Standard Co. UK 25 March 2013
An aspiring blues artist who thought his dreams were finished when an accident left him partially blind has been “discovered” by rock star Mick Fleetwood, thanks to a YouTube clip.
At 16, Dan Owen nearly lost an eye when a piece of wood flew out of a machine and hit him during his carpentry apprenticeship.
He was in and out of hospital for months and had to give up his goal of becoming a guitar maker. For a while he felt sorry for himself, but then got into blues music and started gigging — securing an opportunity to play at last summer’s British Blues Awards.
A video of him performing a cover of Bob Dylan’s The Ballad Of Hollis Brown received 400,000 YouTube hits and caught the eye of the Fleetwood Mac drummer who offered to mentor him. The 20-year-old musician from Shropshire, now known as Blues Boy Dan Owen, showcased his work at The Fiddler’s Elbow in Camden last week.
He is set to tour with ZZ Top later this year and will travel to Nashville next month to record with Vance Powell, the Grammy-winning producer of the White Stripes and Kings of Leon. Owen said: “Mick has been a real help, a real mentor. It was amazing to meet him. At first I thought it was someone else. I knew of Fleetwood Mac but I thought it can’t be him — it was. The first thing he said to me was ‘I feel like I know you already’. We really got on.”
Fleetwood said: “Dan’s music is from the heart — it is genuine blues and Dan is at the forefront of the new wave in British singer-songwriter talent.”