Josh Owen Band Live Album Review

Josh Owen and his band have become something of an institution in the Melbourne scene. Constant gigging and word of mouth has seen his reputation grow. The Ben Harper look-a-like with the soulful voice has become an accomplished live performer, and this live album sets out to prove why the trio is becoming so popular.This live album from the Josh Owen Band, recorded at Brunswick Streets’ Evelyn Hotel in 2005, showcases some of the trio’s best songs. Beginning with “Brother to Brother”, Owen’s smooth and soulful voice immediately comes to the fore, as Owen and his guitar tell a family tale. Following this is “Again”, my personal favourite on the album. It is a great track, flowing easily between a softer electric roots sound to straight out rock at times.

Owen and his band bring the funk on tracks such as the fantastic “Lord’s Hands”, the bassy sound complimented perfectly by Owen’s smooth vocals. Elsewhere, the reggae styled tracks “Kia Kaha” and “Too Much Not Enough” are good enough to have any crowd bouncing along.

The epic “Has Anyone Seen The Rain” is a highlight, Owen’s echoing vocals giving the song an expansive feel, and will make you think you are lost in a desert. The trio show a softer side on ballads such as “U and Me”, which is not a bad thing at all.

A good guitarist with a voice that wouldn’t be out of place amongst a gospel choir, Owen is an extremely talented musician and songwriter, backed up perfectly by his tight band. Any band that can seamlessly go from roots to rock to reggae to funk in one album is definitely worth a listen. The Josh Owen Band deserve attention, and this live album is a great listen. It will have you tapping your feet and bouncing along the whole way through. “The Josh Owen Band Live” is great record, and while it may take a few listens to truly appreciate, the payoff is definitely worth it.