There’s something about Dean Owens & The Southerners first recording, ‘Dancing On’, I find endearing right from the counting in. It has a jaunty, catchy beat and a heartwarming story behind it as well. It was inspired by Dean Owen’s mum and dad (who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last year) and a place called the Dockers Club (Leith, Scotland). He and the Southerners played the first gig of The Man From Leith tour there in March 2020.
The lyrics paint the story of Saturday’s spent at the local with friends, and the fondness of a son for his parent’s love and shared history. Add to this music that is reminiscent of pub rock, and the whole envelopes the listener like a warm familiar hug. It’s incredibly danceable, and who doesn’t love a little dance (even round the lounge room !) . This feel good little cracker been stuck in my head since the first listen, which is not a bad thing for your debut single I think!
Dean and his manager add that ‘Dancing’ On’ is a good deal cheerier than his normal style. I’ve listened to him a lot over the past few days and his music is certainly hard to define. Definite Americana, folk and celtic influences with a little bit of rock thrown in as well. He is certainly comfortable with crossing seamlessly from lively rock to haunting ballads with a fair smattering of dark melancholy for good measure.
Each of the musicians featured on this song plays their parts flawlessly. Guests Amy Geddes, sparkles on fiddle and harmonies, while Will Kimbrough adds his particular magic to the talented Southerners Trio.
Do give ‘Dancing’ On’ a listen below and let yourself get swept up in the joy!
All about the band…
The Southerners are Dean Owens, Jim Maving and Tom Collison. They met through mutual friends, with all three having been honoured by the UK Americana Music Association (AMA). They hit it off and were about to embark on their 3rd UK tour (to promote Dean’s best of album ‘The Man From Leith’) when the pandemic struck. Their name stems from Jim and Tom hailing from the south (England) while Dean is firmly ensconced in Scotland.
Dean says “First time we played together I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. It’s not like me putting a band together locally where we can all meet up and rehearse. With Jim and Tom it was a matter of agreeing to do it and then flying by the seat of our pants.”
Dean’s also long term pals with Will Kimbrough, who’s played on most of his albums (and Dean on one of Will’s). They won UK Song Of the Year with the title track of Dean’s Southern Wind album (UK AMA Awards 2019). He has toured with The Mavericks, Grant-Lee Phillips, Will Hoge and opened for artists including Roseanne Cash, Jason Isbell and Patty Griffin. He’s also had an astounding number of collaboration across the globe, including Calexico and Buffalo Blood.
Jim Maving plays guitar, mandolin and slide in the band, and previously worked with Case Hardin and Mick Ralphs Blues Band. Check out some of Jim’s work on YouTube and enjoy his effortless playing and easy charm. Tom Collison plays bass guitar and keys (sometimes at the same time!) and has a string of live, recorded and production credits to his name. Tom won Instrumentalist of the Year at the AMA UK Awards 2018, with Jim nominated for the same in 2019.
Dean is releasing a series of EPs – The Desert Trilogy – in March, May and July, as an introduction to his next album (Sinner’s Shrine) recorded in Tucson USA, with desert noir legends Calexico, as he explores some exciting new directions. Sinner’s Shrine is scheduled for release in Sept 2021.
The Southerners meanwhile are building up the postponed ‘Man from Leith’ tour again, starting at The Green Note London (1st Sep) and Maverick Festival (3rd – 5th Sep). More dates to be confirmed in Oct/Nov and again in 2022. COVID permitting of course. Owens has written a couple of songs with Jim and Tom in mind, so perhaps there is the possibility of an EP in the future. We can only hope!
‘Dancing’ On’ CREDITS:
Dean Owens – singing and strumming
Thomas Collison – piano, bass and drums
Jim Maving – guitar and mandolin
Amy Geddes – fiddle and harmony vocals
Will Kimbrough – guitar, mandolin and harmony vocals