Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Album Review: Brian Owens - Soul of Cash

Brian Owens
Soul of Cash
**** out of *****

The Ferguson, Missouri singer Brian Owens decided to interpret Johnny Cash's songs in a rhythm and soul review style on the aptly titled Soul of Cash release.

The production, supporting crew and Owens vocals are all ear opening as the genre sift on Cashes music may look odd at first, but rings out gloriously in headphones as rich bass, drums, horns and singing soar. Opening with Cashes best known song "Ring of Fire" the ease and confidence that Owens and band display are masterful, allowing the horns to seep in after a setting the grooving scene; a sensual track.

The tempo and energy gets a nitro boost as "Folsom Prison Blues" pumps from the get go and Owens asks for forgiveness from his mamma. "Walk The Line" is excellently pushed forward by an intoxicating bass run which controls the opening as strings slowly enter before the full band release.

"Cry, Cry Cry" is the most retro soul standard on the album but this is no way a let down as the crisp guitar runs, backing vocals and horns are note perfect, allowing Owens to sing passionately to his cheating lover. The groove and drums of Daru Jones take the lead on "Sunday Morning Coming Down" which builds in funky procession to a call and response vocal to wrap up in hip shaking fashion.

Dylan McDonald joins on vocals for "Long Black Veil" and it is the one song that really doesn't change all that much from other versions of the old weeper, adding just a minimal organ to the vocals while "The Man In Black" is a hell of a revved up, funky fresh full on soul review; Cash may have never envisioned his tune interpreted like this, but he would damn sure approve of this cooking take.

The lone original track closes the album acting as Owens mission statement. "Soul In My Country" has Rissi Palmer on board for vocal support but the direction is clear as he calls out to country legends explaining how their songs have affected his life and spiritually. A perfect statement track to close out a musical experiment that succeeds on all fronts.         
Support the artist, buy the album on vinyl, stream it, and peep some video below:

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