sat 15/08/2020

Video Exclusive: Judith Owen's Ebb & Flow | reviews, news & interviews

Video Exclusive: Judith Owen's Ebb & Flow

Video Exclusive: Judith Owen's Ebb & Flow

Only on theartsdesk: Richard Thompson's collaborator on looking back to the Seventies

Judith Owen: collaboration is the key

Judith Owen has form for hanging around with the hairiest of musicians. Her husband is, of course, one Harry Shearer AKA Spinal Tap’s Derek Smalls. Lately, however, Owen has been hanging out with a trio, who, although as hirsute as Smalls, prefer their music a little more on the smooth side. Russ Kunkel, Lee Sklar (pictured below) and Waddy Wachtel are the main collaborators on her forthcoming album Ebb & Flow and have worked with the likes of Carole King, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne. Now Owen has brought them back together.

Their presence gives Ebb & Flow, Owen’s eighth album, a hint of funky retro-soul perched atop her usual lounge piano. Yet although the sound has moved back a few years, some things remain the same. The tracks are a mix of leftfield covers – the most notable is a folk-rolk reading of Mungo Jerry’s “In the Summertime” – and highly personal original material. Owen, well-known for her lyrical candour, gets particularly introspective on “You’re Not Here Anymore”, about her mother’s suicide, and “I Would Give Anything”, about the death of her father. More upbeat, musically if not lyrically, is a sprightly cover of James Taylor’s “Hey Mister That’s Me Up There on the Jukebox”.

To see for yourselves how Owen and her new band got along, watch theartsdesk’s exclusive video overleaf:

  • Ebb & Flow is out on 7 April


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