Dean Owens 'Into the Sea' - Drumfire Records

Dean Owens is one of Scotland’s most acclaimed and established singer-songwriters, with five previous solo releases including a Johnny Cash tribute record. His list of admirers includes Bob Harris, Irvine Welsh and Russell Brand.

Owens sings with a soulful and yearning delivery and his song arrangements are melodic and sophisticated, with a melancholic and wistful lyrical mood across the 12 tracks. There is a backwards nod to the colourful family tree in the opening song Dora, before a gentle love song Closer to Home brings the mood to a more personal place.

The nostalgic tone of Kids, Virginia Street and Up on the Hill hints at personal experiences and a past that holds its’ ghosts in a hard won perspective. Evergreen is a stand-out track, a tribute to a former lover, while Sally’s Song is a personal letter to a friend with the message that it will all work out in the end.

The playing is restrained and uncluttered, with just enough production to colour the songs without putting too much gloss on them. Into The Sea was recorded in Nashville with producer Neilson Hubbard and a stellar cast of musicians including Will Kimbrough, Kim Richey and Suzy Bogguss. The future looks bright for his talented artist and his acoustic based songs should lead to continued success.