Award winning Scottish singer songwriter Dean Owens, from Leith, Edinburgh, is widely hailed as one of UK’s finest troubadours, with fans including Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh – who wrote the sleeve notes for this release – and BBC legend “Whispering” Bob Harris. Originally the front man for Scotttish alt country/cowpunk band The Felsons, Dean has had an almost 20 year, 7 album solo career (4 and 5 star reviews, and comparisons with the likes of Springsteen, Ryan Adams, Roddy Frame and Richard Ashcroft, among many). He has toured around the world, particularly in UK and USA, and opened for, and performed with, the Mavericks, Roseanne Cash, John Hiatt and many more. He was the first Scottish musician to officially showcase at Nashville’s renowned AmericanaFest in 2017. The title song from his recent highly acclaimed Southern Wind album won the UK Song of the Year Award 2019 (AMA-UK).
The Man From Leith (The Best of Dean Owens) is a collection of songs from Dean’s 7 official solo albums. A natural storyteller, Dean draws inspiration from his life, his family and travels. Some are from his personal history including the title track, the acclaimed Man From Leith (about his father’s life from the shipyards in Leith to working the roads across Scotland) and Dora – about his circus born grandmother and his lion tamer ancestor (Ambrose Salvona) who originally came from north Italy and ended up in a graveyard in Inverness (with a Salvation Army band salute at his funeral). And the classic Raining In Glasgow, written in Australia, thinking about home. Others are drawn from stories he has been told or imagined, like Elvis Was My Brother and The Night Johnny Cash Played San Quentin. His songs capture the universal within the personal stories. There are intimate songs like Evergreen, big production numbers like the award winning Southern Wind and the whooping, hollering pub rock of The Last Song.
Recording in Scotland, but mostly in Nashville and New York, Dean always puts a top quality team together for his albums, working with producers like award winning Neilson Hubbard, and musicians including long time collaborator, award winning guitarist/songwriter Will Kimbrough (of Emmylou Harris’s Red Dirt Boys) and Al Perkins. The poignant Strangers Again features a duet with Scottish singer Karine Polwart (Pocket of Wind Resistance, Scottish Songbook). The results are little gems of songs which touch hearts and cross genres, strongly influenced by his US heroes, while retaining his own unique Scottish roots and voice.
Dean’s genre-hopping ability is clear from his upcoming tours and gigs which feature 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. In 2020 he will be recording his next album in Tucson USA, with renowned band Calexico, as he explores some exciting new directions.