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JUDITH OWEN is an exclamation point. Gifted, witty, and Welsh, her artistry is fueled by a fiercely independent character that is balanced by an effervescent personality. Owen’s live performances brim with elements of humor and theater, distinguishing her from other female singer/songwriters. She regales audiences with stories of growing up Welsh (“We’re a melancholy people, happily depressed most of the time”) and being the daughter of an acclaimed British opera singer (“I literally spent my childhood waiting in the wings”). It was through her parents that Owen discovered her own passion for music. Upon the untimely death of her mother, a teenaged Judith began writing songs as a way to assuage her grief. Audiences were moved by her deeply personal work, and she quickly developed a loyal following, ultimately leading to a chance encounter with the yin to her yang and a lifelong match for her sharp sense of humor and remarkable talent, actor/satirist Harry Shearer.
Once firmly ensconced in Southern California, Owen started recording and touring in earnest. Her first North American release, Emotions On A Postcard (1999), spawned the track “Hand On My Heart,” which was featured in the Jack Nicholson/Helen Hunt film As Good As It Gets. In 2002, Limited Edition – originally recorded for Glen Ballard’s Java Records – was released by Century of Progress Productions. Television shows on the WB, CBS, NBC, and HBO utilized several tracks from Limited Edition with the definitive compliment of Owen’s being asked to appear in animated form on The Simpsons, thus introducing the jazzy Celt to a fresh new audience. Her next project, 12 Arrows (2003), was a personally revelatory recording: a dozen songs bursting with passion and her wry, introspective sensibility. It was also a critical success, garnering media raves, landing Owen an opening slot on tour with k.d. lang and an integrated role in Richard Thompson’s “1000 Years of Popular Music” tour and CD.
In the fall of 2004, Judith released Christmas In July, a celebration of “the most exquisite and stressful of holidays.” Radio stations across the country decked their airwaves with her daring interpretation of Spinal Tap’s “Christmas With The Devil.” Owen and Shearer criss-crossed the country touring in support of the EP playing their heavy metal ode on television morning shows, on live radio at rock, triple A, and NPR stations, as well as on CNBC’s nationally syndicated “McEnroe” show.
With such sultry, yet natural jazz inflections in her vocal styling, the time came for Owen to create the record she’s been dreaming of, released on her own label, Courgette Records, via ADA/Warner Music Group, in September 2005. Lost And Found features award-winning artists Cassandra Wilson, Keb’ Mo’, Tom Scott, and Richard Thompson. The 12-song collection (plus bonus track) smolders with poignant originals alongside Owen’s unique interpretations of Deep Purple’s “Smoke On The Water” and the classic “These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You).”
The year began with filming a DVD of Thompson’s “1000 Years Of Popular Music” – in which Owen appears as a featured performer taking listeners on a journey from the 13th century to medieval Italian ballads to Gilbert & Sullivan, Julie London, the Beatles, and Britney Spears! – followed by Owen hitting the road in support of Lost And Found including a performance on the Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson. With each new project, Owen reaffirms her position as a nationally distributed, top-selling independent artist (on CD Baby and Amazon.com) while winning new audiences worldwide. With Lost And Found, Owen once again delivers her musical magic by shifting between heartbreak and soaring hopefulness. Her songwriting is notable for the eloquence of her personal yet universally resonant lyrics.