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Will Owsley
Also known as Owsley
Origin Anniston, Alabama
Genres Power pop, rock
Occupations Singer-songwriter, guitarist
Instruments Guitar, Bass, Piano, mandolin
Labels Giant
Lakeview Entertainment
Associated acts The Semantics, Amy Grant, Kevin Max
Notable instruments
Gibson Es-335, Gibson Les Paul, Gretsh, Fender Telecaster

Will Owsley, known professionally as simply Owsley, is an American singer-songwriter, who has worked as the guitarist in Amy Grant's touring band, but whose own albums have won critical acclaim and one Grammy Award nomination. He is also a recording engineer and record producer.


Early life and influences

Owsley was raised in Anniston, Alabama, in a musical household. His father was a drummer in a marching band; namely, the Million Dollar Band at the University of Alabama. His mother was a singer and a singing instructor, his sister was a classically trained pianist, and his brother was a rock guitarist.[1] Owsley himself played guitar from an early age. He was a fan of Kiss and member of the kiss army.and was also fan of Todd Rundgren, but mostly practiced Eddie Van Halen licks note-for-note.[2] With his father's mentorship, he played snare drum in his high school marching band, but he also continued his passion for guitar, playing in a jazz and top-40 cover band at local venues.[1] Later, when he began writing his own songs, they were more similar to the style of The Beatles. As a guitarist, he also cites influences such as Chet Atkins and Robert Johnson.[2]


Prior to developing his own band and solo work, he was added to the band of Judson Spence and was part of Spence's ground breaking Nashville showcases that landed him 14 label offers. At the suggestion of Nashville music executive Scott Siman, he encouraged Owsley to pursue his on writing and performing. Owsley went on to work with such artists as Shania Twain, Amy Grant, the Neville Brothers, Wynonna, and Faith Hill.[2] He and Millard Powers founded the power pop band the Semantics, which included Jody Spence and Ringo Starr's son, Zak Starkey, and was signed to Geffen Records and toured with Ben Folds Five,[1] but the album was released only in Japan.

His work as part of Amy Grant's touring band, since 1994, allowed him to save the funds needed to build his own home recording studio.[3]

He released his self-titled solo album in 1998. Then Giant Records picked it and re-released it and was mixed by Tom Lord-Alge and Millard Powers in 1999. Recorded entirely in his home studio in Anniston, Alabama, it garnered him a Grammy Award nomination for Best Engineered Album.[4]

He released his second album, The Hard Way, on the indie record label Lakeview Entertainment in February 2004, with Owsley in multiple roles including record producer.[5] It was recorded over the span of three years, using a variety of recording formats, at a number of studios in Tennessee.[4]



  1. ^ a b c Bessman, Jim (1999-03-06). "Giant's Owsley ready to go pop". Billboard (New York: BPI Communications) 111 (10): 14. ISSN 0006-2510.  
  2. ^ a b c Swenson, Kyle (August 1999). "Owsley". Guitar Player (San Francisco: Miller Freeman Inc.) 33 (8): 49. ISSN 0017-5463.  
  3. ^ "UMe Digital, World's First All-Digital Download Label from a Major Music Company, Set for Debut". Business Wire. 2004-11-23. p. 1.  
  4. ^ a b Young, Clive (June 2004). "Owsley Records the 'Hard Way'". Pro Sound News (New York: United Entertainment Media) 26 (06): 25. ISSN 0164-6338.  
  5. ^ Ault, Susanne (2004-03-06). "Owsley: The Hard Way". Billboard (New York: EMedia) 116 (10): 35. ISSN 0006-2510.  

External links



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