Best UK Artist and Best UK Album – Americana-UK Readers Poll 2022
#2 Album of the Year 2022 (Sinner’s Shrine) – Heaven Magazine Readers Poll (Netherlands)
An award winning, adventurous troubadour, a natural collaborator and a consummate live performer. His 9 (official) solo albums, mostly recorded in the US, have seen him collaborate with some of the most respected musicians and producers around (including Al Perkins, Will Kimbrough, Neilson Hubbard, Grant-Lee Phillips and most recently, Gaby Moreno and Latin rock legends, Calexico).
His music has been described as a unique blend of Scottish roots and Americana, but in truth it’s hard to pin down to a single genre. With each album he has pushed his own boundaries, constantly exploring, as his travels have taken him from Scotland’s post industrial heartlands to Nashville, New York and the panoramic vistas of the US deserts.
His most recent albums Sinner’s Shrine (2022) and 2023’s El Tiradito (The Curse Of Sinner’s Shrine) – recorded with musicians from Calexico – have been pulling superlative-laden reviews from publications throughout Europe, described as an intoxicating, innovative, “marriage made in heaven” collaboration.
Dean’s searingly soulful voice and a wealth of stories, earworm inducing melodies and songs make him an unforgettable live performer. With Sinner’s Shrine he has added desert noir and Latin nuances to his already extensive musical palette (with his influences ranging across country, classical, punk and indie, through jazz, folk and rock).
Recent highlights include performances at the iconic Edinburgh Castle, as well as festivals in UK and Germany, and a sold out tour of the Netherlands in Apr 2023.
His current band The Sinners – a hugely talented, tight ensemble including electric guitar, bass and trumpet – can tour as a compact quartet, or, as at 2023’s sold out Celtic Connections showcase, a very special 7 piece.
- Best UK Artist and Best UK Album – Americana-UK Readers Poll 2022
- Best UK Artist– Americana-UK Readers Poll 2021
- UK Song Of The Year 2019 – UK Americana Music Association
- Owens sings with a dark majesty that matches the gigantic emotional pull of his songs… Mojo
- more intoxicating than the most treacherous of mezcals… Rolling Stone (France)
- one of my favourite artists… very special – Bob Harris (BBC)
- varied, vibrant and thoroughly fascinating… American Songwriter
- one of the most interesting and innovative artists in Americana… Lonesome Highway
- visionary and rewarding… Folk Radio UK
- the pulse of all our lives… Irvine Welsh
- a wild and swampy romp… Had the audience transfixed… Americana UK
- a pleasing blend of Scottish roots and Americana…. a beautiful performance… had people dancing at the back of the room… and the whole room singing… Hands Up For Trad
- poetic subtlety… and lyrics with metaphorical elegance. Musically, the meeting of Gaelic melancholy and folky country lightness… Gaesteliste.de
- Edinburgh’s finest… Edinburgh Evening News
In March 2020 Dean curated the inaugural Cash back In Fife Festival celebrating the legacy of Johnny Cash.
He also plays in various collaborations including as Redwood Mountain (with trad fiddle player Amy Geddes, exploring the song collections of Alan Lomax), and is a founding member of US/UK collective Buffalo Blood – described by BBC’s Paul Sexton as “an Americana supergroup for 2019“.
He has worked as a producer with Kirsten Adamson (Landing Place) and Ags Connolly (How About Now, Nothin’ Unexpected)
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, 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. He has toured with Grant Lee Phillips (UK and Ireland) and Will Hoge (Holland, Denmark and Norway).