After nearly 2 years of pandemic induced lockdown and isolation, award winning Scottish singer songwriter Dean Owens is over the moon to finally announce the release of his highly anticipated Sinner’s Shrine album, recorded with musicians from iconic desert noir Latin rockers Calexico at WaveLab Studio in Tucson (in Jan 2020). The album will be a joint release by London’s Eel Pie Records and Netherlands’ Continental Record Services, on 18 Feb 2022.
Sinner’s Shrine will be launched at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections on 28 Jan, with a special band, Dean Owens & The Sinners, comprising Dean’s old Felsons buddy Kevin McGuire, Craig Ross (Whisky Hearts/Broken Records), Stuart Brown (Blue Rose Code) and OMD’s Neil Weir on trumpet. Support act is Kirsten Adamson (daughter of Big Country’s Stuart Adamson) who will also join the band on backing vocals. Early copies of the album will be available after the gig.
Dean: “To see Sinner’s Shrine finally getting its release into the world is a special moment for me. Working with the guys from Calexico on this record in Tucson was a magical time, a time before lockdown and the pandemic. I’ve had to be patient waiting for the right time for it to come out. We recorded it out in the land of the Sonoran Desert and it almost feels like it’s been buried in the sand for the past eighteen months or so. It’s time now to brush away that sand and share with everyone. I’m a happy man. To make it even more special I get to launch it at one of my favourite festivals.”
Dean is also featured as one of the singers in Celtic Connections’ Scotland Sings Nanci Griffith on 25 Jan.
Sinner’s Shrine is the latest stop on a lifetime’s journey – from the post industrial heartlands of Scotland to the untrammelled wide-open vistas of the American Southwest – as Dean surrenders to the intoxicating sounds of the US desert states, with themes of love and lust, sinners and saints, the displaced, the wanderers and the border ghosts.
In addition to members of Calexico, special guests on the album include Grant-Lee Phillips and Grammy nominated Guatemalan singer songwriter Gaby Moreno. While still rooted in Dean’s signature sound, each song sees him pushing the boundaries, adding desert noir and Latin notes to his musical palette.
2021 began with a tantalising preview of the album with an online long distance live recording for Celtic Connections, with Dean, Kevin McGuire and Calexico’s Joey Burns and Martin Wenk, hailed as one of the festival’s highlights. Throughout another year of frustration at Covid induced inability to be out touring Dean has kept busy, with other highlights including a virtual gig for Orkney Folk Festival, an online presentation for the official Johnny Cash Heritage Festival broadcast from Dyess, Arkansas, a collaboration with author Ian Rankin for The Wanderer, a tribute album for the late, great Jackie Leven, and working with Kirsten Adamson as producer for her new solo album.
A prelude to Sinner’s Shrine –The Desert Trilogy EPs (with some songs from the album sessions, and some recorded long distance in lockdown) – was released throughout 2021, attracting glowing reviews across genres, and whetting appetites for the full album release
Following a well received sold out south of England tour in early November, he will close off the year with a short series of live dates in Scotland in December. Dean Owens & Friends features various special guests including guitar maestro Jim Maving (Case Hardin/Mick Ralphs) and fiddle player Amy Geddes (Whisky Hearts/Redwood Mountain), culminating in a now traditional pre Christmas hometown show for Soundhouse at The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh. After nearly 2 years of only online gigs and long distance recordings the return to live shows can’t come soon enough for this restless, talented troubadour!
Dean Owens & Friends
10 Dec Village Hall, Pathhead (with Jim Maving, Amy Geddes)
11 Dec Hemelvaart, Ayton (with Jim Maving)
12 Dec Glad Café, Glasgow (with Jim Maving, Amy Geddes)
13 Dec The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
(with Jim Maving, Amy Geddes + TBC)
25 Jan Scotland Sings Nanci Griffith
Celtic Connections, Glasgow
28 Jan Dean Owens & The Sinners
Launch of Sinner’s Shrine album
CCA, Celtic Connections, Glasgow