Friday, June 07, 2013

FDF Volume 4 Issue 307 - Owsley - Owsley

Album - Owsley
Artist - Owsley
Key Players – William Owsley – vocals, bass, guitar, echoplex, mellotron, hammond b-3, piano.
For other players see the Wiki Page for the album
Produced By – Owsley, Millard Powers, Jeff Balding and Chris McHugh

Release Date – March 23, 1999

Overview – William Owsley was born in to a musical family and by the mid 80's he was working as a musician himself and he moved to Nashville in 1987. Highly touted he would play in showcases that would lead to upwards of 14 recording label offers. Owsley would turn down, but later join Amy Grant's band as the touring guitar player where he'd hold that position for 16 years. He'd also become the touring guitar player for Shania Twain. He'd work with many country superstars over the years from Vince Gill to Wynonna. By 1998 he had recorded the record featured here. Although it would be nominated for a Grammy award under an engineering category it failed to really catch on. He'd release a second solo album that would also fail to stir a larger audience. As his solo career seemed to slow he'd find extensive work in the 2000's as a producer and engineer as well as backing musician, first with country stars like Faith Hill and then getting involved with Disney stars ranging from Jonas Brothers, to Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – There are 11 tracks on this album that runs 42 minutes. The album is a full blend or rock, pop and psychedelia. It is a fun ride. Tracks like the opener “Oh No The Radio” are clean vocally wrapped around a really full sound and some great bass work.  "I'm Alright"
tosses in slide guitar with compressed vocals and big full choruses. The radio single "Coming Up Roses" starts off quiet, odd almost for a lead off radio single but becomes awash with guitars and stringed instruments. Keeping “solos” very brief (“Sentimental Favorite” has the first noticeable guitar solo) but there are dashes of XTC flavored tunes that switch to a blues filled quickly to 70's synth track in “Zavelow House”. “Uncle Johns Farm” could be a Ben Folds Five tune (as could be   "Sonny Boy")  with the rocking lead and “Class Clown” closes it all out with a fun phased out jam in to a clap along moment then right back to the jam. The album sounds amazing. It just is so well produced.

Where are they now? - Owsley died on April 30, 2010 in Tennessee at 44 years old. It was reported to be a suicide.

FDF Overall Take – When I worked in Boston radio we played a song or two from here but it never really seemed to strike a chord with listeners. I grabbed a copy when it became available and it sorta sat around. When I went to start re-searching to write this up I was amazed at all he has done. Taking that thought I listened again with a more “technical” ear. He crafts some GREAT pop songs. Touches of pop, psychedelia, and the blues. Its a curious listen in that if you were to play this at a cookout you'd probably get that “who is this..its really pretty solid!”

Official Page

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


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