The Week In Review-The Weekend Ahead

Tribute to My Grandpa – Songwriter Dylan Owen Honors John Spear

Portion of New Rap Song, “Mourn” by Dylan Owen, Grandson of John Spear

“Its cloudy in heaven tonight, Its cloudy in heaven tonight,
Its crowded in heaven tonight,
But can you let my Grandpa in?”

By Edie Johnson

The name John Spear is nearly synonymous in publishing, in Washingtonville, and indeed with the Orange County Post. Now his grandson, Dylan Owen carries that talent forward into a new generation, with a uniquely Blooming Grove style and flair, with flashback video clips that John took while Dylan innocently jaunted years ago with friends in the fields beneath the Moodna Viaduct and in the shade of the Schunnemunk Ridge. While uniquely current, rhyming about the pains of young people first grasping loss, whether through love or death, his songs nevertheless remain hopeful and are intended as a reminder of the hopefulness of the history and beauty of the hills and valleys here. The raps seem almost Appalachian at times, but always blending the bucolic rolling rhyme with a sharp New York City street edge, which is what our times require of the young here in southern Orange County New York. Caught between the New York Street music, Bethel Woods and the Black Dirt Bandits, Dylan has formed a genre of his own, and they can all be found on his Facebook Page under his name and his website:

We did an interview this week when he shared a new release, “Mourn” in honor of his Grandfather, John Spear, with whom he clearly had a close bond, as is evident in his remarks:

“My grandpa John was a printer. He was born with ink on his hands. So given the chance, when I write now, I watch the ink spill on the page, and if I’m thinking of him it’s like I’m bringing him back.”

Some of his works, like “Mourn” and “Break Some Ice” have a dark element, but then known for “wearing his heart on his sleeve”, he tells it like it is, including the sometimes overwhelming challenges of young adulthood. Others of his works are much more upbeat.

Dylan Shoot Teen Life can be Overwhelming Teenage life can be overwhelming

  • Dylan is now 26 and does ‘gigs’ in New York City as well as our area and other areas of the country. His work has been touted by such noted reviewers as Billboard and Huffington Post. His future holds lots of writing, including a probable book of poetry and graphic arts. He was about 11 years old when he wrote his first song, and later recorded it at 14 He said Grandpa John used to take some of his drawings that he sketched in his spare time, and copy them onto cards.Everett Smith and his sons Steve and Mike along with Sister Deb Regenbaum have taken over the job of publishing and printing the Orange County Post, but John Spear’s spirit remains strong.He said he loves music because it’s a straightforward way to communicate. It can take something complicated and make it simple. His music is many things. Simple does not seem one of them, but actually in a way it is.Caption above:  A simpler time in the valley of the Moodna Viaduct
    (Look for some occasional interview coverage by Dylan in coming Orange County Post issues, and very likely some special local performances in Washingtonville. Clearly talented writing and publishing are in his blood and in his genes).

Break Some Ice
Where do we go from here my friend
Where do we go from here my friend
To patch up all the Holes In Our Stories
On and on the rocking constant calm, the onslaught
Don’t stop me now before I find the love that someone raffles off
My opera highs
My grand piano lows
                                                                           Dylan Owen

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