Sometimes I forget that Elvis Presley forged a gospel career. Or that Grand Funk Railroad’s Mark Farner had a solo album with Christian songs. Just because we categorize some singers as rock or pop, it doesn’t mean they can’t stretch their musical muscles into faith-centric music. The new song “Bound For Glory” from country/Americana crooner Denny Bowen is riddled with religion and has a strong foundational springboard to move Bowen up into the stratosphere. “Bound For Glory” can’t be contained in the gospel or country genres – it’s far too expansive to label it just that. “Bound For Glory” is so much more.
I was bound for failure, no I’m bound for glory, Bowen’s every-man voice sings. He is perfectly pitched, and the tenor in his voice has a slight smoke-stain like an oven-baked pizza dough. He’s burnt in some ways but cooked perfectly even in others. His voice hovers over a riveting stew of southern fiddle, guitar, drums and incognito bass. The music base relies heavily on the strings (both guitar and fiddle) and I can almost hear an accordion – but I can’t be certain. The Texan wrangles all these sounds together in a way that elevates the music, but never overshadows the lyrics. It’s a perfect dance between the two.
He sings about a book and how those words finally set me free. When he sings this, Bowen is so reflective and yet you can see him looking forward to the future with open arms and enthusiasm. I think fans of ALABAMA and The Oak Ridge Boys will dig “Bound For Glory” because he sings of his faith. The wholesomeness is there like a blank slate that has been molded into greatness. Humble beginnings beget big dreams and “Bound For Glory” checks a lot of those important boxes us music reviewers like to see. I can be picky when it comes to most songs, but “Bound For Glory” gave me wings. It made me feel light and lofty. I wanted to keep pressing play, mostly because I enjoyed Bowen’s voice, but also because it’s a song that lets you dream. Your mind gets to wander around into some far-off places of your past, and you get a glimpse into your own future if you want. It gives you some tools to start your day with your head held high. Or it’s the perfect song to have playing when your day’s winding down and you remind yourself that what feels super important today, is just a blimp on the biggest picture of all.
What’s my final take? “Bound For Glory” is a great addition to any playlist. I would highly recommend this song to the fans of ALABAMA, The Oak Ridge Boys, in addition to The Eagles, The Band, Kentucky Headhunters, Janis Joplin and even Joni Mitchell. Denny Owen is one-to-watch and his song makes the listener feel alive and Intune with their soul. Music is spiritual and “Bound For Glory” just adds some icing on the cake – it’s that good.