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Owen Mays & The 80 Proof Boys / Bio

Since 2007, Wisconsin native Owen Mays has been writing, and performing traditional country music across the United States. Often called, "The Human Jukebox", and "The Walking Encyclopedia Of Country Music", Owen is a very proud historian of the genre, and dedicates himself to preserving it's sound, and traditions.

Born and raised in south central Wisconsin, Owen Mays began playing guitar at the age of 16. After several unsuccessful attempts at bands, and musical false starts, his musical aspirations went on the back burner. In 2007, after working a string of dead end jobs, including a brief career in professional wrestling, Owen took to the road, hitchhiking, and riding Greyhounds around America, with nothing but a backpack and a guitar, writing songs, and performing them on any patch of sidewalk he could find to try and make money off the people passing by.

In 2009, while working a summer job at a campground in his home town of Cambria, Wisconsin. Owen played a show with his friends, J.B. Beverley & The Wayward Drifters. The next day, Owen joined the Drifters for a few days on the road, taking in all of the knowledge about music, and business, that he could. That week, the seeds were also planted to record Owen's first proper album.

In October of 2010, Owen flew to Richmond Virginia, to make his first record with J.B. Beverley engineering. Backed by "Banjer" Dan Mazer(Banjo, Dobro, Mandolin). Johnny Lawless(Upright Bass), and James Hunnicutt(Lead Guitar), the end result of the recording session was the first Owen Mays & The 80 Proof Boys album, "Nobody Loves You When You're Down", which, after several delays, finally saw it's official release through the people at Solitary Records in November of 2012.

In March of 2011, Owen set out on his first U.S. tour, which was quickly followed by a second tour that summer with his good friend, Aaron "Dog Bite" Harris. That summer also saw Owen take the stage at the second annual Muddy Roots Music Festival. Owen ended 2011 with a successful solo tour of the eastern US.

Since then, Owen has played countless shows around the United States, both solo, and backed by several incarnations of his backing band, The 80 Proof Boys. The current lineup of the 80 Proof Boys, Angela Martin Licari(Fiddle), Jesse Kaftanski(Upright Bass), and Eric Bestul(Lead Guitar/Lap Steel Guitar) are currently working on a new album, due out in 2014.

General Info

Band Members
Owen Mays - Guitar and Vocals, Angela Martin Licari - Fiddle, Jesse Kaftanski - Upright Bass
Artist Name
Owen Mays & The 80 Proof Boys
Home Page
Active Since
Country / Bluegrass / Folk

Contact Info

Madison, WI