“I Still Miss Someone” – Dean Owens

3 stars (out of 5)

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I Still Miss SomeoneMy experience over the last couple of years has taught me that when something turns up for review from Dean Owens it’s always worth a listen and the single, “I Still Miss Someone”, is no exception. The song is taken from Dean’s classic album of Johnny Cash covers “Cash Back: Songs I Learned from Johnny” and is released to tie in with his current mini tour with his Drumfire labelmate, Ags Connolly.  I’ve already said in the review of “Cash Back…”that there isn’t a bad song on the album, so you know that the lead track is a good version of a Johnny Cash and Roy Cash Jr. Song which is well arranged and tastefully played.  It’s a great album track, but I’m not really sure that it’s a single.

However, it’s not the only track on the single; there are three more songs here.  “Virginia North” is a Dean Owens original which is interesting, but wouldn’t feature on a “Best Of…” and the two remaining tracks move progressively towards the basic elements of the songs.  On “Folsom Prison Blues”, it’s just Dean and an acoustic guitar, and it works perfectly; there aren’t any unnecessary distractions from a powerful song and vocal performance (including Dean’s version of the trucker’s gear change, where he jumps an octave instead of the usual tone or semitone).  The final track on the single, Rod McKuen’s “”Love’s Been Good to Me”, is a real surprise; it’s an a cappella version.  There’s nowhere to hide here and Dean absolutely nails it; you can’t strip it back any more than that and it’s a beautiful song sung by a great voice.  Whether you already have the album or not, this single’s worth having on the strength of the last two tracks.

“I Still Miss Someone” is out October 28 on Drumfire Records (DRMFR013).