New single forecasts Owens’ new SOUL OF CASH album honoring the spirit and art of the Man In Black
“Of all the singers and writers who have influenced me, the one who most helped me find my voice was Johnny Cash,” says Owens, who has been lauded by Rolling Stone as a “vibrant soul singer” who “bridges a racial and generational divide.”
“Partly that’s because I could never sound like him,” Owens continues. “When I listen to Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye, they get inside of me. They infiltrated the fabric of my voice. But Johnny Cash was the switch that released so many other influences for me.”
Brilliantly recast as a Memphis-flavored soulful strut, with Steve Cropper-style guitar playing Cash’s famous mariachi horn intro, “Ring Of Fire” has special meaning for Owens. “Fire can cook your food or burn your house down,” he observes. “But fire in and of itself is not the issue of this song. It’s about respecting that fire, nurturing it, watching over it. Then, when it’s pure love that overtakes you, when it’s the love my wife gives to me, I fall into a burning ring of fire too — the fire of love burning in my heart.”
Owens recently debuted “Ring of Fire” nationally with an exhilarating performance on Paste Sessions Live in New York that received more than 10,000 views during the live segment. Fans can watch the exclusive performance here:
Scheduled to release later this summer, SOUL OF CASH will also offer other Cash classics, including “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Walk The Line,” “Man In Black” and “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” each configured respectfully by Owens and his band, The Deacons Of Soul (Alvin Quinn, Shaun Robinson, Rob Woodie) to preserve the genius of the original versions while demonstrating their universal meaning and adaptability.
Brian Owens first attracted worldwide attention as lead singer with the U.S. Air Force band Sidewinder, whose videos drew more than 2.5 million hits on YouTube and led to appearances on Entertainment Tonight and The Ellen DeGeneres Show, at the White House, the World Series and many other major outlets. As founder and CEO of LIFE (Leadership, Innovation, Faith and Excellence) Arts Inc., he helps young people in his hometown community develop their leadership potential. As Artist in Residence with the E. Desmond Lee Fine Arts Collaborative at the University of Missouri St. Louis and manager of the In Unison program in tandem with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, he helps connect young people with the city’s artistic institutions.