British singer/songwriter Judith Owen's eclecticism has seen her records shelved in the rock, folk, and jazz sections of record stores. She was born the daughter of an opera singer and began writing songs as a teenager. Becoming a professional musician, she met and married actor/musician Harry Shearer and contributed vocals and keyboards to his 1994 album, It Must Have Been Something I Said. Her debut solo album, Emotions on a Postcard, was released on her own Dog on the Bed label in 1996. Among its songs was "Hand on My Heart," which was featured in the 1997 film As Good as It Gets and appeared on the soundtrack album. Owen befriended singer/songwriter Julia Fordham and appeared on Fordham's albums East West and That's Live. Another musical association was struck up with Richard Thompson, which led to Owen's appearances on the Thompson albums Mock Tudor, 1000 Years of Popular Music, and Old Kit Bag.
She released her second solo album, Limited Edition, in 2000. "Creatures of Habit" and "Get into It" from the album were featured in the film Olive Juice. 12 Arrows (2003), her third album, boasted guest appearances by Fordham and Thompson, and it featured Owen's cover of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun." It earned her an opening slot on a k.d. lang tour. In 2004, Owen released a holiday EP, Christmas in July, including her cover of "Christmas with the Devil," a song by her husband's fictional group Spinal Tap. She also placed her song "Dreaming" in the film P.S., then used it on her fourth album, Lost and Found, released on her newly formed Courgette Records label in 2005. Her cover of the Kinks' "I Go to Sleep" was featured in the TV movie Mrs. Harris, and she then included it on her fifth album, Here, released August 8, 2006. Happy This Way appeared a year later in 2007, with Mopping Up Karma following the next year. The compilation Beautiful Damage was issued in 2010, while a new studio album, Ebb & Flow, arrived four years later in 2014. ~ William Ruhlmann
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