Monday, May 15, 2017
Jay Owens - Movin' On (1995)
Isaac Jerome Owens was born in Lake City, Florida, United States.His mother was a minister in a local church, where Owens first learned to sing.
He learned to appreciate blues from an uncle of his. Having obtained his first guitar, Owens was playing music professionally by the time he left high school.
Owens played alongside his friend, Johnny Kay, in the 1970s and 1980s, leading a succession of bands playing in the Tampa Bay and St. Petersberg area of Florida. In such a role he supported many other musicians such as O. V. Wright, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Aaron Neville and Little Milton.
Mike Vernon produced Owens' debut solo album, The Blues Soul of Jay Owens, which was released on Atlantic Records in 1993, and featured Pete Wingfield playing keyboards It won Living Blues magazine's 'Best Blues Album' and 'Best Debut Album' awards. In 1995, EastWest issued Movin' On, which included contributions as before from Vernon and Wingfield, whilst Dave Bronze played bass guitar on the collection.
He was also a prolific songwriter, and his songs have been recorded by Jim Leverton ("Only Human"), James Booker ("1-2-3" and "One Hell of a Nerve"), and K. T. Oslin ("Come On-A My House").
In 1997, Owens moved to Orlando, Florida after spending twenty years in New York City.
Owens died at his home in Orlando, at the age of 58, from complications of diabetes in November 2005. (Wiki)
"A top-notch sideman and songwriter, Jay Owens also enjoyed acclaim as a solo artist. Born Isaac Jerome Owens in Lake City, Florida on September 6, 1947, he learned to sing in the church where his mother presided as minister; at the age of 11, he received his first guitar, and began performing professionally while in high school. With his friend Johnny Kay, Owens went on to lead many of the most notable Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg-area backing bands of the 1970s and 1980s, among them the Barons, the Funk Bunch and the Dynamites; artists he supported included Stevie Wonder, Al Green, O.V. Wright and Donny Hathaway. With more than 100 songs to his credit as well, Owens formed his own band during the late 1980s; he made his solo debut in 1993 with The Blues Soul of Jay Owens, followed in 1995 by Movin' On." AMG
I have both Jay's albums on CD...And love them both (still) - He has Blues Soul Gospel and good vibes in his singing and guitar and the songs are catchy and varied...It's a good representation of how the Blues in the 1990's had incorporated R&B (Blues with Saxophone !) Soul and Funk (and even some Reggae) into the mix...I'm all for that ! A true under-appreciated master...I know if I'd met him he'd be a cool friendly dude...it comes across in his tunes.
KC posted his first album (as a solo) back in 2013 (he beat me to it !) ...And his sister Vanessa Owens commented: "Yes, if I say so myself my brother was talented and gifted." So Vanessa I hope you see this as a tribute to a fine talent you must be proud of. Jay is an antidote to the troubled times we face today...And should be more widely appreciated worldwide...He's great ! Nuff Said - Gus