Owen Roberts

Brooklyn, NY United States

Bio: Born in San Francisco and raised in Berkeley a generation into the free speech movement, Owen's life has taken him from the Bay Area to Italy, out to New York and back around again. A fiercely independent artist with two self-produced albums, Owen's songwriting has been called "poised and patient with a focus on the intricacies of the acoustic guitar."

While living in Brooklyn in 2007 Owen released Bay to Maples, a bi-coastal collaboration with an old friend, guitarist and cellist Yair Evnine. They recorded the indie folk rock record in Oakland, San Rafael, San Francisco, Tivoli (NY) and Brooklyn. The songs on the record came from Owen's experience moving from the Bay Area out to New York where he lived both upstate in the small, progressive town of Tivoli near Bard College and in Brooklyn's Greenpoint neighborhood.

Since moving back to the west coast in June of 2008 Owen has been touring with Greg Peters, aka the Doghouse Brewer, and getting ready for another round of recording. Greg played slide guitar on two tracks from Bay to Maples, Around My Thoughts (ranked 13th on Garageband's list of most rocking acoustic songs) and Blue River. On stage Greg plays electric and acoustic slide guitars run through a collection of effects pedals and Owen plays his Santa Cruz and L'Arrivee acoustic guitars. With the full band they bring in a drummer and bassist.

For two years in his early twenties Owen lived in Bologna, Italy where he learned to speak the language and began writing songs in Italian. He was a student at the Universita di Bologna through the University of California's study abroad program studying archeology, politics and language. Italian singer songwriters Fabrizio De Andre, Francesco Guccini and French born Manu Chao came to influence his songwriting as much as Bruce Springsteen, Leo Kottke and Mark Knopfler had earlier on. He played shows around Bologna and Southern Italy and collaborated with the Bermuda Acoustic Trio to record a few songs at their studio in Modena. The song Mattine a Modena (listen HERE) is about the months he spent in the town of Modena recording and teaching in a vocational public high school.

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