Jof Owen

Writer on country music and fear for Holler, The Line Of Best Fit, Nashville Over Here, Rough Trade magazine and Riposte. Also a singer and songwriter with The Boy Least Likely To and Legends Of Country. Lives in London.

Holler Country Music
reviews

COUNTRY CLASSICSThe Classics: Waylon Jennings - Honky Tonk Heroes

By Jof Owen, December 18, 2020

Honky Tonk Heroes ended up being the first real outlaw-country record, and to many it remains Waylon Jennings' finest moment.

Sad Daddy by Melissa Brawner
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INTRODUCINGPremiere: Sad Daddy's 'Cold Rain'

By Jof Owen, December 7, 2021

Jug band fiddle, four-part harmonies and goosebumps aplenty on this porch stomping reflection on the state of the world and a longing for simpler times

The Chicks - Gaslighter - Album cover
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ALBUM REVIEWThe Chicks - Gaslighter

By Jof Owen, December 18, 2020

The Chicks are back, and it’s hard to believe, but this time it’s even more personal.

North Mississippi Allstars by Jason Thrasher
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INTRODUCINGVideo Premiere: North Mississippi Allstars - See The Moon

By Jof Owen, December 3, 2021

'See The Moon' is a sizzling chunk of uplifting roots funk from the legendary family collective featuring Sharisse Norman and Lamar Williams Jr - the son of Allman Brothers bassist Lamar Williams Sr - on vocals.

Artist - Billy Joe Shaver 1
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ESSENTIALSThe Best Billy Joe Shaver Songs

By Jof Owen, August 16, 2021

On what would have been his 82nd birthday, we've made a definitive list of Billy Joe Shaver’s best songs to celebrate the rainy, windy morning he was born on.

Artist - Carrie Underwood 3
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ESSENTIALSThe Best Carrie Underwood Songs

By Jof Owen, July 22, 2021

In 16 years, Underwood has built an enduring legacy, cementing herself as one of the biggest country music stars of her generation. Holler takes the opportunity to rank a few of the musical highlights from her incredible career, one that doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon.

Jaime Wyatt Country Singer
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INTERVIEWIntroducing: Jaime Wyatt

By Jof Owen, December 18, 2020

A chat with the new queen of outlaw country.

Lainey Wilson
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INTERVIEWIntroducing: Lainey Wilson

By Jof Owen, February 19, 2021

“Country music. It’s just who I am” - Lainey Wilson discusses finding her true home in Nashville, working with producer Jay Joyce, and leaning into deeper parts of herself on her new album Sayin' What I'm Thinkin'.

The Best Summer Country Songs
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ESSENTIALSThe Best Summer Country Songs

By Jof Owen, June 24, 2021

Time to stock up on hay fever tablets and smother yourself in factor 50 - here are the best summer country songs according to Holler.

Holler Country Music
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GUIDEGone Country

By Jof Owen, June 21, 2021

We take a look at 10 occasions non-country artists hit the motherload and unexpectedly came up with some (fairly) solid country classics.

Album - Deana Carter - Did I Shave My Legs For This?
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COUNTRY CLASSICSDeana Carter - Did I Shave My Legs For This?

By Jof Owen, September 13, 2021

Did I Shave My Legs For This? caught the fever that was tearing through country music in the 90s, as a new army of women spiced up tradition with a reinvigorated tone of feisty independence.

Holler Country Music
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INTERVIEWTen Year Town: Ashley Monroe

By Jof Owen, April 30, 2021

Rosegold is the sound of Ashley Monroe scratching an itch - diving into the unknown and coming up more than ever like herself. The journey for the singer-songwriter is just beginning.

Holler Country Music
reviews

ALBUM REVIEWBrandy Clark - Your Life Is A Record

By Jof Owen, December 18, 2020

If mainstream country can’t find a place in its heart for Brandy Clark, then the rest of the world will be more than happy to let her into theirs.

Johnny Cash
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ESSENTIALSThe Best Johnny Cash Songs

By Jof Owen, September 27, 2021

Johnny Cash was one of those rarest of things: an artist who managed to crossover into all walks of life, somehow meaning something to almost everyone. It's something even rarer still for a country singer.

Holler Country Music
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GUIDEA Guide To: Country's Most Iconic Couples

By Jof Owen, February 11, 2021

A look into some of country music’s famous love stories throughout history, proving the old adage that the couple that sings together, stays together. Well, most of the time.

Holler Country Music
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GUIDEA Guide To: The Troubled Relationship Between Fonts and Country Music

By Jof Owen, January 11, 2021

Florida Georgia Linotype? Chalkboard Psychopath? Holler investigates ten of the most widely used font styles in country music to discover the secrets behind the typefaces. Here are 10 fonts and the truth.

