At first glance, Johnny Cash might seem like an unlikely inspiration for Brian Owens
, whose performances evoke the golden era of Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke and other giants of his chosen genre. But when he releases his next album SOUL OF CASH
, the depth of Owens’ artistic kinship to the Man In Black clarifies beyond all doubt.
Owens’s ability to encompass the sacred and the sensuous mirror what Cash accomplished in his music. Which makes it appropriate for Owens to record SOUL OF CASH and issue it almost to the day 60 years after Cash issued his debut, Johnny Cash With His Hot and Blue Guitar.
“It’s pretty amazing to think it was 60 years ago that Johnny Cash released his debut album,” Owens says. “What’s even more amazing is that three of the four hit singles from that album somehow managed to influence this son of soul from Ferguson, Missouri, and to grace my ‘debut’ homage to the Man in Black. Great music stands the test of time, and I hope that music lovers and Cash fans will hear the same depth, drive and beauty in this album as they did 60 years ago. Here’s to you, Brother Cash.”
The first single from SOUL OF CASH, “Ring of Fire,” was released in June. Musicologist Keivu G. Knox was among many who offered enthusiastic reviews, writing that “Brian Owens will have you on fire after taking on this modern twist of an iconic musical statement.” Fans can take a listen to “Ring of Fire” on Spotify and add to their favorite playlists.
The follow up single from SOUL OF CASH will be Owens’ searing version of “Cry, Cry, Cry.” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Walk The Line,” “Man In Black,” and “Sunday Morning Coming Down” are among the other Cash titles featured on the album, each configured respectfully by Owens to preserve the genius of the original versions while demonstrating their universal meaning and adaptability.
Along with these titles, Owens completes his nod to Cash with an original composition, “Soul in My Country,” which also features country star Rissi Palmer and pedal steel guitar phenom Robert Randolph.
Produced by Owens for Ada Cole Records and Purpose Music Group, SOUL OF CASH also features his band, The Deacons of Soul (Alvin Quinn, Shaun Robinson, Rob Woodie), with special guests Rissi Palmer, Austin Grimm Smith, Dylan McDonald, The Cash Williams Collective (Daru Jones, Marcus Machado, Tony Esterly, Victor Broden, Zander Wyatt, Lee Carroll, Willie Eames), Robert Randolph, and introducing The Vaughans.