Alabama native Shane Owens has experienced career setbacks that would make most abandon their dreams. In 2005, he released a full album, Let's Get On It, whose single "Bottom of the Fifth," was a hit in Texas. However, the label Owens was on folded, and along with it the record, which was on the market for less than 100 days. Then, producer James Stroud (Chris Young, Clint Black, etc.) took him under his wing. Another album was recorded and ready for release in 2009 when its record company also went under. But Owens never gave up and later this year, the warm voiced baritone will release a new cd on Amerimonte Records. The singer-songwriter kindly took the time to talk about persevering, the new record and his excitement for the future.
Music is something you have been pursuing for well over a decade. Was it something that you always wanted to do?
I grew up in a small town in Alabama where my grandmother, parents and I all sang in the choir at church. I always loved country music and started playing guitar and writing during high school where I played football, which was my first love. When I graduated, I knew that my football career was over, so I started getting more into music. God has blessed me with a talent and allowed me to pursue country music to get me where I am today and I’m so excited to be on Ameritone and release this single and new album.
You have said that you "think of yourself as a crusader for traditional country music." Is there anyone in particular that you cite as an influence either on your writing, performing or singing?
I have quite a few including George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Vern Goslin. And of course, Keith Whitely and Randy Travis, who executive produced the record and has become a good friend.
With the recent success of more traditional minded artists, it seems that the country music audience is definitely looking for something more traditional.
The good thing about country music is that most of the time it speaks the truth, telling a story about everyday living, the things we struggle with and the way we were raised. To me, there’s no better genre to be in because country music is honest writing with things you can relate to. No disrespect to anything anyone does, because there’s a time and place for everything, but I think traditional country music fans are clamoring for a change. We can see it at radio and we can see it at live shows - even the younger kids are digging this traditional sound - and I think the pendulum is swinging back in that direction.
And with that pendulum swinging, this could finally be your time, especially after the setbacks you have had in your career over the years, setbacks that would make many people give up. How did you persevere?
It’s in my raising as well as what I learned from playing sports: you have to be tough. This business isn’t easy - if it was everyone would be doing it. I just try to keep my head above water, do the right things and treat people the right way. I play music because I love it and try to use my talent for the right reasons.
We struggled for fifteen years and I’m proof that if you don’t give up, the good Lord will see you through and good things will happen. I've been incredibly blessed and have so many people to thank for making this album come together including Ameritone Records, James Stroud, John Anderson and Randy Travis. For the first time, I'm really comfortable in my career.....now I jokingly tell people, “I’m a sixteen year overnight success.” (laughing)
Later this summer, you will finally be releasing a new album on Ameritone Records. Will the songs be pulled from your previous albums, or are they all new?
This new record contains ten brand new songs, some I wrote and others that were pitched to me. The songs I didn't write, I chose because they spoke to me, like my current single "Country Never Goes Out of Style" - that song was written from the heart. It also contains a remake of a John Anderson song that he sang on with me. There is a mix of ballads and up-tempo songs and some surprises as well. We can’t wait for people to hear it. If you love traditional country music, you’re going to love this record.
In addition to the album release, will you be touring more extensively?
Right now, I am on a radio tour and have several upcoming dates with David Allen Coe and Toby Keith. We’re looking forward to getting out there, playing these songs, seeing all the traditional country music fans and getting them stirred up again.
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