What’s instantly notable about The Whiskey Weather’s eponymous debut are the collection of musicians of local fame backing up songwriter and vocalist Greg Owens. Tony Hartman (Tony Hartman Quintet, The Great Barrier Reefs) provides percussion, Skylar Gregg (Rhythm Kitchen), Nick Carver (Nick Carver Band) lend backing vocals and naturally, Taylor Lonardo, who plays bass for everyone in town including your mom, gives the five-track EP its deep rhythmic pulse.
The Whiskey Weather is as diverse as North and South in terms of genre, partially due to the styles and tastes of its eclectic group of artists—Tony Hartman’s jazz and salsa leanings creep through, particularly on “I’ll Be Lovin’ You Always.” But another part of the record’s variety can be attributed to the upbringing of front man Owens, who also plays all guitar, banjo, harmonica and mandolin parts.
Born in rural West Tennessee, Owens took trips to Memphis and Gatlinburg as a child, which led to the incorporation of blues, jazz and roots in his music. Those childhood trips account for his musical style, while his lyrics are inspired by teen years filled with the typical rebellion, wrong girls and drinking too much (which is where the name “Whiskey Weather” originated).
Opener “I’d Have Made You Breakfast” is a country roots lament cut through with Suzanne Rohrer’s fiddle (which is sought after by country artists like Vince Gill and Rebecca Lynn Howard), while “Leaves On the Breeze” is a quiet, acoustic number on which Owens’ soft, tired vocals sound like coffee gone cold.
All in all, Owens’ downhearted tales tie together the efforts of great local musicians who just do their own thing regardless of genre.
The 5-song EP is available on CD Baby for $5 for either a physical CD or an mp3 download.
The Whiskey Weather’s official album release will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at the National Underground on Broadway in Nashville. For more on the Whiskey Weather, visit thesixtyone.com/thewhiskeyweather or search “Greg Owens Music” on Facebook.