Dean Owens

One of Scotland’s best troubadours… fabulous “Whispering” Bob Harris (BBC Radio 2)
Scotland’s most engaging and haunting singer-songwriter Irvine Welsh
Celtic Americana from Leith via Nashville

Filtering his love of Americana through a gritty yet lyrical Scottish sensibility, and armed with a searingly soulful voice, Dean Owens is one of Scotland’s finest singer songwriters, with fans including Bob Harris, Irvine Welsh, Ricky Ross and Russell Brand.

Rocky, rootsy, with a touch of twang and some very earworm-generating melodies, his songs draw as much from his Scottish roots, especially his home town of Leith, as from his US heroes. The emotional honesty shines through as he sings stories about people and places, love and regrets, with a warm, natural exuberance counterpointing the melancholy.

Dean has been invited to showcase at Americanafest (Nashville) in Sep 2017 – the first Scottish musician to be officially invited to showcase at this prestigious event.

Dean and his Whisky Hearts band were recently seen in session on BBC Radio Scotland’s The Quay Sessions (Oct 2016). A new single, Julie’s Moon (inspired by his late sister), will be released on 10 Mar 2017, with all proceeds going to the Marie Curie charity.

He has several exciting new projects in development, including Buffalo Blood – a film/album collaboration with the award winning Nashville based Neighborhoods Apart Productions, recorded on location in Abiquiu (New Mexico).

His most recent album Into the Sea was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Neilson Hubbard and a whole host of amazing US musicians, including award winning guitarist Will Kimbrough and renowned singer-songwriters Kim Richey and Suzy Bogguss. It was released in May 2015, on Drumfire Records, to wide acclaim and rave reviews, including a top 5 placing in the Sunday Herald’s Top 50 Albums of 2105.


3 singles from Into the SeaValentine’s Day in New York, Evergreen and Up On The Hill – were playlisted by BBC Radio Scotland, and the album was an Album of the Week on Iain Anderson Show (BBC Radio Scotland). Recent radio sessions include Bob Harris Country (BBC Radio 2), Ricky Ross Another Country, Janice Forsyth Show and Iain Anderson Show (all BBC Radio Scotland) as well as London’s House of Mercy and Tin Can Review.

The former Felsons front man has released 5 previous solo albums, including the highly regarded Whisky Hearts (also recorded in Nashville), New York Hummingbird (recorded in the Big Apple with some exceptional New York-based musicians) and Cash Back (Songs I Learned From Johnny), inspired by one of his lifelong idols, Johnny Cash. His solo career has seen him tour far and wide, including in Europe, USA and Australia. Dean is also highly regarded among other musicians and has played shows and toured with Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Joan As Policewoman, the Mavericks, Eddi Reader, John Hiatt and Nanci Griffith, to name but a few. Most recently he was delighted to open for Rosanne Cash at London’s Union Chapel.

His song Raining in Glasgow was used to promote Celtic Connections festival by BBC Radio Scotland.

Dean’s band The Whisky Hearts is a mighty all-star line-up who can rock up a storm, as well as bringing flashes of folk and a touch of twang!
Dean Owens and The Whisky Hearts (photo by Louis de Carlo)

Latest tour information

Notable previous gigs include SummerTyne Festival, regular appearances at Celtic Connections and Southern Fried Festivals, Queen’s Hall Edinburgh (including The Men From Leith show (inspired by Dean’s classic song Man From Leith) with Dick Gaughan and Blue Rose Code), Green Note London, London Folk & Roots Festival and opening spots for Rosanne Cash (London’s Union Chapel), Gretchen Peters, Jason Isbell, Patti Griffin and Grant Lee Buffalo (Feb 2017). 2016 saw him invited to tour as special guest with 3 times AMA-UK winners Danny & The Champions of the World, before returning to Nashville for the Americana Music Association festival, and showcases at the British Underground’s Bootleg BBQ, and Grimey’s Americanarama.

Press Quotes

  • For God’s sake buy this album… Russell Brand
  • Magical… Ricky Ross (BBC)
  • Rocks like the E-Street Band Uncut
  • One of the best singer songwriters in Scotland Sunday Herald
  • great little stories wound round earworm generating tunes Folk Radio UK
  • Echoes of Springsteen and the tear stained balladry of Ryan Adams The Sun
  • heart shredding folk songs full of Scottish soul… No Depression
  • lush, sweeping Americana… Spiral Earth
  • the more you listen the deeper you fall into this ocean of the heart… FATEA

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