Here’s the latest single from Scottish singer-songwriter and AUK-favourite Dean Owens. ‘Mother Road’ is a deeply atmospheric song that places the listener right there on Route 66, both through Owens’ terrific storytelling words and through the sound. Musically and lyrically, this song perfectly captures the passage of time along this iconic road and the isolation of the American desert.
Owens explains the song’s background: “This song was inspired by the story of an old barber, Angel Delgadillo, who has a shop in the town of Seligman on Route 66 – The Mother Road. Now nearly 96 years old (and known as ‘the guardian angel of 66’), he’s witnessed all the changes along and around that famous old road.” Angel’s 96th birthday was actually on 19th April, so we wish him all the best from Americana UK.
The video appears to be compiled from long-forgotten found-footage, perfect for the song’s feel and narrative detail. However, it was actually filmed specially for ‘Mother Road’ by Palm Springs’ Brandise Danesewich and Angel’s son can actually be seen taking down the flag outside the barber’s shop.
The single was recorded during the ‘Sinner’s Shrine’ sessions in Tucson and features the musicians from the brilliant ‘desert-noir’ specialists Calexico. ‘Mother Road’ features on Owens’ forthcoming double album El Tiradito (The Curse Of Sinner’s Shrine), which is due for release on 12th May 2023. It brings together all the Desert Trilogy EP tracks on one album and also includes a ‘soundtrack for an imaginary Western’ on the second CD. These songs are amongst Dean Owens’ finest ever work, his brilliant songwriting truly enhanced by his collaboration with such fine musicians. There’s upright bass and piano from Joey Burns, drums from John Convertino, trumpet from Jacob Valenzuela and Paul Niehaus supplies ethereal pedal steel. Their musical layers and textures reinforce Owens’ guitar and absorbing, understated vocal, creating a really cinematic experience. This is superb songwriting, executed brilliantly. Check it out.