SongVault Artist Profile
New Mexico, United States
Contemporary Country / Americana
What’s striking about Rebecca Owen’s voice is more than just her three-octave range; it’s the emotional intimacy of her singing. Owen gets inside the songs she sings, making them breathe and come to life in new ways that are immediately affecting. On her self-titled debut album, Rebecca Owen, the Albuquerque, New Mexico resident reveals herself to be both a striking interpreter of songs both new and familiar and a significant new talent on the rise.
A native of Slidell, Louisiana, music has always been a part of Rebecca’s life. Her parents have both been heavily involved in music, and Rebecca began playing piano as a young girl. Reba McEntire was the driving force in inspiring Rebecca to sing, and as she recalls, “One day mom and I were listening to Reba in the car and I was singing along real loud, and she looked at me and asked, ‘Where did you learn do that?’ It was the first time I realized I might have something special.” Rebecca was soon singing in her school and church and had her first public performance at the age of eleven.
As Rebecca recalls, she never had any doubts about her path. “By thirteen, I knew that music was what I wanted to do forever. I sang everywhere I could – festivals, fairs, school and church. I even used to call the country stations in town and ask them if I could sing over the radio. Then at fifteen, I started singing on demo recordings for songwriters who were looking to sell their songs.” During college, Rebecca moved to Nashville for a bit and even worked for a live music show based in New Orleans.
But since moving to Albuquerque, she’s taken her music to the next level. People really have taken notice a lot more here and they’re great about supporting new artists. In Albuquerque, it’s less about what “the new thing” is than it is about people really just enjoying themselves; there’s an appreciation of music here that’s much more pure than any other place I’ve been.” And Rebecca’s reputation as a live performer has grown here, a singer who connects with any audience. “I’m committed to putting on a wildly entertaining show,” she states. “I bring a lot of energy and I’m out to connect to every single person in the audience. And I choose the songs I sing because they have great stories that everyday people can connect to.”
The songs she sings and the stories she tells are present on her new album, Rebecca Owen. Produced by Johnny Mulhair, a New Mexico native who produced Leann Rimes’ first two albums and was nominated for a CMA award, the album is a beguiling mix of songs both legendary and unknown. There is the homage to traditional country, in her version of Hank Williams Sr.’s “My Heart Would Know,” and the challenge of singing a song written by one of her favorite artists, Lucinda Williams “I Lost It.” But the heart of the album is in the original songs like “Sidewinder,” written by her friend Kris Russell. “When I first heard that song,” Rebecca remembers, “I knew it could rock. It’s the ultimate bad boyfriend song.” Rebecca sings the song with the sexiness of a woman whose desire overwhelms her caution. “World Without You,” is a showcase for the full range of Rebecca’s voice, building through the song to a thrilling series of climaxes.
After opening for artists such as Little Big Town, Rick Trevino, Lorrie Morgan and Jack Ingram, Rebecca’s appetite for big shows has been activated. She says, “I’m trying to get bigger and better. When I open for these artists, I’m so spurred on by the excitement in the room; I want to be where they are.” With a growing audience, and a thrilling debut album, it is only a matter of time where Rebecca Owen, with her astonishing voice and electric stage presence, gets to be where she wants to be, singing the songs and stories that listeners hear their own lives in, establishing herself as a major new talent in the process.