songs of love and loss, the pulse of all our lives. (From the sleeve notes for The Man From Leith)
A son of Leith, the toughened sinew of a Scottish heritage runs through Dean Owens like suspension bridge cable. His is the pugilist’s stare, the poet’s heart, the scholar’s ear for the origins of his craft and an unflinching honesty; all worn lightly, wielded with respect. His music conjures the open road’s wild romanticism, whilst searching for and combining the primal sounds of two very different countries, distilling the Scottish and Americana into a unique blend of celtic spirit, country soul. In Dean’s songs you’ll hear the legacy of the open plains drifters and box-car jumpers, the perfume of Autumn heather, the copper burn of a single malt or a smoky late night bar-room bourbon, the unfettered enthusiasm of early rock ‘n’ roll coupled with the sympathetic delivery of folk’s storytellers.
Scottish, Americana in a unique blend… No Depression (review of Southern Wind)
A Dean Owens gig isn’t just about the songs. Dean is also a witty raconteur (“a blether” in the Scottish parlance), with entertaining anecdotes about his travels and the songs – from a 7 album solo career, and his days with Scotland’s original Americana/alt country/cowpunk band, the Felsons – peppered throughout his set. His performances can take his audience from tears to laughter to rocking out, in the course of just a few songs.
… magical… one of the happiest and most life affirming shows of the year… Americana UK (review: Dean Owens & The Southerners, Dec 2019)
In 2019 Dean won UK Song of the Year Award at the Americana Music Association UK Awards for the title track of his 2018 release Southern Wind (co-written with long term collaborator Will Kimbrough); in 2017 he became the first Scottish musician to officially showcase at the prestigious AmericanaFest Nashville.
In 2018/19 he covered over 20,000 miles and 12 states in USA , with performances including Levitt Shell Memphis, Albino Skunk Music Festival NC, Pensacola Festival FL, and Crossroads Music Festival IN, performing a mix of solo shows and with various collaborators including Will Kimbrough, Wild Ponies and The Two Tracks. He has toured with The Mavericks, Grant Lee Phillips, Will Hoge and opened for artists including Roseanne Cash, Jason Isbell and Patty Griffin. Dean’s music has taken him around the world, especially Europe, USA and Australia: from Arizona to Adelaide, from Leith to Louisville to Lerwick.
his songwriting craft can stand proudly with the best … albums like this don’t come around too often… a landmark album… FATEA (review of Southern Wind)
A new album – The Man From Leith (The Best of Dean Owens) – will be released on Eel Pie Records in Spring 2020, a retrospective covering a nearly 20 year solo career. Sleeve notes by Irvine Welsh.
Applying a genre to Dean’s songs is to do them a disservice. He’s a musical polymath, a restless troubadour searching for that place where the twin motherlodes of home and muse meet. His genre-hopping ability is clear from his 2020 schedule which features showcases at Folk Alliance International (New Orleans), AmericanaFest UK (London), and tour dates including Orkney Folk Festival, Top Secret Blues Festival Scarborough and Maverick Festival. (See Live page for more details).
He will also be curating a brand new festival in March 2020 – Cash Back in Fife – celebrating the legacy and inspiration of The Man in Black.
He is proud to be a member of Buffalo Blood collective (“a US/UK Americana supergroup” – Paul Sexton BBC), with award winning producer/musician Neilson Hubbard, Audrey Spillman and Joshua Britt. Their debut self-titled album was released in 2019, and premiered at the UK’s leading winter music festival, Celtic Connections. Buffalo Blood was recorded on location in the New Mexico desert, with songs about displacement, migration, refugees and a belief in the power of art and the human spirit to connect us all.
In 2020 Dean will be recording his next album (Sinner’s Shrine) in Tucson USA, with the legendary Calexico, as he explores some exciting new directions.