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Artist: Steve Owens
Writers:  Kyle Aughe (Where the River Bends) and Mark Bondurant
(Bacon in My Beans)
Publishing:  Kyle Aughe Music, BMI
Release Date: 09/15/2023 
ISRC: TCAHK2363346
UPC: 859777935271
Cody Kilby: Guitar and Banjo 
Jason Roller: Mandolin and Fiddle 
Evan Winsor: Bass 
Josh Matheny: Dobro 
Jerry Salley: Harmony Vocals, Producer 
Recorded and engineered at Chris Latham's studio in Ashland City, TN

Bell Buckle Records is proud to present the second featured single by Steve Owens, "Tough Act to Follow," written by upcoming writers Kyle Aughe (Where the River Bends) and Mark BonDurant (Bacon in my Beans). It was written about Kyle's father and how fortunate he was as a boy to have a positive role model. The song speaks to the life lessons he shared, how he shaped his son's life, and how challenging it can be to follow in the footsteps of a good man. North Carolina native Steve Owens offers a fresh new bluegrass sound mixed with classic country and bluegrass traditions and includes original songs he has written. 

"Tough Act To Follow" was produced and arranged by the legendary singer and songwriter Jerry Sally at the Chris Latham studio in Ashland City, TN. The tracks are an acoustic bluegrass treatment that keeps the popular classic country flavor. Famous instrumentalists like Cody Kilby (guitar) and Jason Roller (Mandolin, Fiddle). Bell Buckle Records is excited to release more singles from Steve Owens soon. 

"Working with Jerry Sally was one of the most growing experiences I have encountered as an artist. Sometimes collaborations have chemistry, and I feel we created a unique sound". - Steve Owens 

Steve Owens grew up in Roanoke Rapids, a small mill town in northeastern North Carolina. During his childhood, he was exposed by family and friends to a variety of music greats such as Ray Price, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Jim Reeves, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Statler Brothers, Don Williams, Ronnie Milsap, The Osborne Brothers, the Easter Brothers, and many others. His parents and grandparents were avid concertgoers and included Steve in their outings. 

Steve began his musical journey at a young age by singing, writing songs, and playing the guitar. His training ground would resemble many other artists, performing for senior citizens groups, nursing homes, churches, and civic organizations. His first public appearance was at the North Carolina State Fair's Folk Festival, where his grandma signed him up to encourage him to perform. From that point, his grandmother was his first customer and offered him $5.00 to learn the gospel song "How Great Thou Art." At 16, he continued to hone his musical skills by playing the bass and singing in a local southern gospel group, "The Carrolls." The experience allowed Steve to build his knowledge of various musical genres and the opportunity to play at larger venues. The Carrolls also provided Steve's first recording studio experience. Steve graduated from Roanoke Rapids High School in 1988. He attended North Carolina State University, where he studied Ornamentals Landscape Technology and Turf Grass management. Steve has been a successful landscape contractor for nearly 30 years. 

Unlike many bluegrass artists, Steve Owens has been uniquely influenced by the regional sound from the Carolina Beach Music scene. This music style is energetic and rich in harmonies, soulful lead vocals, and big band music with bright horn sections. Later, Steve Owens discovered bluegrass music and began to include it in his sound of classic country and roots music meshed with the Calorina Beach sound. 

In the early 2000s, Steve worked as the lead vocalist for the "High Roller Band," with whom he stayed for a few years until the group disbanded. Steve was hired by "The Castaways," another Carolina Beach music band. Soon after, he left "The Castaways" to become a featured lead vocalist at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre, where Steve was involved in a locally produced variety show showcasing various musical acts. While working at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre, Steve opened for several known recording artists, Earl Thomas Conley, Lorie Morgan, Whispering Bill Anderson, John Anderson, Tracey Lawrence, The Oak Ridge Boys, Delbert McClinton, Michael W Smith, Mountain Heart, Ronnie Milsap, Ray Price, Ronnie Mcdowell, and many others. 

After his experience at the Roanoke Rapids Theatre, Steve formed a new band called "Steve Owens and Summertime." The band consisted of 8-pieces (including a 3-piece horn section). They played at private parties, wedding receptions, festivals, and corporate events. In November 2012, at the Annual Carolina Beach Music Awards, they were awarded "Favorite New Artist of the Year." The band also received multiple nominations from CBMA, including Group of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, and Entertainer of the Year. 2014 Steve Owens received "Producer of the Year" for the "Second Time Around" CD project. Steve Owens and Summertime released 2 complete CD projects and many singles, several of which became number 1 songs on Beach Music Charts. They played throughout the southeast until the Covid shutdowns. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances of the pandemic, the band discontinued touring and recording. 

Coming from a strong music culture known for its powerful lead vocals and lush harmonies supported by a big band sound, Steve decided to include bluegrass music in his repertoire. Steve liked the raw purity and acoustic honesty of bluegrass music. In September 2021, Steve attended the "LiL House Songwriting Workshop" with veteran songwriters Jerry Salley, Donna Ulisse, and Rick Stanley. The experience with seasoned songwriters, producers, and recording artists would tremendously impact Steve's music career. 

In January 2022, Steve Owens collaborated with producer Jerry Salley to create a bluegrass project in the studio that included the songs they had co-written during the workshop and a few classic country songs. In May 2022, they gathered at Chris Latham's studio in Ashland City, TN, and recorded 5 songs with plans to record more material. Moreover, some of Steve's favorite all-time artists and influences are Vince Gill, Steve Wariner, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Rhonda Vincent, Tim Raybon's band, the Grascals, Balsam Range, Darren and Brooke Aldridge, The Osborne Brothers, Ronnie Milsap, The Issacs, the Eagles, Larry Sparks, vocal groups of the 80s and 90s, Exile, Restless Heart, Shenandoah and more. 

Steve has 2 children, and in the little time he takes off, he can be found on the lake or at the coast on the family boat or rabbit hunting with his son. He tends to 3 farms where he raises cattle, and Steve continues to write and create music. This year, he will be releasing a complete bluegrass project. 
To learn more about Steve Owens, visit