Kenny Owens ... Review from The Alternate Root

3/20/2018

 

 

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​Kenny Owens (from the album Colored by the Blue)

With a nod to Gram Parsons, Kenny Owens dubs his music Cosmic American, letting the depth of his Roots dig down below the surface of the simple stories and the wealth of emotion the characters wear on full display. 

Look Both Ways CD Baby Review

J Philbrick   ****       Breathe of fresh air! Look Both Ways is a wonderful old-style country album with great arrangements of Owens' songs. Fine musicianship by the standard grouping of acoustic and electric guitars with bass, drums, keys and -best of all - great pedal steel in the Paul Franklin/Sneaky Pete tradition. Bebo is very tasty in his picking. Song topics are nicely varied, with no mention of loving his truck, or his gun, drinkin' with his boys, etc. As I said, very refreshing! His voice is unusual, but it conveys the meaning of the lyrics nicely. Closest resemblance is Rodney Crowell, and that ain't bad. There are lyrics, like Backburnin', and Look Both Ways that stick in my brain and I find myself singing them to myself. A good thing: i.e., they are catchy. This is a very good, feel good album by a pro.

7 Inches Vinyl Review

Friday, January 2, 2015 Kenny Owens  A-Side's "Trouble's Coming Round" reminds me of a Sun Records rambling '60s Johnny Cash style country start where he was beginning to move away from the heavy reverb folk standards and into the darker stuff. Kenny has a natural vibrato in his vocal and the track lists the ways trouble is headed his way in a classic warning story narrative style like Waylon, Willie and Kris' pure american songwriting. A little like Vic Chestnut in high tempo swing with a pop rhythm section and an ironic take on a optimistic sounding track that should be anything but with all that trouble barreling down on him. B-Side's "On The Dole" is a different version than the one on the full length and opens with a steel guitar and Kenny's more somber side taking a conservative line with this character that feels entitled to sitting around on his butt and having everything come for free. Makes for an entertaining track!

Kenny Owens' Walking in St James is not about perfection, but about truth. His words hold authority and give an authentic pulse that can only be found now days from a dusty record. The album has an interesting flow, and a wide palette of human emotions are rolled out as each track hits a different nerve, memory, and reaction. The production of the album is very clean, almost too clean, yet all one can listen to, is simply Kenny Owens. You almost forget there are other instruments, you almost forget it is an album being played through the stereo or headphones. It feels live, it feels historic, but what Kenny Owens has made is simply---Real.

Cody Brooks
 



Freight Train Boogie Podcasts w/Jim Lauderdale

Kenny Owens featured on 
Podcast #72 & Podcast #109