DALANNAH AND OWEN
BEEN AROUND A WHILE
QUEST RECORDS QST–009
BEEN AROUND A WHILE–EARLY IN THE MORNING–THAT AIN’T IT–BLUES, MOTHER OF SIN–ALREADY GONE–QUEEN BEE–INNER CITY BLUES–HEAVEN’S RIGHT HERE–COME ON IN MY KITCHEN–WHY I SING THE BLUES–WALKIN’ BLUES
Canadian blues duo Dalannah Gail Bowen and Owen Veber have taken a decidedly “outside the box” approach to the blues for their first release together. Dalannah handles all the vocals, and Owen is on bass, and that’s all folks–yep, this duo uses only Dalannah’s voice and Owen’s bass lines to convey an unusually-powerful message in “Been Around A While” on Quest Records.
They’ve got some fine credentials, too. Dalannah has sung gospel, jazz, and blues for nearly fifty years, and brings all her influences to the table on this set. Her philanthropic side is evident in her charitable volunteer work for the poor in Vancouver’s downtown east side. Owen is a classically-trained bassist, and his fluid lines ride crystal-clear over these eleven cuts, as they mix their own material with clever, topical covers.
They kick off with Dalannah’s celebration of life song, noting that “I’ve Been Around A While,” but, “all that living can be good for you!” She handles the Billy Eckstine chestnut, “Blues, Mother Of Sin” with ease, giving us a literal three-minute blues history lesson! “Already Gone” is a cool original that has Dalannah givin’ a cheatin’ lover his walkin’ papers, while the story of one who is looking for something that they’ve already found is the theme of the jazzy “Heaven’s Right Here.”
We had two favorites, too. Owen rides that ummistakable bass line of “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)” over Dalannah’s ominous, brooding vocal that makes this song as relevant as it was forty years ago when Marvin Gaye first cut it. And, the set closes with that marching bass line that leaves no doubt that Dalannah “woke up this morning, lookin’ ’round for my shoes,” Son House’s “Walkin’ Blues.”
Dalannah Bowen and Owen Veber have taken a really unique approach to the blues on this set. Only a couple of seasoned veterans with unlimited musical chops could pull it off, so, if you are looking for something completely different, check out “Been Around A While.” Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.