Edinburgh’s Dean Owens has combined talents with desert noir icon Joey Burns of Calexico, Calexico trumpet player Martin Wenk and his old Felsons bass player Kevin McGuire at a Celtic Connections online event later this month.

The show was recorded with Dean and Kevin in Scotland, Joey in Idaho and Martin in Berlin with audio and video mixed by sound engineer Gary Boyle of Slate Room Studios and film maker Ruth Barrie of Waltzer Films. It will be the first public performance of some of the songs from Owens’ upcoming Sinner’s Shrine album.

Owens met Burns during a visit to Tuscon during an American tour in 2019 leading to an invitation to record at the legendary WaveLab Studio in Tucson with Joey, John Convertino and regular Calexico musicians.

The results will be broadcast on 31 January 2021 as part of Celtic Connections, which is usually three weeks of terrific live music in Glasgow. Due to the pandemic it is all online for anyone anywhere to access.

Following the concert, Owens has a busy year lined up with the release of his Desert Trilogy EPs over the next few months.

The Desert Trilogy EPs are available as digital releases and very limited edition CDs, including special packs. They can be pre-ordered here and will be available on release dates on Bandcamp and the usual digital outlets

After that Sinner’s Shrine recorded in early 2020 will be released in the autumn on full vinyl, CD and digital platforms. This is described as Owens ‘surrendering to the intoxicating sounds of the south west’. (Some of the Sinner’s Shrine tracks will be included in the Desert Trilogy EPs.)

There are stories of love and lust, sinners and saints, the displaced, the wanderers and the border ghosts. The songs showcase Owens’ gift for storytelling, with his searingly soulful voice, infused with the dramatic Panavision desert sweep of Calexico, with Burns’ guttural guitar, Convertino’s masterful drumming and percussion, and sweeping mariachi horns. 

Sunday 31 January 2021 – Dean Owens and Joey Burns with Martin Wenk and Kevin McGuire

Celtic Connections online  Digital tickets here

5 February 2021 – New Mexico the digital single will be released. This was originally recorded for Dean’s first solo album The Droma Tapes which is in its 20th anniversary year. The Droma Tapes was made in a Highland cottage with little in the way of technology and Dean said: “The Droma Tapes is like the black and white version, and I always thought New Mexico should have the full Technicolor treatment. And now it has!”

The songs on The Desert Trilogy EPs include a track each from Sinner’s Shrine plus songs from the album sessions and new ones recorded long distance with John Convertino and musicians from Calexico, during 2020.

5 March 2021 The Burning Heart – The Desert Trilogy EPs Vol1 will be released including tracks New Mexico, Here Comes Paul Newman, Riverline and Tombstone Rose.

7 May 2021 Sand and Blood The Desert Trilogy EPs Vol 2 including tracks Land of the Hummingbird, (featuring Gaby Moreno), Dolina, Ashes and Dust and She Was a Raven

9 July Ghosts – The Desert Trilogy EPs Vol 3 with tracks The Hopeless ghosts (featuring Grant Lee Phillips), Mother Road, Even When I’m Gone and The End.

The Desert Trilogy EPs can be pre-ordered here

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