Beyond With Music With Laura: Shane Owens at CRS
Amerimonte Records recording artist, Shane Owens, is set to release his debut album on December 9, 2016, titled Where I’m Coming From.
While you may wonder “who is this guy” or think “here is another self-labeled traditional country singer”, stop right there and pay attention.
Owens, who has been paying his dues by singing where anyone would listen, since the age of 17, is no stranger to what real, true, traditional country means to fans and the industry alike. Owens has shared the bill with artists such as George Jones, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, John Conlee, John Anderson and Doug Stone to name a few. The label of “Traditional Country Artist” is one that Owens has certainly earned.
With the release of his album this week, I was asked for my opinion by reviewing the album, by someone who knows me well enough to know that I will say exactly what I think and feel about an artist or the music I am listening to. Honesty, is something I feel sometimes get overlooked a little in the “review” category, possibly because so many times we hear the same thing over and over, so how can you come up with a new way to say the same thing? That is not the case with Owens. It is refreshing to hear true, traditional, country I grew up on with lyrics, melodies, instrumentation, catchy chorus lines and a song that has meaning and substance to it. With Owens you get real steel guitars, real piano players, real drummers on the tracks that are not stuck in a loop playing the same beat, and to top it off, a true artist with real talent.
Owens’ current single, "Country Never Goes Out of Style", has been endorsed by none other than, Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee, Randy Travis. Travis explains this perfectly and I cannot think of a better way to say it. “Shane’s song, “Country Never Goes Out of Style,” is a simple and perfect description of what country living and country music is all about.” Travis in reference to Shane’ s current single, which is going for adds at radio stations across the country continued by saying; “In listening to it, I can’t help but reminisce about the best days of my youth and life in simpler times — when technology was a phone with a cord and a party line, transportation was a bicycle, a horse, or a hand-me-down car with manual windows, and taking the initiative to help someone in need was your pleasure and just the way it was. Though much has changed, I think it’s important to keep a focus on our roots—it is a way of life that should never go out of style. Shane has successfully merged yesterday, and today, to remind us that country will always be in style!” Perfectly said, again, I could not agree more.
Both Travis and James Stroud (Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Clint Black, Aaron Lewis, Chris Young and many more which has resulted in over 130 No. one singles) produced Owens’ album, and with that collection of names, there is no additional interpretation needed for what type of project Owens wanted to come out of these collaborations on his production team.
In the title track, "Where I’m Coming From", Owens is telling us a story, not just about how “he” grew up, but everyone will find something in the song to relate to from their upbringing. For a moment, it takes you back to a much simpler time, where respect was valued, where manners were not out of style, where hard work, determination, family and faith would get you through anything. These concepts seem like a plot in a movie classic to so many today, instead of the way things really were at one time.
"All the Beer in Alabama" , co-written by Owens, was a song that took a different direction than first expected and is actually a love song, good ole’ boy style. When it is presumed the character is out with another woman, it was just a “lost track of time” situation and the tag line since all the beer in Alabama could not make him cheat on her. It is refreshing to have a “nothing would make me do that to you” song when so many are about cheating and trying to repair a relationship. This track will be released as a single on January 23, 2017.
"Alcohol Hall of Fame" is a fun song to listen to and I can imagine would be a lot of fun at a live show. Owens is reminiscent of an early Mark Chestnutt in this song and the delivery and puns come across in clear fashion.
"Chicken Truck" is a song that features John Anderson with Owens. Considering Anderson originally released this song himself years before, Owens delivers this high energy, catchy-chorus with Anderson as if this was its first recording. While this song may make a fun stand-alone single, besides being one that a live audience would love and sing along with. I think it will be stuck in my head for a while, and that is not a bad problem to have with a debut album track.
"Nashville You Ain’t Hollywood" is a direct message to not only the town itself, but to the labels, the writers and the artists of “modern country” or “bro country” that have been pouring out of the city for a while now. This song was previously recorded by Linda Hargrove many years ago, and there are very few emerging artists that would take this risk to “call out Nashville”. This is Owens’ “statement song”, as he says, on the album.
"19", is a song that tells the story that not many like to think about when it comes to putting a face and actual age on our soldiers, who are dealing with things that even someone much older than 19 would probably not be able to handle. We tend to veer away from seeing or hearing the human side of these soldiers. The families of our military do not have that option and this is a song that Owens has given as, not only a heart-felt thank you to the soldiers but to their families as well.
"God and The Ground She Walked On", is one that I feel is necessary on so many albums, especially when it is marketed as “traditional country”. One that includes God and a love like we all want to find in our own lives. Just as David Allan Coe said to Steven Goodman when he wrote “You Never Even Called Me by My Name”, there are essentials in the “perfect country and western song”, and personally this is one of those “perfect” songs.