EP release for well-travelled troubador Owen, fondly recalling his Hitchin roots from far away
- Credit: Archant
A globe-trotting troubadour who cut his teeth on Hitchin’s vibrant music scene has released a four-track EP of his latest work today.
There’s no chance for a home-town launch just yet for busy Owen Stephen, who is busy touring Scandinavia – but the former Priory School and North Herts College student still calls the town home.
His first live performance was at the town’s iconic Club 85 venue, which by coincidence was his last gig before he headed abroad.
“It has to be my favourite local venue,” he says. “You couldn’t wish for a more friendly owner – Bob Mardon treats all the acts that play down there like family!”
Rhythms of the World fans will know Owen well. As well as performing over the years at the festival with a string of different bands and artists, for the past two years he had a troubadour role on the main stage, playing in between the acts throughout the day.
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Owen name-checks top drawer influences including Bob Marley, Johnny Cash and Neil Young, but he’s also a fan of the new generation of singer-songwriter stars, like Ed Sheeran, George Ezra, Hozier, and Hitchin’s very own James Bay.
“He is just going from strength to strength,” says Owen.
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“A journey like his is an inspiration to any upcoming performers.
“I absolutely love his music. When he was playing on the local scene I didn’t get to see him play many times, I was always off playing elsewhere, but I’d heard great things about him.
“I haven’t stopped listening to the Hold Back The River EP and I have pre-ordered the album.
“It’s great to see someone from Hitchin doing so well and he couldn’t deserve it more, it’s good to see years and years of hard work paying off.
“A couple of young acts I think people will be hearing a lot more from in the coming years are Cara Beard and George Smith.
“I worked with Cara on her recent EP and have seen George perform many times, they are both getting better and better all the time.
“It’s so amazing that a town like Hitchin has so much world-class talent in the local pubs!”
The four-track Day And Night EP, released on Monday, features upbeat world music-influenced opener Shooting Star, darker pop in Sitting After Midnight, summer vibe Fall Down and the slower, more electronic Never Meant to Be.
Owen said: “The title Day & Night reflects the contrast between the lighter and the darker moods of the record and also the fact that music has become exactly that for me over the last few years, my days and my nights, which I feel incredibly lucky about!
“I’m really happy with how it turned out,” he said. “I recorded it with Andy Theakstone at Unit Studios in Letchworth – I have been working with him for many years and I love all of his productions, he’s done some great stuff down there, it’s so great to have such an awesome studio on our doorstep!”
This week’s release is the second under Owen’s own name – 2013 debut Just Dreaming is also available on iTunes.