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AAA Music | 15 November 2019

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Judith Owen – Live @ The Stables

| On 31, Oct 2019

Tuesday 22nd October, Milton Keynes

The addictive Welsh Singer, pianist and songwriter Judith Owen has worked with many artists from Bryan Ferry to Richard Thompson. She’s had numerous releases and her recent album, redisCOVERed, her first covers album, has received considerable praise. She’s still London based, but a part-time resident of New Orleans with her husband, actor and humorist Harry Shearer.

At this Stables evening Judith was supported by talented  percussionist Pedro Segundo and performed cover versions that were personal interpretations of both familiar and more obscure melodies and lyrics.

Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’, daringly different, was sung with sensitivity and elegance and a restless ‘Black Hole Sun’, based on Soundgarden’s apocalyptic song, was equally unexpected. Donna Summer’s ‘Hot Stuff’ evolved into a colourful and jazzy cha-cha inspired number.

Joni Mitchell‘s fairly obscure ‘Cherokee Louise’ was always going to be a tough act to follow, but here was a version with depth and thoughtfulness, whilst ‘Ladies Man’, another Joni song, again established Judith as a keen observer of human nature.

A moody and very polished ‘Smoke on the Water’ remotely resembled the fiery Deep Purple original. Judith also had tremendous fun with Wild Cherry‘s lively ‘Play That Funky Music’, even if it was at a different speed.

Judith Owen is a graceful and poetic personality, but never pretentious and she frequently jokes about her reminiscences with a dry satire. This was a  joyful evening that sparkled with an adventurous collection of covers, often radical, occasionally eccentric and sometimes outstanding.

Anthony Weightman