SINGER/ SONGWRITER and a very fine guitarist Dan Owen has seen his profile rise considerably since the release of his single ‘Made To Love You’ (two million Spotify streams and counting). Dan Owen first started playing live ten years ago at the young age of 13. He became an online viral sensation when a stunning live cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘The Ballad Of Hollis Brown’ was uploaded to Reddit by a random audience member.
This has all happened almost by accident for the Shrewsbury bluesman, who had ambitions to be a carpenter and play guitar in his local pub and now goes on a national tour following on from a support tour with Birdy across Europe.
Dan Owens learned to play guitar at the age of nine. When he was 13, he and his sister on vocals started playing in bars in his home town.
“My Dad would drive us there and we would have to play before 9pm. We would play before my guitar tutors gig in the local pub. That led us to doing open mic nights, so I was out there gigging since I was 13 years old.”
It is only when his sister left to go to university that Dan started to sing live. The songwriting came later, Dan used lyrics to deal with everyday dramas and issues that he felt he needed to address. His current song ‘Made to Love You’ is a hard-hitting piece written from the personal experience of Dan supporting a friend suffering in an abusive relationship.
“Things happened that I didn’t quite know what to do about them and I found myself writing songs about them as my way of expressing how I felt it was just a bit of a release.”
Dan Owen’s early ambitions were to work with wood and found himself working in the workshop of lauded guitar maker Patrick James Eggle whom he has known for a few years.
Unfortunately his placement with the Eggle was cut short when Dan had an accident in another joinery. It left him with very poor sight in one eye and unable to do any craft work in fine detail.
“I did work with Eggle for a few weeks making guitars. Before I knew that being a musician was possible I wanted to be a guitar maker/ carpenter.”
Patrick James Eggle made a guitar for Dan and knowing what the songwriter wanted made a guitar with a very warm tone but with a sharp cutting attack. The neck of the guitar was made with wood from an old billiard table and the instrument is Dan’s “pride and joy”.
Eggle only made two guitars to this specification and the instrument was reviewed in Acoustic Guitar Magazine. It was awarded 5/5 in all categories.
The magazine was so impressed with Dan’s new guitar that the instrument featured on that month’s front cover, meaning Dan’s guitar has become a cover star before the singer/ songwriter has graced any front covers.
This upcoming gig will be Dan’s first visit to Limerick. His previous visit to the West of Ireland brought him to Dingle to work with Patrick Sheehy and Walking On Cars on new songs that are in demo form for now but destined to become future Dan Owens material.
“They are just demos at the minute but I think they are quite strong songs.”
The captivating live performer, who likes to brew his own cider and compares his songwriting to shore fishing, gigs with his beloved Eggle and Martin guitars and a stomp box. Expect to hear songs from his new EP ‘Open Hands and Enemies’, the plaintive and beautiful ‘Fall Like a Feather’ and a few choice blues covers.
Dan Owens plays Dolan’s this Wednesday December 7 with special guest Eve Belle.