Artwork - Esther Rose - How Many Times
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STAFF PICKSEsther Rose - How Many Times

By Jof Owen, March 26, 2021

The third album from Esther Rose - her first for Full Time Hobby - is a harmony drenched alt-country heartbreak record. While augmenting her lap steel and fiddle with glossy mountain-top folk-pop, she dives headfirst into her most introspective and deeply personal songs thus far.

Brooks & Dunn - Brand New Man Album Cover
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COUNTRY CLASSICSBrooks & Dunn - Brand New Man

By Jof Owen, August 13, 2021

30 years on and Brand New Man still sounds as sparkling and fresh as it did when it first came out, its influence echoing back out from contemporary artists Midland to Jon Pardi.

Graphic - Holler Country Cocktails 1
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GUIDEA Guide To: Country Singers' Cocktails

By Jof Owen, May 13, 2021

Are we drunk or is he drunk? Are you drunk? We really don’t know what’s going on anymore. Time we called it a night. Happy World Cocktail Day!

Johnny Cash
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ESSENTIALSThe Funniest Johnny Cash Songs

By Jof Owen, February 18, 2021

A list of the silliest and funniest songs from The Man In Black to lift your spirits ahead of what would've been his 89th Birthday next week.

Tom T. Hall
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GUIDEA Guide To: Tom T. Hall

By Jof Owen, August 24, 2021

‘The Storyteller’, Tom T. Hall, passed away on August 20, 2021. Here, we look back at his life through the songs that made him one of the greatest country songwriters of all time. You could start anywhere with his work, but if you’re going to start somewhere, these essentials are as good a place as any.

Holler Country Music
reviews

STAFF PICKSTaylor Swift - Evermore

By Jof Owen, December 18, 2020

Whether Evermore is the end of the fourth wave or just its midpoint is a question it seems even Taylor herself doesn’t know the answer to. Nevertheless, we wouldn’t mind staying here a while longer still.

Artist - George Strait
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ESSENTIALSThe Best George Strait Songs

By Jof Owen, December 18, 2020

Holler takes a look at the musical highlights from four decades at the very top of country music.

Artist - Carly Pearce 1
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LONG READCarly Pearce: A Country Star Reborn

By Jof Owen, September 22, 2021

The next chapter of Carly Pearce’s life is underway; an unputdownable page-turner with one of country music’s most exciting new characters taking the lead role. A star has been born. Again.

Esther Rose
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INTERVIEWIntroducing: Esther Rose

By Jof Owen, January 27, 2021

The Alt-Country singer-songwriter discusses coming full circle with country music, the pain of writing 'How Many Times' and how touring needs to focus on its environmental impact upon its return.

Alan Jackson by Russ Harrington
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ESSENTIALSThe Best Alan Jackson Songs

By Jof Owen, October 15, 2021

For a little over 30 years, Alan Jackson has kept it country with a down-home honesty, humour, integrity, unpretentiousness and personal warmth that’s made country music fans all over the world connect with his earthy baritone.

Artist - Miranda Lambert 2
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ESSENTIALSThe Best Miranda Lambert Songs

By Jof Owen, November 11, 2021

Revelling in all the heartbreak and happiness that a well-lived life throws at you, Lambert set the bar for a whole new generation of country singers.

Holler Country Music
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INTERVIEWIntroducing: Margo Cilker

By Jof Owen, November 15, 2021

Holler catches up with the Oregon-based singer/songwriter following the release of her album Pohorylle

Taylor Swift
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ESSENTIALSThe Best Taylor Swift Songs

By Jof Owen, November 18, 2021

It'd be difficult to narrow down a list of top songs for a lot of artists, but with Taylor Swift, it’s damn near impossible. If you picked 10 Swifties off the street and asked them for their favourite song, you’d get different answers from all of them. Nevertheless, we’re giving it a crack.

Holler Country Music
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GUIDEUnearthing the Genius of Rodger Wilhoit

By Jof Owen, February 25, 2021

He never did get lucky when all else failed. But maybe, all these years later, Rodger Wilhoit might just get a posthumous roll of the dice.

Holler Country Music
reviews

ALBUM REVIEWJaime Wyatt - Neon Cross

By Jof Owen, December 18, 2020

Jaime Wyatt is the new anti-hero of outlaw country and Neon Cross serves as her misfit manifesto.

Holler Country Music
reviews

STAFF PICKSEric Church - Heart & Soul

By Jof Owen, April 20, 2021

Heart & Soul is a tour de force of heartland rock and driving country soul that more than holds up under the weight of its own ambition and influences, as Church gloves up for three more rounds of fighting the good fight for country music.

Holler Country Music
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ESSENTIALSThe Best Halloween Country Songs

By Jof Owen, October 26, 2021

Get the apples bobbing, stick a bowl of candy by the door and sit back to enjoy some of country music’s spookiest moments with Holler’s guide to the best Halloween Country songs.

