Tuesday, September 1, 2015
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: DALANNAH AND OWEN - BEEN AROUND A WHILE
This is an interesting one, certainly one-of-a-kind. Both the musicians here are accomplished, and do their thing, but there's no one else at all for the entire album. Dalannah Gail Bowen has been singing since the '60's, and has recently been singing up a storm now that she's hit 70. On bass, owen Owen OWEN is one of most respected players on the West Coast, and here the pair do something to blues that's brave and different, in a field that is way too often dominated by the same old same old.
With Owen's plucking, grooves and occasional solos, Bowen stretches her pipes through a set of strong originals and classics. She's a full-throated singer, with lots of power, and the chops to sing all around the melody, like a jazz soloist. With the bass line doing much the same thing, this is all about listening to two strong talents finding the possibilities in each song.
It takes a while to get used to the concept. The first listen is interesting, the second you start to appreciate it, and by the third, once your ears are attuned, you can really enjoy the parts. Bowen's vocal on Marvin Gaye's Inner City Blues makes the song far more powerful than the original, at least as a protest song. The pair's own Heaven's Right Here swings mightily, both locked into a groove, proving they don't need anybody else. The covers of Come On In My Kitchen and Walking Blues are so far from the originals that these overdone chestnuts somehow sound new again. I was a doubter at first, but was quickly sold on this concept.