NHS Shetland - Survey - March 2021

Hank Williams tribute

The Hillbilly Shakespeare will be brought to life by Scottish singer/songwriter Dean Owens.

TWO concerts dedicated to the work of Hank Williams will be held in Shetland later this year.

Scottish singer-songwriter Dean Owens will pay tribute to the iconic country singer at the Mid Yell hall on Friday 25 March and Lerwick’s Mareel a day later.

The shows are entitled Settin’ the Woods on Fire: the songs of Hank Williams.

The outstanding Dean Owens who will bring Williams to life in Mid Yell and Mareel. Photo Louis de Carlo

Gig-goers should expect rousing renditions of some of Williams’ most enduring tracks, such as Your Cheatin’ Heart and Jambalaya.

Some of his lesser known tunes will also get an airing, with backing from a host of Shetland musicians.

Owens said he’s “really looking forward” to coming back to Shetland to perform.

In 2013 the Felsons’ singer performed a similar feat when he brought a set of Johnny Cash songs to the isles.

“Hank’s the first country artist I ever got into,” Owens said.

“I’m a massive fan. It’s a real thrill to have the chance to play some of his wonderful songs in the company of so many terrific Shetland musicians. Hank is the true source of Americana.

“The Hillbilly Shakespeare with three chords, the truth and a bunch of lies.”

Promoter Davie Gardner of Atlantic Edge Music Services added that Williams’ music resonates deeply with the Shetland public.

“His songs are timeless and still amazing today, especially when set against his own relatively short, fairly tragic life, where they then become all the more meaningful and poignant still,” he said.

“I’ve wanted to do a show like this for a very long time, so having Dean and so many great local artists available to take part in it is nothing short of fantastic.”

Owens will be joined at the concerts by a host of local talent, including Sheila Henderson, who is acting as assistant musical director.

Also due to perform are Brian and Arthur Nicholson, Bryan Gear, May, Mackie & Rhonda, ‘Big’ Robbie Cumming, Kansa and Dodo Elphinstone & Jackie Robertson.

More local acts are set to be announced shortly.

Tickets will go on sale via Shetland Box Office from Friday 22 January.