LEWISBURG, WV (wvmr) – Snowshoe, WV, is known mostly for skiing and tons of snow, not for a chill, beach vibe. So how did Snowshoe musician Shawn Owen become known for music with that kind of feel? He went to Annapolis and couldn’t seem to leave.
“I just kind of fell in love with the ocean and the place and the town,” he says. “I ended up moving all my gear down here and staying.”
Owen is on the verge of releasing a new 6 song EP of original. The EP is part self-titled, part untitled as Shawn puts it, and definitely shows the influence that other musicians have had on him.
“It’s mostly just a lot of acoustic guitar and a little bit of hand percussion,” says Owen. “We size it way down from the life band stuff that we do and just get it to the root of it. It’s a six song EP, all original songs. The style kind of varies a little bit. There’s an acoustic reggae vibe with a little beach-ish, kind of Jack Johnson-ish feel and some regular singer/songwriter stuff, too.”
In fact, on Friday, January 27th, Shawn will be holding the official release party for the CD. In celebration, he will be holding a concert at Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg, WV.
“It’s one of their Pay What You Can Series, where I guess people just come to the door and pay whatever cover they can afford,” he says. “What had actually set this up before the CD release had been scheduled, and we just saw it as a great opportunity to release back into West Virginia where I was from. I couldn’t think of a much better venue to do a release like that.”
“We going to do a really rhythm-oriented show with lots of percussion and hand drums and shakers and tambourines. Just on that line. It’s going to be a really cool show. It’s going to be different than watching Shawn Owen Band play live.”
Of course, Shawn is not the only one to put the EP and release party together. Many friends and family have helped him along the way, including local Snowshoe photographer Kirsten Boehmer, and an old family friend with a passion for cooking.
“Blair Campbell, who owns Pretty Penny Cafe in Hillsboro and the Pretty Penny in Watoga State Park, is an old family friend of mine and she volunteered to come up and cook a lot of finger foods, appetizer, and hors d’oeuvres-type stuff for the pre-show reception,” he says. “We’re going to open the doors at 7, and then she’s going to cater the reception with a lot of kind of island-based food geared around the titles of the songs. One of the songs is “Make Money” and she wants to do a Make Money Mojito drink; just kind of stuff like that.”
The release party for Shawn Owen’s new EP will begin at 7 p.m. with free food, beer and wine courtesy of Pretty Penny Cafe. The concert will begin at 7:30. CDs and other merchandise will be available after the show, and the new CD will be available after the 27th on Amazon, iTunes, and shawnowenmusic.com.