I have really been digging the music of country traditionalist, Shane Owens since James Dupré told me about him earlier this year. The baritone vocals of Owens are a reminder that true country is alive and well - you just have to know where to look for it. Having fought for a chance to release music for over a decade, Owens has shown a remarkable amount of drive and a commitment to his craft. When most people get pushed down once or twice, they tend to fold. Try three times. Try having your dreams crushed time after time. An offer to only record singles, despite glowing praise from numerous mainstream acts. The record label folded. Not once. How about twice? Is this guy a trooper or what? What I know is this man can tell a story, make you feel something, and really reflect on his music. Let’s talk about his latest single… 19.
I’m pro military and first responders. Why? Because these people constantly put themselves in harms way so we can go sit in our cars and get a coffee at the drive-thru, while we listen to Spotify. We can walk freely about our streets and go shopping, go workout, go to the beach, and just do what we choose. Why? Because we are free. We live in an incredible country, no matter what the media says. We are blessed to have a chance at choosing our own futures and try different things and talk to different people. Go to some other countries and come back and tell me what they are like. I think it’s safe to say some people would express a higher level of gratitude than they currently do.
19 is simple. It’s a number. “It’s just a number.” as many would say. It can be someone’s number on a jersey. It can be someone’s age. Years of marriage. You get the point. Like any number, it’s just a number until we put a face, time-stamp, or memory to it.
Shane Owens took this idea and put a story to 19. The jersey number of young man who led his high school football team to victory and received a scholarship to college. It’s a proud moment for anyone and most never think that their world can change so fast. Just think back to 9/11 and how so many enlisted to fight for this country. The young man in this song did just that. Guess how old he was?
Owen’s continues to build the story here with this young man and the listener realizes how “some kid” is actually someone’s child, sibling, and friend. The high school help at the grocery store that carries your bags out to the car. While listening to this song, I knew deep down, this was going to head in a direction I hated to think about. A soldier gets injured by a sniper and they needed a fellow soldier to go attempt a rescue. While the injured soldier is rescued, our 19 year old man, with such a promising college football future back home playing for Tennessee, is killed in action. Is 19 still just a number?
With the the sheer songwriting ability that Shane Owens possess and his commitment to country music, he’s someone you need to be watching for. He’s had increasing amount of attention head his way this past year and it’s well deserved. If you still have any doubt…look who’s behind the helm of the controls in the studio. That’s some serious endorsement if you ask me.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
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