After a decade of striving, things are coming together for this country music sensation.
By JOHN BENSON
Like every other up-and-coming artist in the music industry, Shane Owens is hoping opportunity and success intersect with his new country album "Let's Get on it," which is due in stores Aug. 23.
With over 40 radio stations nationwide already playing the album's lead single, "Bottom of the Fifth," things are looking up for this 10-year-veteran of the touring circuit. Owens, a traditional crooner, paid special attention not only to his talents, but also the market when it came time to record the 10-track album.
"It's kind of a new thing," said Owens, calling from his home in Alabama. "I've got a traditional voice but we wanted to try to get away from [sounding too contemporary]. We even went back and used some instruments on the album, like a jaw harp, that hadn't been used in I don't know how many years. We just wanted to do something different and cut a lot of upbeat stuff that people can relate to. And it all worked out great."
Owens is taking advantage of the increased publicity surrounding his new album, as well as his single, by playing a showcase concert with co-headliner Julie Roberts Friday at the B & amp;B Backstage in Youngstown.
"We always look forward to getting out into new places," Owens said. "I've never played with her before but I know she's a good singer. Our show is upbeat. We run around, get in the crowd and have fun. Everybody loves good music, no matter what genre it is. If you got good music, audiences are going to be happy."
Chasing the dream
While a career in country music did not become a dream until he graduated from high school, his childhood and teenage years were never without the Nashville sound. If he wasn't listening to the Saturday night broadcast of The Grand Ole Opry, artists like Don Williams, Keith Whitley, Ricky Skaggs, George Jones and Vern Gosdin were getting played in his single-parent home.
Eventually, the talented singer found himself in a band that would soon earn opening slots for the likes of Confederate Railroad. After winning the 1995 and 1996 "Jimmy Dean Alabama Country Showdown," he went out on his own. In some ways, it's been a long road, with possible record deals seemingly falling apart as quickly as they were offered.
Still, he persevered, and it appears to have paid off. With "Let's Get it on" finished but without distribution or a label deal, Northeast Ohio's Rust Records contacted Owens and before he knew it, he was signed and his album was getting a national release. He knows this is the shot he's been waiting for his whole life.
"I think this is it, I really truly do," Owens said. "We've worked and had deals that didn't work out and this thing with Rust has given me a lot more freedom with my writing. It's just, I think, it's time. I'm not getting any younger. I really feel like this is my shot."