A Marion family with a rich musical tradition will again bring their sweet sounds to the Mountain Glory festival on Saturday.
The Eual Owens Band (EOB) will start playing at 2 p.m. Saturday at the City Stage on Marion’s North Block.
The story behind this family band goes back to the early 1960s.
Eual Owens, 79, is the founding member of the band and his career spans more than 50 years. A native of McDowell, he plays guitar and lap steel and is a premier blues vocalist. He’s also a driving force in the local music scene. He was a founding member of the band The Rhythm Kings, whose members included his wife Dawn Owens, Fred Rumfelt, Ed Elliot and Gene England.
“Dad started out playing drums but his main instrument is the guitar,” said Eual’s son Scott Owens.
The Rhythm Kings performed on local radio and Scott Owens has one of their radio shows that was recorded in 1963 on reel-to-reel tape. Throughout the years, Eual has been an influence to many musicians and continues to entertain crowds with EOB.
“Just about anyone you can think of who is a musician has played with dad,” said Scott to The McDowell News.
The EOB now plays classic country and the blues, which have similar origins. They will perform classic country songs by Faron Young and George Jones and blues standards by T-Bone Walker.
“Dad really likes the blues,” said Scott.
They enjoy playing tunes that are “upbeat and driving.” They have taken the stage at previous Mountain Glory festivals.
Scott Owens himself has been playing guitar for more than 40 years and is a seasoned musician. He plays guitar and provides lead vocals.
Brother Ray Owens is another of Eual’s sons. Ray is an accomplished keyboard player with more than 40 years of dedication to the instrument. “His ability and sheer talent are phenomenal,” reads a news release from the Marion Business Association.
Scott said he and his brother were never pushed into music by their parents. It just came naturally to them.
“Dad wanted to give us a love of music,” said Scott. “I grew up in a household that’s completely musical. They never forced us to play anything. It was always our choice.”
Charles Warren is an accomplished and seasoned bass guitar player and musician and provides the solid musical foundation for the EOB. Rodger Duncan started playing drums with Eual at age 16, and they have been close friends for more than 50 years. Duncan is a skilled drummer and vocalist and provides the rhythmic foundation for the EOB.
Even at age 79, Eual Owens still lives for the music, according to his son Scott.
“He has his issues but he loves to get out and play,” said Scott of his dad. “I think what keeps dad going is due to his love of the music and he loves sharing it with others.
“He’s been an inspiration to so many. Me and my brother enjoy the time we spend with him. It’s a family connection.”
With three members of the Owens family, it is a winning combination of talent, experience and music magic that will delight the audience. EOB has that sound that only a family band can create, according to the Marion Business Association.