Owen Dacombe Steel

Owen Dacombe Steel

 Halifax, Nova Scotia, CAN
BandWorldSoul

Biography

Music found Owen Steel at a young age.

While growing up on Prince Edward Island, he began taking guitar lessons from a local wood carver in exchange for eggs, cash, and farm fresh meat. The lessons did not last long but the love for song did; in the years that followed, the story of his exposure to music and the people who play it would read like a childhood dream.

Steel often spent parts of the year at his Father’s home in St. Andrews, New Brunswick – a small town close to the US/Canada border surrounded by the ocean. The house came to be known as ‘Salty Towers’ - an Inn that would gain a reputation for being a home away from home for many traveling musicians. From road warriors Ray Bonneville and Fred Eaglesmith to blues ambassador Guy Davis, unsung heroes The Acorn & Tyler Messick, folk revivalist Old Man Luedecke, local legends Isaac & Blewett and Hot Toddy, along with hundreds of others, Steel was fortunate enough to get an up close and personal experience with an incredible array of talent. “At first I didn’t clue in to what was happening,” explains Owen, in regards to his younger years at Salty Towers, “and then, slowly, I began to understand that I was living in the middle of a touring circuit with some of the world’s finest musicians!” All the while, and inevitably so, Steel maintained a strong interest in song writing, as well as developed a curiosity in live performance. Naturally, he adopted many of the bohemian qualities and musical styles that he witnessed from those passing through, and ultimately created something all his own. “The songsters kept passing through town, and I think on a more subconscious level I was not only studying their music, but also their way of life.”

The result of this exposure is something truly original: At their core, the songs retain elements of folk/roots music. Yet there are subtle and undeniable twists all the way through. On a recording, with other players at hand, things may take a turn towards vaudeville, blues & funky folk; before you know it you’re live watching a totally different one man band electric show. At a festival, it is not uncommon to witness his jug-band, complete with washboard and washtub bass; or perhaps you’ll find yourself listening to just a guitar and voice. No matter, whether solo, as a duo, trio or even with a 70 piece orchestra, Steel has become a versatile, engaging, and unique performer. With several hundred shows under his belt from Newfoundland to the Yukon; busking bouts throughout parts of the United States; on trains and buses, in cars and band vans; from intimate house concerts to 800-seat theaters; from Folk Festivals to Freak Festivals - Owen is gathering fans and friends wherever he goes!

With his sophomore album on the horizon for 2013, Steel has shortened the waiting game with a recently released 45 rpm vinyl record. It includes two new studio songs recorded by Charles Austin (The Super Friendz) at The Echo Chamber in Halifax, NS, with special guests Bill Stevenson (piano) & Corey Henderson (tuba) that were made to be loose, fun, beautiful & imaginative, respectively.

Lyrics

Twig Eater

Written By: Owen Steel

Rode the bus
into town
window seat -
finally
standing under the coniferous tree
what did i see?
what... did i see?

it's campfire meat
cabin rug
the trophy rack
up above
it's the bog walker
the truck crusher
keeps you inside, causes cabin fever!

I saw a moose...

A horse of sorts
king of the bush
ravaged hide
bit by the brush
snappin' twig under this hoofed mammal
is a crashing tree in raging thunder

majestic, trail tested, magnificent beast
swimming in the water 18 feet deep..
diggin in the water 18 feet deep..
diving inthe water 18 feet....

I saw a moose!

if ya spook one, you should go inside..

if it sees you, you should try and hide...

Wake

Written By: Owen Steel

Thinking ahead to when i'm an old man
living by myself in that old farmhouse
staring at my bony legs in the morning when i dress
thinking back to times of being a younger lad

oh, it's been strange to live in this world
now my grave is awaiting beside an old dead girl
i've outlived the masses, stuck around too many ages now..

i don't know what to make of this life
i've lived through both the good and the bad, bad times
now i'm getting cozy with the idea of a coffin for a bed

i have loved so many
and have hated few
yet my fear of being punished by the devil is unshakable
and my fear of a sleep with no dreams is scary too

everytime i wake, i get closer to my wake...
and closer to you

my heartbeat is slower
the winters are long
i've been humming the tune to this song for so many years..so many years..

i can feel your ghost outside in the barn
the rust on the hinges
and the dust on the windows
makes me warm
keeps me calm

everytime i wake.....

VW Van

Written By: Owen Steel

Well, It must have been way back in the fall
when we were blowin' smoke rings, talkin 'bout it all
We smiled and we laughed as we made a plan
that come springtime we'd buy a Volkswagen van.

The next day we went to the main man himself, and said
'we hear you've got a van sir, would ya like to sell it?'
He stood and he scratched as he thought for awhile
then he turned to us and said with a smile

'It's gotta be taken up to Fredericton
to have some brand new parts put in
but when it's ready and back in town
you're the first on the list if you can put money down!'
We said that we could even though we were broke
we still are - it ain't no joke
but we will do whatever we can
to buy a Volkswagen van

We'll be sittin' on the side of the road
selling glass blown objects that hold green gold
It's got a tape player and a kitchenette
it's the best summertime that we haven't had yet

We'll be sittin' in the back, on the bed,
twistin' a dizzy and fillin' our head with
crazy thoughts that kids our age shouldn't have
thought up yet!

(Chorus)

Old Man Lamus

Written By: Owen Steel

* About an old bootlegger from Picton, Ontario who 'sold' pencils and threw the liquor in for free...
-----------------------------------------

Old Man Lamus
Old Man Lamus
what ya got inside to give us?
Liquor store hours are unforgiving
so we've come to support your business...

There's a party at Point Peter this evening
I'd like to get that funny feeling
Whiskey, beer, bottle of wine
Whiskey, beer, bottle of wine...

Give me the 'Howdy, Howdy!'
Howly, Howly!
give me something to sippy, sippy
I want the wicked I want the wise
I want the one that'll make it feel alright

Old Man Lamus
Old Man Lamus
your name has become notorious
You got kids showing up at your doorstep looking for what ails their little stomachs
I feel the urge I feel the need
I'm begging on my hands and knees
24 pencils, please
24 pencils, please....

Discography

Recent:
____________

7" - 2012

ET AL - 2010

et al (Demos On Cassette) - 2009

Castle EP - 2009 (sold out)

Idea Book EP - 2008 (sold out)

Set List

Owen can play two 45 minute sets if need be, though he prefers to play a single, hour long set. Sets are comprised of original material with a few covers thrown in from time to time.

C.A.W
Queen of Poutine
Don't ever sell that house
Backfirin' Now (cover)
Medicine
Dog named change
Paper Shape
Driving (Cover)
Snow Squall
Family song
VW Van
Wild n free
Freight Train (cover)
Wake
Cheese on bread (cover)
Twig Eater
Manzanillo
Big Rock Candy Mountain (cover)
Rooster Pie
Sweet Sue (cover)
Setting Son
Old Man Lamus