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Most Popular Songs (more)
9,184 4.0/5Mystery lyrics
|2||That's Why I Love My Baby lyrics|
|3||Get Into It lyrics|
|4||Inside You lyrics|
|6||Let's Hear It For Love lyrics|
|8||I Know Why the Sun Shines lyrics|
|9||The Rain Is Gonna Fall lyrics|
|10||I Promise You lyrics|
Most Popular Albums (more)
4,979 4.0/5Somebody's Child 
|2||Lost And Found |
|3||Happy This Way |
|4||Ebb & Flow |
|5||Limited Edition |
|7||Mopping Up Karma |
|8||Twelve Arrows |
|9||Emotions On A Postcard |
|10||Christmas In July |
Judith Owen has boldly followed her muse, independently releasing recordings that have captivated fans, fellow artists and the most discerning critics. She has been featured by NBC's "Today Show" and NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday" and lauded by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Washington Post and many others.
Equal parts musicality, personality and wit, Owen's music combines pop, rock, jazz, classical, R&B and theatrical influences. Variety effusively described her as "a charmer and a seducer, a rocker and a jazz chanteuse." The Los Angeles Times called Owen "whip smart, soulfully cool and deeply introspective." The Washington Post praised Owen's "rare talent for effortlessly crossing genres" adding, "her alluring vocals are a gift that keeps on giving."
Owen's most recent album, Mopping Up Karma (Courgette Records 2008) is the latest incarnation of her singular talent, which a recent Boston Globe Arts cover story described as:
"Owen's voice is gorgeous. It's a phenomenally forthright instrument that whispers when necessary and wails when the moment calls for candor."
The seeds of Mopping Up Karma grew from a set of recordings Owen created in 1998 for an album she was making with Glen Ballard. His discovery of Owen performing in the Hollywood club, Luna Park, led to her signing with his Capitol imprint label, Java Records. Sadly, the CD was never released due to the unfortunate demise of this label in 2000. Despite the set back, Owen fought for and regained ownership of the masters. Eight years and six CD's later, she listened to the songs with a seasoned ear at the behest of fan emails. She was struck by how relevant and moving they continued to be. She then spent two months stripping the songs of their "major label clutter," even directing the 'tongue-in-cheek' photo shoot and CD cover art.
As the title indicates, Mopping Up Karma is a revisit and cleansing of the past and was followed quickly on the heels of Here (2006) and Happy This Way (2007). Standouts from the former include 'Worship,' with guest artist kd lang, lending her incomparable vocals and the title track 'Here,' so universally resonant that Jamie Lee Curtis, a longtime Owen champion, chose it to make her debut as a music video director. The result is an exquisitely poignant portrayal of a woman finally inhabiting the present -- no longer regretting the past nor fearing the future.
Happy This Way is a layered homage to Owen's native Britain. It was co-produced with her longtime collaborator, John Fischbach, engineer of Stevie Wonder's classic 1976 album Songs In The Key Of Life. The album is characteristically wide-ranging in mood and style. It includes '60's influenced British Invasion pop-rock, cinematically orchestral landscapes of home and emotionally bare solo performances at the piano; as much hymn as folk tale.
Among Owen's most ardent advocates are some of the world's finest contemporary musicians, many of whom Owen has collaborated with: bluesman Keb 'Mo, saxophonist Tom Scott, Julia Fordham and Van Dyke Parks. Others include musical legends Burt Bacharach and Leiber & Stoller, jazz vocalist Ian Shaw, Shawn Colvin, Quantic and others. Cassandra Wilson calls her "one of the most passionate, mesmerizing, thoroughly creative vocal artists on the scene today." Jamie Cullum has dubbed Owen a "female Randy Newman."
Perhaps her most constant collaboration has been with British folk-rock legend Richard Thompson, whom she met while recording on the Java label. Thompson asked her to sing on 'Mock Tudor', but it was his invitation to perform in his Billboard-inspired "1000 Years of Popular Music" at the Getty which proved to be their best-known association. Owen's considerable contributions to this historic romp are documented on a collectable 2006 CD and DVD of the event. On it, she and Thompson perform music dating back to the 13th century, up to contemporary tracks by Julie London, the Beatles and even, Britney Spears.