Holler Country Music
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GUIDEWhat Is Americana?

By Jof Owen, April 22, 2021

Jof's got his investigative Stetson on again. This time, he's trying to solve one of the greatest musical mysteries of the modern era: what actually is Americana?

Holler Country Music
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GUIDEThanksgiving Menu from the Stars

By Jof Owen, November 22, 2021

The Holler team trial country stars' favourite Thanksgiving recipes, courtesy of in-house chef and resident American, Baylen Leonard.

Holler Country Music
lists

GUIDEA Guide To: The Best CMA Awards Moments

By Jof Owen, November 9, 2021

Awards ceremonies are notoriously juicy affairs. We take a look back at 10 of the most unforgettable CMA Awards moments.

Album - Niko Moon - Good Time
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ALBUM REVIEWNiko Moon - GOOD TIME

By Jof Owen, August 25, 2021

The 14 tracks that make up his delightful debut album, Good Time, are full of barefoot, homespun wisdom. Niko Moon sits back, forgets all about it and just lets the world go by.

Crystal Gayle
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INTERVIEWTen Year Town: Crystal Gayle

By Jof Owen, July 16, 2021

The songs Crystal Gayle recorded broke the ground for artists like Kacey Musgraves to walk on today. As Countrypolitan crossed over into the pop mainstream, Gayle was pushing it a step further with a soft pop sound that was like nothing else in country music at the time.

Album - Carly Pearce - 29: Written In Stone
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ALBUM REVIEWCarly Pearce - 29: Written In Stone

By Jof Owen, September 15, 2021

As crushing and humiliating as heartbreak can be, it always allows for a rebirth of sorts. For Carly Pearce, it's resulted in 29: Written In Stone - a modern country music masterpiece.

Madi Diaz
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INTERVIEWIntroducing: Madi Diaz

By Jof Owen, August 30, 2021

Over ice cream for breakfast, Madi Diaz discusses her new record History Of A Feeling - her most poignant and emotionally introspective release to date.

Sesame Country
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GUIDEThe Classics: Sesame Country

By Jof Owen, January 14, 2021

As country entered the 80s with an outlaw hangover, it would be left to a certain group of lovable educational puppets to return it to its roots.

Artist - Johanna Samuels
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INTERVIEWCuts The Deepest: Johanna Samuels

By Jof Owen, August 18, 2021

Johanna Samuels shares her love for Elliott Smith, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Nina Simone and The Beach Boys in her selections for Cuts The Deepest.

Holler Country Music
reviews

ALBUM REVIEWHoney Harper - Starmaker

By Jof Owen, December 18, 2020

Kitschy, spacey and playfully futuristic - Honey Harper's debut confirms him as a star in the making.

Holler Country Music
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LONG READOver Yonder: Nigeria’s love affair with country music

By Jof Owen, December 18, 2020

Country music in Nigeria begins the way it pretty much begins everywhere – with the blue yodel of Jimmie Rodgers.

Artist - Flying Mojito Brothers
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INTERVIEWCuts The Deepest: Flying Mojito Brothers

By Jof Owen, August 4, 2021

Disco mezcaleros the Flying Mojito Brothers pioneer the great electronic wilderness, taking cosmic country funk to modern dancefloors via NYC Latin disco and baggy acid house.

Chris Stapleton
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ESSENTIALSThe Best Chris Stapleton Songs

By Jof Owen, December 18, 2020

He's released some of country's most extraordinary albums in a little over half a decade. Now, Holler takes a rummage through Chris Stapleton's back catalogue to pick out some of his finest cuts.

Bones Owens
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INTERVIEWIntroducing: Bones Owens

By Jof Owen, February 22, 2021

The Missouri born, Nashville native speaks to Jof Owen about his forthcoming self-titled debut album and growing up on Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Holler Country Music
reviews

ALBUM REVIEWHailey Whitters - The Dream (Deluxe Edition)

By Jof Owen, February 26, 2021

The Dream was an almost perfect slice of traditionalist country when it came out a year ago, so all that the five new songs on Living The Dream can do is drag out the dessert course a little bit longer - but it’s one worth more than worth sticking around for. This deluxe edition is more than just a cherry on top.

Holler Country Music
lists

ESSENTIALSThe Best Feminist Country Anthems

By Jof Owen, March 8, 2021

We've picked 10 of the best feminist country songs for you to sing along to while celebrating these empowering women.

Holler Country Music
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INTRODUCINGNew Artist of the Week: Grace Cummings

By Jof Owen, December 1, 2021

The sophomore album from Melbourne based singer Grace Cummings dives even deeper into the dark and dramatic places that her distinctively raw folk songs inhabit.