REVIEW: Shane Owens – ‘Where I’m Comin’ From’

14322480_1765897920348433_7993764537083656725_nA couple of weeks ago we highlighted the single release from Shane Owens, ‘Country Never Goes Out Of Style’, and described the trials and tribulations that Owens had experienced with the music industry. It’s not been an easy road but it seems there might be a happy ending after all. His debut album has been released on Amerimonte Records.

Let’s hope that the decision to release this album mid-December when the Christmas albums dominate the charts and everyone is reflecting on their musical year will be a wise one. It would be a travesty if this album is overlooked. In a year when neo-traditional country styles appear to be fighting back, Shane Owens deserves his moment in the sun.

This is a classic country album that should be on the playlist of anyone who has old school country in their blood. This is for anyone who gets their country fix from George Strait, Randy Travis or Alan Jackson. Travis is certainly on this guy’s case. He is named as executive producer and can be seen on the video for Owen’s single.

Production duties have been given to James Stroud who has worked with Toby Keith and Tim McGraw, so it seems that Amerimonte are at last giving Shane Owens a fair chance to showcase his talents. The styles and instrumentation that we loved on ‘Country Never Goes Out Of Style’ dominate this album.

We have to highlight Randy Travis’s comments when enthusing about this album – “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”

Most of the 10 tracks are mid-tempo. Veteran Nashville star John Anderson joins Owens for the tongue-in-cheek ‘Chicken Truck’, a song that Anderson himself recorded in 1981. Owens recently stated “I have always looked up to John Anderson. When it came time to put the album together I wanted to include ‘Chicken Truck’. The song is as country as it gets and speaks to me being from Alabama. I am honoured that he agreed to join me on the track”

The album’s opener and title track ‘Where I’m Comin From’ is a song that was released as a single at the end of last year without attracting the success it merited. It tells of life in small town America. “A simple man who still believes that hard work, faith and family are virtues we could use more of these days”. It’s a style and message that has been championed successfully by Aaron Watson over the years.

Cole Swindell is credited as a co-writer with Brian Callihan on ‘Country Boy Can’. Owens’ baritone is complimented by steels creating a song that could have been recorded any time in the last 30 years, but is just as relevant now.

The fiddles and piano are prominent on the ballad ‘All The Beer In Alabama’. It’s likely to be the next single from the album. Owens is credited as co-writer and it’s a song that anyone with a leaning towards the classic country sounds will hugely appreciate.

Thankfully it’s a genre that is being increasingly well served and Owens may have timed his introduction perfectly. When you have had your fill of the Christmas festivities and are relaxing with a glass of fine wine, crank up your Spotify and give this album your time.