As Judith Owen explained to Standard Issue Magazine, ‘writing an email or sending a text is a minefield. Who hasn’t written a rushed text or email, hit the ‘send’ button and immediately regretted it?’.
‘We’re all so used to communicating anywhere, anytime and God forbid if someone doesn’t answer us immediately! Of course, like any other narcissistic artist who has to self-promote, I’m addicted to the internet/smartphone/computer/
Pianist-singer-songwriter Judith Owen is known for her love of musical variety and melding it into a great stylistic gumbo all her own. New album ‘Somebody’s Child’ is the culmination of this mix: voice and piano front and centre, songs that are vignettes of life crafted from the perspective that we ARE all “somebody’s child” – parental as well as planetary. An album about us.
Lead single ‘Send Me A Line’ is written by Judith and recorded in Los Angeles and London. A social commentary on people, including herself, “not being present but preoccupied by technology”, the song features Judith on piano and vocals, Leland Sklar on bass, Pedro Segundo on percussion and Gabriella Swallow on cello. ‘Send Me A Line’ is a fine example of Judith’s narrative song writing and her ability to write ‘tiny soap operas’ about universal themes of love, loss, family, humanity, optimism and frustration.
For the recording of ‘Somebody’s Child’ Judith recruited the same crème de la crème of Los Angeles session musicians who appeared on 2014’s critically-acclaimed ‘Ebb & Flow’ – bassist Sklar, guitarist Waddy Wachtel and drummer Russell Kunkel – and incorporated them with her British-based musicians – Segundo and Swallow – to create a fresh new dynamic. Partner Harry Shearer (Spinal Tap, the Simpsons) also joins the cast playing upright bass on ‘That’s Why I Love My Baby’.
In addition to her self-penned songs, a Judith signature is also to turn the most unlikely song inside out. She’s done it before with her tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the Deep Purple rock anthem ‘Smoke On The Water’ and Mungo Jerry’s irresistible, irresponsible and politically incorrect ‘In The Summertime’. This time, it’s her languid interpretation of Roxy Music’s ‘More Than This’, endorsed by none other than its creator Bryan Ferry whom she opened for last year, that lingers long in the memory. In fact it was recorded at Bryan’s London studio on his piano. Not to mention her playful adaptation of ‘Aquarius’ from the rock musical ‘Hair’.
‘Ebb & Flow’ was when many discovered Judith‘s highly seductive sound and was hailed as one of the releases of 2014 by The Independent newspaper in the UK, receiving further praise from Le Figaro in France, La Repubblica in Italy, Rolling Stone in Germany and the Wall Street Journal in the US. It also enjoyed sterling support at British radio, particularly from Jamie Cullum, Bob Harris and the late Sir Terry Wogan, stalwarts and tastemakers of the BBC Radio 2 network. All three hosted sessions featuring the Welsh-born songstress and demonstrated her commercial potential and wide-ranging appeal. In addition, ‘Ebb and Flow’ earned passionate support from Irish RTE Radio 1, Spanish RTNE Radio 3, German ARD Network, and Nordic National Radio and led to several key radio and television appearances on both sides of the Atlantic.
With ‘Somebody’s Child’, and its many moods and shades and a contemporary twist, Judith Owen seems well on her way into the Premier League of contemporary singer-songwriters and interpreters. Which is where she belongs…
‘Send Me A Line’ is the lead single from the new album ‘Somebody’s Child’, released May 6, 2016, on Twanky Records via Absolute Label Services. Find Judith Owen on her official website.