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One part Mennonite Glam Rock, one part Anthemic Punk Blues–Black Owls revise, rather than revisit the classic rock genre–deftly building their original material into something strikingly original yet maddeningly familiar. The soundtrack for an Amish strip club, covered in homemade glitter and black light posters of whaling ships, medieval maidens and sacrificial bonfires. Wearing influences on their rolled sleeves (one can hear the Stones, the Who, Bowie, T. Rex, Wire, Magazine, Clash, Iggy and Mott the Hoople whispering in their collective headphones) Black Owls produce a new script of such sonic fables for an eager audience yearning for rock's reawakening.
David Byrne channeling Edgar Allan Poe fronting Steppenwolf? It's been said.
Frontman David Butler - a lanky, energetic, soapbox tenor bellows from behind a black lectern. An arm waving, pontificating storyteller, with a voice combining David Byrne's white-collar warble and Ian Hunter's soaring, growling throttle. He creates lyrically intriguing cautionary tales of excessive behavior that extoll a unique notion of misdirection and redemption. LIke reading Melville in a trailer park– a thinking man's drinking buddy put down to verse.
Guitarist Ed Shuttleworth, (who started the band with David on a New Year's Eve lark in 2007) has mastered the art of not only 70's tone and windmill worthy power, but compelling riff that recalls Mick Ronson with a sensitive grit to his glittery touch that feels just right in a Tom Verlaine manner. A compelling, hooky-as-hell song craft that veers off course enough to keep Black Owl mimics cursing their searching fingertips.
Brian Kitzmiller brought David out from behind the drums in 2010, and has been at the crux of building the Black Owl sound under strong Ohio Valley roots (and powerful rhythm). That same Cincinnati riverbed (which has brought forth contemporaries such as Guided by Voices, Afghan Wigs, Ass Ponies & the National), has been fertile soil for Black Owls to recruit into the current line up that includes Brandon Losacker, co-creator of the sweeping, melodic guitar sound on their recent album Wild Children (2013), and new bassist Kip Roe.
Black Owls have just released their 4th studio album Wild Children, and are set for studio time in Jon Curley's (Afghan Wigs) Ultrasuede Studio in January of '14. Releasing under their own Amish Girl Music label since they formed, the Owls are currently performing songs from Wild Children alongside their discography, Money on the Girl (2012), June '71 (2010), and Lightning Made Us Who We Are (2008).
They've recently been featured performers at the Bunbury & Midpoint music festivals in Cincinnati, as well as the CBGB music festival in New York City and have played alongside acts Flaming Lips, Breeders, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Warpaint, Dinosaur Jr., Divine Fits, Yo La Tengo, Guided by Voices, The Whigs, and New Bomb Turks.
David Butler - Vocals
Ed Shuttleworth - Guitar
Brian Kitzmiller - Drums
Brandon Losacker - Guitar
Kip Roe - Bass
WILD CHILDREN 2013
MONEY ON THE GIRL 2012
BLACK OWLS (eponymous double album - band camp exclusive) 2012
JUNE '71 2010
LIGHTNING MADE US WHO WE ARE 2008
e.p.'s & compilations:
Nude with Gun E.P. April 2012
Classic Rock Magazine (UK) compilation 2011
Aquabear Legion Ohio Rock compilation 2011
GLORIOUSLY NORMAL E.P. 2010
Midpoint Music Festival Compilation 2008
The Indy Road Compilation 2007