REVIEW: Bones Owens Cooks Up a Rock and Roll Stew on His Self-titled Album


When you look for bio information on Bones Owens, you don’t find a lot. Like many musicians, he makes his home in Tennessee, although he’s not really a part of the Nashville scene. He has worked with Yelawolf and toured with Whiskey Myers. His previously released EPs comprised mostly Americana songs. His new self-titled album is more of a rock album with a distinct tip of the cap to the big guitar sounds of the 60s and 70s.

Right from the beginning, you notice that this album is a blend of sounds. The opening track “Lightning Strike” features a guitar part that sounds like a cleaner version of Dirtbombs. The backing vocals lend a soul feel to the garage-rock melody. That’s not the only song where you’ll hear soulful backing vocals. The backing vocals in “Tell Me” are worthy of a Rolling Stones tune.

If you’re looking for a couple songs to add to your road-trip playlist, “White Lines” and “Come My Way” are good candidates. “White Lines” is about being on the road 50 miles from home. This one is perfect for a convertible that provides more space for the fist pumping you’ll want to do. In “Come My Way” he sings about his El Camino with a 396. He goes on to say “I’m a real bad man until my baby comes my way.”

When you hear the guitar riff and the vocals at the beginning of “Keep It Close,” you can’t help but think about Oasis. But it’s not just the wall of sound that you notice. You also notice the lyrics, “My daddy told me when I was a little boy, this world will try to rob you of your joy.” Maybe that’s a harsh lesson for a kid, but those are probably words we all need to hear from an early age so we can do something to prevent that theft of joy.

The 60s and 70s sound can be heard throughout the album. At times the guitar has a similar psychedelic sound to The Chocolate Watchband. Songs like “Waves” are likely to remind you of some of your favorite classic rock bands.

Yes, this is a rock album, but Owens certainly hasn’t painted himself into a corner. The album taps into classic rock, garage rock, and psychedelic sounds. At various points during the album, you can also hear some soul and blues influences. It is a well-done album that keeps you on your toes as far as what to expect in the next song. Bones Owens (Black Ranch Records) will be available everywhere on February 26. Order your copy here.

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