Review: Dalannah and Owen – Been Around A While

Posted on: Wednesday, Sep 9, 2015

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Dalannah and Owen – Been Around A While

(Quest)

Over the last couple of decades, the mould for the “traditional” group has been broken. No longer does a combo have to consist of guitar and/or keyboards, bass and drums. Often the bass is dropped or the group is in reality a duo, but here two Canadian veterans provide their own take on this lack of convention, with Dalannah Gail Bowen’s strong vocals accompanied solely by Owen Veber’s endlessly inventive bass playing.

Now this could get boring, I admit, but there is far more tonal variety than we have any right to expect. Put it down to experience, I guess. Owen has been playing in a variety of formats and genres for the last 41 years, but Dalannah outstrips him, with African/ Cherokee/ Canadian heritage and 49 years of singing blues, jazz and gospel.

The first of those musical styles is the prime focus of this CD, though jazz also crops up; try Billy Eckstine’s ‘Blues, Mother Of Sin’, and with a title like that, the blues is of course not far away.

There are some fine self-compositions by the duo (try the title track or the catchy ‘That Ain’t It’), alongside items from Son House, Robert Johnson, BB King, Louis Jordan and Marvin Gaye, whose ‘Inner City Blues’ also fits in seamlessly here; though not a blues in itself, the sentiments certainly are.

To sum up then, a brave, individual and successfully different CD.

NORMAN DARWEN

www.dalannahandowen.com

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