Tim 'Ripper' Owens to Return to Sand Trap Grill & Bar in September

click to enlarge Tim 'Ripper' Owens to Return to Sand Trap Grill & Bar in September
Courtesy of Tim "Ripper" Owens
Update: Last month, Akron-based Tim "Ripper" Owens, the hard rock singer who toured and recorded with British metal icons Judas Priest for several years and still plays with a number of national acts, delivered a rare acoustic show at the Sand Trap Grill & Bar in North Royalton.

The concert was so successful that locally based Otter Entertainment has scheduled another Owens concert on Saturday, Sept. 5.

Billy Morris, the talented local hard rock guitarist who also runs a popular food truck, will join Owens along with backing from his Sunset Strip band.

The concert begins at 6 p.m.

Original Post 07/29/2020: Akron-based singer Tim “Ripper” Owens was supposed to be on tour this summer with the Three Tremors, the hard rock outfit he fronts. Because of the pandemic, the tour was postponed, and Owens has tried to make the best of quarantine by doing some writing and recording.

“It’s hard because I had a big year set up with various records," he says via phone. "I’ve been finalizing the mixing process of the KK’s Priest record. Being that they’re in England and that everything is locked down in England as well, we can’t do much work on that right now.”

With all major tours suspended, Owens will perform a rare acoustic show at 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Sand Trap Grill & Bar in North Royalton.

For the upcoming acoustic concert that promoter Tom Otter says will be a special “intimate show,” Owens says he and guitarist Scott Jones will simply aim to have fun.

“I tour so much that I don’t do many acoustic shows," says Owens. "We play some of my Judas Priest songs from my era and other songs that are fun to play live. We do some AC/DC and a version of ‘Ace of Spades’ from Motorhead. We do songs by Dio and Sabbath and the Beatles. It’s a fun show. We do a version of [Dio’s] ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ that’s really cool and full of emotion. I sing it differently every time. Doing [AC/DC's] ‘TNT’ acoustic is so cool. That’s what makes it fun. We have a couple of stools, but I don’t know if we ever sit down on them. We don’t have a setlist. I script out the first four songs, and then, we just look through the pages and randomly do songs like 'I'm Eighteen’ by Alice Cooper.”

When singer Rob Halford left Judas Priest in the late '90s and early 2000s, Owens took his spot and toured with the classic heavy metal group. The band played a sold-out show at the Agora in 2002.

“That was a great time, and that Agora show was one of the top highlights,” says Owens. “MTV was there filming. I looked out the crowd and could see my family. My daughter who is now 30 was sitting out there and fell asleep. She was just a youngster at the time. My family and friends being at the show made that show stand out. The best part was just how everyone in the band got along and were friends and hung out.”

Touring and recording with Priest really helped launch Owens’ career. Last year alone, he released an album with with the power metal act the Three Tremors, and he also recorded with the heavy metal act Spirits of Fire and the straight-ahead rock band A New Revenge.

“It was a busy year," says Owens. "Three albums all came out at the same time, even though they weren’t supposed to. They were all were recorded at different periods of time. I toured a lot with the Three Tremors, and we had some touring cancelled. Right now, I’m locked into KK’s Priest, which will be my go-to. We had planned to play festivals, and the album would have been out by now. It was close to being done when the virus hit. Everything was recorded, but the studios and everything closed down.”

While Owens, who also recently launched his own dark roast coffee, Feel the Power, regularly records with musicians who live in other parts of the world, he says he has no desire to leave Akron.

“Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to be in Akron because you can record at home,” he says. “I’m sitting in my studio right now working on songs. I do a lot of recording at home for bands all over the world. My friends and family are here in Akron. I would love to move somewhere else one day and have a second home, but I’ll always stay in Akron. I’m a hometown guy.”

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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