Owen has become one of Thompson's female foils of choice. Aside from his guest performances on 12 Arrows and Happy This Way, she toured with him as the featured vocalist in the 2008 U.S. and the 2009 U.K. performances of "1000 Years" receiving tremendous praise. The Washington Post called her performance "amazing" and The Boston Herald said she "nearly stole the show." The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel called Owen "as wildly versatile a singer as Thompson is a guitarist" and UK's The Guardian commented that she ",deserves to emerge as a celebrity in her own right." April 2009 also saw Thompson's debut performance of the song cycle and vehicle for bass legend Danny Thompson: 'Cabaret of Souls', which again featured Owen and partner Harry Shearer in the role of narrator.
The beginning of Owen's ascent over the last decade was her 1996 debut album, Emotions On A Postcard. The beguiling single, "Hand On My Heart," was featured in the 1997 Jack Nicholson/Helen Hunt film "As Good As It Gets." Her next effort, Limited Edition (which would become Mopping Up Karma) produced several tracks that were showcased in various television shows that aired on CBS, NBC, HBO and most notably the WB's 'Charmed' and Fox's 'The Simpsons' in which she also appeared as herself, thanks to Simpson's producer Mike Skully.
An acclaimed third album—featuring a dozen tracks so penetrating that Owen entitled the disc 12 Arrows—earned her the opening slot on tour with kd lang. Owen's 2005 EP Christmas In July (and word of her and partner Shearer's talent-filled Christmas sing-a-longs) culminated in an invitation to recreate the private yearly gathering at LA's prestigious Walt Disney Concert Hall. The EP also begat a fearless interpretation of Spinal Tap's "Christmas With The Devil," which has become a yearly highlight for her and Shearer when touring the show. As part-time residents of New Orleans, (both record there), the annual 8-10 performances around the U.S. continue to raise money for school music programs in the post-Katrina New Orleans area.
Owen is especially beloved for her live performances. Reviewing her at NYC's legendary, The Living Room, The New York Times' Stephen Holden raved that she ",has the kind of wailing folk-jazz voice that slices away surfaces to touch vulnerable emotional nerve endings and leave you quivering." His continued appreciation of Owen's artistry and performances compelled him to write the very revealing 2009 New York Times feature story chronicling her musical journey and triumph over depression.
Having made this intimate revelation, Owen yearned to reach out to those struggling with depression. A conversation with friend and fellow sufferer-UK comedienne Ruby Wax, resulted in the idea for Live From The Priory, a poignant, funny yet devastatingly honest two woman show tracing the emotional descent of Wax (who'd been a patient just 17 months prior), through music and monologues. Performed only twice at the world renowned hospital, its universal resonance with the ill and well alike made the duo certain of its future. In the spring of 2010, the duo will tour in theaters throughout the U.K., finally taking it to London's West End. They also plan to take it to hospitals and health centers along the tour.
Upcoming on the solo front is the 2010 U.K. release of "The Beautiful Damage" (Songbook Vol. 1), a collection of songs past and present. Owen's recent collaboration with legendary arranger Robert Kirby (Nick Drake and Elvis Costello), has produced some of her most beautiful recordings to-date and in view of his recent passing, Owen will commemorate his recent passing by performing his orchestrated songs at The Purcell Rooms next year on February 26.
The long-awaited live performance DVD, "An Intimate Evening with," will be released in the U.S next year. All recordings appear courtesy of Warner Music/ADA-distributed Courgette Records, the label which Owen formed in 2005 with her husband/collaborator Harry Shearer and longtime business partner, Bambi Moé. The partnership insures that Owen will continue to release recordings on her own artistic terms and partake in a variety of creative outlets. Whether it be as serious singer-songwriter, comedic actress/performer (Owen sends up Shirley Bassey, Sarah Palin, Condoleezza Rice and Lady GaGa in Shearer's satirical music video spoofs: mydamnchannel.com and Grammy nominated cd's), or as re-arranger of 'testosterone' anthems such as "Smoke on The Water" and "Eye of the Tiger". Esquire recently included two of her sensualized treatments in their feature, 'Cover Songs Men Could Listen To' (including Ray Davies "I Go to Sleep" which was featured in HBO's Mrs. Harris).
The Washington Post described a recent CD as ",the latest reminder of Owen's rare talent for effortlessly crossing genres," but among those who know her music all agree that ultimately it's the voice that woos, describing hers as "a gift that keeps on giving."
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