About Shane Owens
A staunch country traditionalist, Shane Owens is a singer with a rich, full-bodied voice and songs that evoke stalwarts like George Strait and Randy Travis, carrying the flag for classic Nashville sounds in a time of change. Singing songs of beer, heartache, family, and patriotism awash in fiddles and pedal steel, Owens began his career as a performer in the late '90s and built an audience through hard work and constant touring on the honky tonk circuit. While a pair of failed record deals put temporary roadblocks in his way as a recording artist, he released Where I'm Comin' From in 2016, a record that celebrated country music's heritage with a passion that was thoroughly up to date.
Shane Owens grew up in rural Alabama where George Strait, Alan Jackson, Don Williams, and Keith Whitley were in regular rotation on the family's sound system. (Owens also had a grandfather who insisted on listening to George Jones when he was out in his truck.) When Owens was five years old, his folks bought him a drum kit, and at six he started singing in the choir at church, where his talent made him a standout. At an early age, Owens' parents divorced, and he was raised by his mother along with his twin sister. Growing up, the family would often listen to the Grand Ol' Opry radio broadcast on Saturday night. Owens excelled at football during his high school days, but after breaking his arm put him on the sidelines, he turned to music and started taking guitar lessons. His guitar instructor soon invited him to join their band, giving him valuable experience performing before an audience. As Owens gained confidence, he entered the Jimmy Dean Country Showdown competition, winning the Alabama regional title in 1995 and 1996, as well as going on to the semi-finals of the national contest. Forming his own band, Owens landed a job opening for country stars Confederate Railroad, and it wasn't long before he was regularly touring the South and Southwest, headlining clubs and opening for the likes of George Jones, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Jr., and Pam Tillis.
Word of Owens and his growing fame began to spread to Nashville, and record labels were soon calling. Owens turned down the first deal he was offered, which was just for a handful of singles, as he wanted to cut a full album. He struck a deal with fledgling label Rust Records, and his full-length debut, Let's Get It On, appeared in 2005. One track from the album, "Bottom of the Fifth," was faring well on the country charts in Texas when Rust abruptly went out of business less than four months after the album dropped. In 2009, Owens recorded a second album with James Stroud producing the sessions, but bad luck struck again, and the label that had planned to release it went bust before it could reach stores. Many of the tunes from the unreleased LP would finally surface in 2016 on the album Where I'm Comin' From, which was produced by Stroud and Ed Seay. One of Owens' heroes, Randy Travis, gave the project his seal of approval, serving as executive producer and making a cameo appearance in the video for the song "Country Never Goes Out of Style." The song became a favorite on satellite radio, and another track from the album, "All the Beer in Alabama," became a minor hit. Rolling Stone named Owens one of "Ten New Country Artists You Need to Know" in November 2016, and in 2017, Owens made his first appearance on the Grand Ol' Opry. June 2018 saw the release of a six-song EP, It's a Southern Thing, which included the singles "Lie" and "Love to Try Them On." ~ Mark Deming