UK SONG OF THE YEAR AWARD – 2019 Americana Music Association UK Awards (Southern Wind)
One of Scotland’s best troubadours… fabulous– “Whispering” Bob Harris (BBC Radio 2)
Scotland’s most engaging and haunting singer-songwriter Irvine Welsh
Award winning 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). In September 2017 he became the first Scottish musician to officially showcase at the prestigious Americanafest in Nashville. His visit included a guest spot with the Mavericks at their “allstar” show at the Basement East… and a mention in Rolling Stone.
A new “Best of” album, The Man From Leith was released on Eel Pie Records in March 2020; his next studio album is being recorded in Tucson USA with desert noir icons Calexico for release in 2021.
Armed with a searingly soulful voice, skilfully crafted songs and earworm inducing, melodies, Dean is a mesmerising and engaging live performer, with an emotional hurricane of stories and songs. Dean’s 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 the 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.
While never losing his own unique Scottish identity, Dean has had a longstanding love affair with the USA since his early days as front man of Scotland’s original Americana band, The Felsons. He has recorded 4 of his 7 solo albums there, including his most recent, the Nashville recorded Southern Wind (produced by Grammy nominee Neilson Hubbard), which has been blowing over reviewers, since its release in Feb 2018, with many calling it his best yet. Southern Wind is Dean’s second collaboration with Neilson, and his fifth with his longstanding friend and collaborator, award winning guitarist Will Kimbrough (one of Emmylou Harris’s Red Dirt Boys).
Video for Southern Wind, including a cameo appearance by Jamie Sives: (Game of Thrones, Doctor Who)
In addition to his Whisky Hearts band, he plays solo and in various collaborations including as Redwood Mountain (with trad fiddle player Amy Geddes, exploring the song collections of Alan Lomax), as occasional group The Celtabilly Allstars (some Cash, some Hank and other covers, mixed in with Owens originals), and as Dean Owens and the Southerners (with 2018 Instumentialist of the Year Tom Collison and renowned guitarist Jim Maving) who debuted in summer 2019 to sold out shows and standing ovations.
Dean is also part of US/UK collective Buffalo Blood – described by BBC’s Paul Sexton as “an Americana supergroup for 2019“. Buffalo Blood is Dean, with producer/musician Neilson Hubbard with his fellow Orphan Brigade members Joshua Britt and Audrey Spillman. Their self titled debut album (released in Feb 2019 on Eel Pie Records) was recorded live on location in the heart of the New Mexico desert, with songs of displacement, migration, refugees and a belief in the power of art and the human spirit to connect us all. Its World Premiere live performance was at Celtic Connections 2019.
Dean and his Whisky Hearts band can be seen in session on BBC Scotland’s The Quay Sessions.
Notable previous gigs include Levitt Shell Memphis TN, Albino Skunk Music Festival SC, SummerTyne Festival, regular headline appearances at Celtic Connections and Southern Fried Festivals (including Northern Star: Scotland Sings Canada), 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), and opening spots for Rosanne Cash (London’s Union Chapel), Gretchen Peters, Jason Isbell and Patti Griffin. In Aug 2017 he was invited to tour with Grant Lee Phillips in Glasgow, London and Ireland. Feb/Mar 2018 saw him hit the road in UK, and to Holland, Denmark and Norway with Will Hoge.
- a little bit country, a little bit rock and soul… hits a sweet spot… **** MOJO
- a rousing vulnerability that at times recalls Richard Ashcroft… **** Country Music Magazine
- Borders on genius… ***** Country Music People
- 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
- For God’s sake buy this album… Russell Brand