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AAA Music | 22 February 2024

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Judith Owen – Live @ Bush Hall

| On 23, Mar 2015

JUDITH OWENMonday 16th March, London

Singer, pianist and songwriter Judith Owen has been a frequent musical partner to Richard Thompson and once joined Ruby Wax in a curious fringe theatre twin act. She’s married to actor and humorist Harry Shearer.

Her eighth album, Ebb & Flow, released in 2014 on Twanky Records, stemmed from her wish to create a 70s sounding West Coast album. Supporting Judith at this Bush Hall performance were Russ Kunkel, legendary session drummer from the 70s, Leland Sklar, the bearded bassist who’s contributed to over 2000 albums and versatile percussionist Pedro Segundo.

Judith’s moody and addictive ‘Train Out Of Hollywood’ was followed by ‘I Would Give Anything’, a tragic song about the loss of her father, an established opera singer who was hugely influential in her life. A bright and colourful cover of Mungo Jerry‘s ‘In The Summertime’ was joyfully playful whilst ‘You’re Not Here Any More’ recalled her mother’s suicide when she was just fifteen, a haunting experience turned into great art here in front of a live audience. In contrast was the vibrant ‘Hey Mister That’s Me Up On The Jukebox’ by James Taylor.

Unexpected delights included ‘It Might As Well Rain Until September’, Carole King‘s first commercial success, and ‘Blackbird’, written by Paul McCartney in Scotland in response to racial tensions worsening in the United States in 1968.

Judith Owen sang touching, sensitive and emotional songs inspired by her personal experiences. She also entered lively, talkative and humorous banter with her fellow musicians. “I still kick their asses because you have to” she grinned. She also joked about “delusions of grandeur”, but Judith always seems to me to be extremely direct and a keen, accurate observer of human nature. At this Bush Hall evening she gave a soulful, polished and radiant performance.

Anthony Weightman

Check out our interview with Judith Owen here…