Dean Owens is widely hailed as one of UK’s finest troubadours (with fans including Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh and BBC legend “Whispering” Bob Harris). In 2017 he became the first Scottish musician to officially showcase at the prestigious Americanafest in Nashville. His visit included a guest spot with the Mavericks at their “allstar” show at the Basement East… and a mention in Rolling Stone. It’s also where he met Doug and Telisha Williams aka Wild Ponies, who are joining him on his debut US tour. Dean was invited to showcase at the Wild Ponies’ Happy Hour at Nashville’s legendary Family Wash, and they have been mutual admirers of each others’ music ever since.
Armed with a searingly soulful voice, skillfully crafted songs and earworm inducing, heart-twisting melodies, Dean is a mesmerising and engaging live performer, with an emotional hurricane of stories and songs. Dean’s music conjures the open road’s wild romanticism, whilst searching for, and combining, the primal sounds of two very different countries, distilling the Scottish and Americana into a unique blend of celtic spirit, country soul.
While never losing his own unique Scottish identity, Dean has had a longstanding love affair with the USA, recording 4 of his 7 solo albums there, including his most recent, the Nashville recorded Southern Wind (produced by Neilson Hubbard), which has been blowing over reviewers, since its release in Feb, with many calling it his best yet. Southern Wind is Dean’s second collaboration with Neilson Hubbard (with a third in the pipeline) and his fifth with his longstanding friend and collaborator, award winning guitarist Will Kimbrough (one of Emmylou Harris’s Red Dirt Boys).
Wild Ponies are unafraid to cross boundaries, determined to carry on a heritage that’s been decades in the making. That independent streak also holds true for Doug and Telisha Williams, who take their band name from the small-but-mighty animal that roams their native Virginia highlands.
The married duo’s music draws on old-time tradition while embracing the fierce spirit of the songwriters who inspire them – Hazel Dickens, Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams, to name a few. On tour, Doug swaps out acoustic and electric guitar, while Telisha plays upright bass. Often supported by a drummer, Wild Ponies’ dynamic live shows are assertive and engaging.