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Event Review: Judtih Owen @ The 2007 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
May 4, 2007
By Matthew S. Robinson
(more articles from this author)
2007-05-28
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photo by Herman Leonard
Artist: Judtih Owen
Title: Judith Owen @ The 2007 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Date: May 4, 2007
Genre: Jazz/Pop

Making her ‘Fest’ debut, Welsh chanteuse Judith Owen wowed the crowd with a set that, though brief, was filled energy and musical diversity. Opening with a sultry cabaret take on the legendary rocker “Smoke on the Water” that elicited screams from the enrapt crowd, Owen switched to the Bachrach-y ballad “Best Friend” before slamming down the keys for the muddy anti-love song “Walkin’ the Dog.”

Switching from the realm of Bob Dylan to that of Dylan Thomas for the spare and sharp “Some Arrows Go In Deep,” and the spiritually supportive “Hand Across the Water,” Owen called upon the multi-octaved support of Philip Manuel for the slinky and silky stab at celebrity “Cool Life.” Channeling Tom Jones and Cassandra Wilson, Owen lingered in the spare vocal playroom of “Enough” before inviting bassist Harry Shearer (who himself recalled a kindler, gentler Derek Smalls) on stage to support her through the hair-tossing groove of “Train Out of Hollywood.”

After “going Celtic” for the title track of her new album Happy This Way (Courgette), Owen closed with the impressively multi-hued “Nothing Lasts Forever,” which brought her varied and personable set to an ironically hopeful finale.

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