10 songs time-36:59
Canadian singer-songwriter-guitarist-harmonica player David Owen returns to recording after a self-imposed eight year hiatus. His music is acoustic based blues and roots music. The highlight of this recording is the delightful playing of multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Bowskill, along with David’s melodious harmonica playing. The all original songs are good, but the singing is dead-pan and flat at times. But alas for the most part his voice is suited to the style of the songs. His guitar strumming throughout is quite nice.
“Highway Driver” finds David’s voice well-suited to the country blues here that is well fueled by Jimmy Bowskill’s mandolin skills. David’s voice takes on a deeper quality on the folky “No Redemption”. The tune moves along nicely on a cushion of deft violin playing courtesy of Jimmy. “Long Gone” also bops along nicely with mandolin, harmonica and acoustic guitar.
Violin and high-pitched harmonica highlight the rootsy singer-songwriter “Every Little Piece Of My Heart”. The underlying upright bass playing of Alec Fraser helps to propel the Dobro slide on “Ain’t Gonna Take It”. Jimmy’s mandolin is again showcased on the melancholy “Livin’ Life Blues”. “Betty Mae” is a straight ahead toe-tapper.
Jimmy Bowskill’s pedal steel playing makes an appearance on “The Truth”, a song that would of worked for Johnny Cash, as much as it does here for David. The slide workout of “Come On Baby” is infectious. “My Sweet Rider” gets a bit of a boogie injection featuring Jimmy’s slithering electric slide guitar.
The largely acoustic instrumental interplay throughout this project is the main attraction along with passable song writing. Blues, roots and country overtones permeate this music. It’s great to see somebody carrying on this type of bare-bones acoustic music. With efforts like these this tradition will surely carry on.