His music has been described as Celtic Americana from Leith, via Nashville.
And now the soulful sound of Dean Owens, 45, inspired by the likes of Elvis Costello, John Lennon and Aztec Camera, will be used to raise money for a charity close to his heart.
Dean, born and bred in Leith, has written Julie’s Moon with band the Whisky Hearts, in memory of his sister. In September 2015 Dean’s beloved big sister Julie lost her battle with cancer.
The 50-year-old was a huge supporter of her brother and his music, always encouraging him, always at his gigs.
“It’s a difficult one, as a songwriter a subject like a family member dying of cancer not something you want to write about, but unfortunately or fortunately you get inspired by things,” he said.
“I am someone who follows the music and songs can come to me out of nowhere. This one really came to me pretty much the day after my sister passed away.”
The video for the single is filmed around Leith, the streets and sounds which formed the backdrop of Dean and Julie’s childhood. Dean added: “I was at [my] mum and dads in Leith. There was a full moon in the sky and it was over our old house. Right away I had this little melody come to me and thought of my sister and growing up in Leith. I couldn’t ignore it.”
Dean will donate all of the proceeds from the single to Marie Curie.
He said: “I thought if I have to record this song I am going to do something that means something. The best thing I felt I could do would be to help people who help those suffering with a terminal illness. And Marie Curie do so in such a fantastic way.
“It is a way of thanking them for the help they give and to try and raise awareness of the charity.”
The song entered the iTunes singer/songwriter chart in the top 40 on Friday morning, rubbing shoulders with musicians Ed Sheeran, Simon and Garfunkel and Lenoard Cohen.
For Dean, the inspiration for the song is very personal, but it is a subject, he said, that has touched many people.
“Cancer is unfortunately a universal subject and when I perform the song at gigs many people thank me for doing the song.”
And although Scotland is not known for country music, Dean said it is a genre which allows musicians to express themselves in a very pure and honest way.
“I’m also a massive fan of John Lennon,” he said “And he was great at saying something really simple in a really direct way
You can’t dance around the subject – cancer is there and there are families everywhere having to deal with it.”
Julie’s Moon is now available to download on iTunes for 99p.
Dean Owens & the Whisky Hearts will be performing in Edinburgh as part of TradFest on April 27 in Summerhall.