Artist: Michael Owens

Album: The Devil’s Doorway

Producers: Michael Owens

Genre(s): Independent /Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist

michaelowens

Michael Owens is a songwriter from Minneapolis and is the founder of Blackberry Way Recording studios. He founded the studio in 1979 with a view to promote the rock scene in the Twin Cities. This solo venture, The Devil’s Doorway is a confluence of various styles such as blues, jazz, country, Americana and rock.

Track Rating
  1. The Devil’s Doorway
★★★★☆
  1. You Won’t Be Satisfied
★★★★½
  1. Bye Bye Baby
★★★☆☆
  1. A Cold Wind Blowing
★★★★☆
  1. Hillbilly Girl
★★★★☆
  1. Hope You Are Happy
★★☆☆☆
  1. Splendors Of The Past
★★★☆☆
  1. Bucketful Of Rain
★★★★☆
  1. Daddy
★★★★★
  1. Queen Of The South
★★★★☆
  1. Here Comes The Madman
★★★★½
  1. Blue Water Men
★★★★★
  1. The Devil’s Doorway

The title track of the album has a bluesy feel to it which is accentuated by the shrill guitar notes. The rhythm on the saxophone, which plays throughout the song draws you in and the layered vocals, though hard to decipher completes the song. The song is a good title song which oozes with influences of various styles of music that are seen in the remaining songs of the album.

  1. You won’t be satisfied

This song is a typical example of classic rock but it also has a gospel influence in the supporting vocals. The guitar and bass solos are beautiful and embody the theme of the song, which is about a girl’s greed and materialistic cravings.

  1. Bye Bye Baby

Bye Bye Baby, despite being a rudimentary post break up song, has excellent music accompanying the lyrics. The piano playing is top class and adds a lot of funk to the blues song. 

  1. A Cold Wind Blowing

This is a dark song. The line “summer is gone again and the cold wind is blowing in” summarizes the theme of the song. The guitar solo is an absolute beauty in the song with its fluent and hollow notes. The song is a little depressing with motifs like despair and chaos but it manages to achieve catharsis.

  1. Hillbilly Girl

This is song takes you to the country and rustic life. The layered vocals again snatch clear win. The song in itself is happy with its strong southern accented vocals and guitar playing.

  1. Hope you are happy

Hope you are happy has influences from various music styles. The lyrics are thoughtful and the solo is just as beautiful as the guitar tone.

  1. Splendors of the past

Splendors of the past is another eerie and dark song which takes you back to the Pink Floyd era. The female vocals by Terri are smooth and clear in contrast to Owens’ husky voice.

  1. Bucketful Of Rain

This song is of a deep blues influence but the singing definitely has a rap flavor to it. The guitar bits are perfect and flow smooth, long and clear. Owens’ husky vocals again nail the song.

  1. Oh Daddy

This is such a beautiful country song! Terri renders beautiful vocals and narrates a story in the song. The piano is another highlight in the song.

    10. Queen Of The South

This song is a beautiful duet with a steady beat. The guitar solo adds beauty to the song with its strong notes and intricate playing style.

    11. Here Comes A Madman

The husky vocals again take the center stage. The song talks about our wanderings at some point of our lives. The tone on the guitar is drowning and so surreal as it progresses forward.

   12. Blue Water Men

Blue Water Men is an eerie song with a psychedelic flavor that manages to engage the listener and entrance him/her. The music is powerful and the steady albeit monotonous drumming adds to the psychedelic effect.

Final thoughts: The album is a mix of various music styles, some of which originated way back in the early 50s. The amalgamation of music styles is beautifully done in the album and talks of Owens’ long association with the music industry. The album is enchanting, luring and addictive at some level and is a clear win from the aesthetic and technical standpoint!

Picks of the album:Bucketful Of Rain, The Devil’s Doorway, Blue Water Men and A Cold Wind Blowing

Overall Rating: ★★★★★★★½☆☆

Fans can buy the CD here.