You may never guess it from her music, but pop vocalist Judith Owen is funny man Harry Shearer’s wife. Her Happy This Way release is packed with piano-based, smart singer/songwriter sounds. Highlights include “Nicholas Drake”, about the wonderful folk singer, Nick Drake. This track also features guitarist Richard Thomspon—a frequent collaborator with the late folk singer—on vocals. The CD ends with a finger-snapping “Enough”, which sports vocal help from Cassandra Wilson. Many of these songs appear to be autobiographical in nature, exemplified by “Conway Bay”, and especially “My Father’s Voice”. Owen’s songs are generally quiet and meditative, and unlike Shearer’s fictional Spinal Tap, the volume never gets anywhere close to 11.
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