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Edinburgh based singer / songwriter Dean Owens will return to Shetland in April to play a duo of gigs at Mareel and Muckle Roe.

Owens is no stranger to Shetland, his association with the islands having begun several years back when he and his then band The Felsons’ first stormed the Shetland Folk Festival, winning themselves (and Dean himself of course) a fervent and loyal following that endures to this day.

Since those early, heady Felsons’ days Dean has subsequently returned on a number of occasions, mainly as a solo artist, most recently performing a sell-out show in Mareel in support of his album Cash Back – Songs I Learned from Johnny, an album inspired by one of his idols, Johnny Cash.

Now he returns to Shetland to help launch his new album Into the Sea, recently recorded in Nashville and produced by Neilson Hubbard and featuring such musical luminaries as award winning guitarist Will Kimbrough and famed stateside vocalists Kim Richey and Suzy Boggus. The album is set for release on 27th April, but there will be advance copies for sale at his Shetland shows.

On Friday the 10th April Dean will perform a special, personal, solo show in the Muckle Roe Hall accompanied by our very own Arthur Nicolson. For his Mareel concert (Saturday 11th April) he brings with him The Whisky Hearts Band, an incendiary new live band featuring the likes of long-time collaborator and Felsons’ band-mate Calais Brown on guitar and backing vocals, Jim McDermott (ex Simple Minds and Justin Currie) on drums, Amy Geddes (fiddle), Sean Pugh (keyboards) and the late Jack Bruce’s (Cream) nephew Nico Bruce on bass. A line up that threatens to shake the rafters of Mareel and no mistake.

Bryan Peterson, Music Development Officer for Shetland Arts, said ‘It’s splendid to be welcoming Dean back. His last visit to Shetland proved to be extremely popular, and I’m really looking forward to hearing his new material with The Whisky Hearts Band. With such a crackin’ lineup of musicians it’s sure to be a memorable night’.

Both shows will feature tracks from Dean’s latest album plus, of course, his extensive back catalogue, while support for the Mareel gig comes from the Sheila Henderson Band.

Tickets for both events will be available from the Shetland Box Office from next week.

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