We had the good fortune of connecting with Todd & Danielle Owens and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Todd & Danielle, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
Our duet Lockstep comes from the idea of being totally together, in sync, and in harmony. We are inspired by a variety of musical artists and genres, and the power music has to connect, heal, and bring happiness to people positively. This is the message we aim to share with our performances and the harmonies we create.
Whether performing original music, or giving our harmonious spin on some of music’s greatest legends, like The Beatles and Bob Dylan, we are believers that music is good for the soul, and pull inspiration from that. There is nothing more inspiring than performing and seeing members of the audience singing along with you, or tapping their feet, and knowing that we helped bring them to a memory or create a little bit of joy in that moment for them.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Our duet Lockstep, offers a mix of positively charged lyrics, soulful vocals, original music, and covers full of good energy that aims to uplift the spirit of our audiences. We pride ourselves in our variety of genres from pop and country, to folk and rock music, and pull inspiration from musicians from past decades to today, allowing us to connect with music fans of all ages. We love to bring vocal harmonies to songs in unexpected ways, along with feature a range of instruments like guitar, ukulele, harmonica, and piano.
We constantly strive to keep adding to our performances and view music as limitless. From adding in new techniques such as layering in loop pedals, pulling in new harmonies, and adding additional instruments to our songs, we love to continue to evolve our craft to keep making it feel fresh and new for all of our performances. We love the ability to cater our music to whatever venue or event we’re performing at, from intimate wine bars to festive wedding celebrations! We began making harmonies together in 2013 when we kicked off our duet and have been performing across the state of Arizona together ever since. We love to welcome our musical friends and family who often accompany us at our shows. As married musicians, we are also very excited to be growing our own family, turning our duet to a trio as we’re expecting our first child this summer!
Like all creative artists, we’ve both had unique journeys that led to where we are today.
Todd has been playing live music for more than half his life. At the age of 12 he got his hands on his first Pearl Jam album, along with the other grunge/alternative artists out of Seattle in the early 90s which sparked his passion for songwriting and playing guitar. From there he became a member of several bands, where he helped develop their sound through his original music and toured the country performing as a guitarist and lead vocalist at large events such as The Velocity Tour alongside well-known bands like My Chemical Romance and Yellowcard. He then became a solo artist, learning additional instruments like the Ukulele, Piano, and Harmonica.
Danielle began her love for music at the young age of 6 when she began playing the classical harp and piano. Through the years she learned additional instruments such as the flute and violin, but landed on the guitar in her college years. From there, Danielle found her voice and began performing across Arizona’s folk music circles alongside her fellow musical family members. Danielle pulls a great deal of inspiration from her dad who has been a musician for over 50 years, performing at historic venues like CBGB in NYC in the 70s, he opened her eyes to folk music at an early age. Nicknamed “Harmonica Steve”, you can often hear her dad, as he accompanies Danielle & Todd at many Lockstep performances.
Pursuing an art form like music, you are often challenged and have to continue to persevere. From creative differences when working with other musicians to times like the recent pandemic, where so much can be determined by a venues ability to book talent and support live music. Most recently, as businesses and gatherings slowed down due to Covid-19, the live music scene did as well. We decided to take this time to get in the studio and focus on our craft, expand our skills, and learn new music. We always remind ourselves that while some doors may close, new ones always open as long as you stay true to who you are and remain driven to keep going. Music can be a very competitive space, but at the end of the day, we love what we do for ourselves, and that love spills out into the songs we share. It’s important to not become complacent but rather keep your head focused and looking at the future. Now that things are starting to reopen, and celebrations are beginning again, we are beyond happy to help bring the music culture back into local restaurants and venues, and be a part of people’s special moments- such as weddings, anniversaries, and other celebratory events!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We love to support locally owned businesses and the natural beauty Arizona has to offer.
We would hit the awesome Farmer’s Market scene across the state, making sure to visit the Old Town Scottsdale Farmer’s Market where we’d grab our produce from the amazing Mclendon’s Select Farm, and be sure to stop at The Market & Spa on 41st Street in Anthem, AZ, an awesome shop that supports all types of local vendors, hosts open outdoor markets and fun food truck nights!
From there we’d grab a cup of coffee at our favorite spot in north Phoenix, Elevate Coffee Company, and catch some up-and-coming artists at their monthly open mic night.
We are big fans of local Arizona wineries, and would be sure to head up North to visit main street in Old Town Cottonwood, where we’d enjoy tasting rooms like Carlson’s Creek, Winery 101, and Merkin Vineyards, and be sure to enjoy some brunch at Crema Craft Kitchen & Bar, and lunch at Bocce Pizzeria. We’d spend the night at our favorite hidden gem there, The Tavern Hotel.
Before heading up further north, we’d swing into Smelter Town Brewery, a fun new spot recently opened in Clarkdale, AZ, and would be sure to take them to the beautiful Page Springs Winery & Vineyard to walk the grounds, taste the wine, and maybe even do a yoga class!
We’d finish our trip up in Sedona, AZ, taking in the beautiful hikes and red rock mountain views, and would be sure to keep our food tour going grabbing meals at one of Lisa Dahl’s delicious restaurants (such as Mariposa or Pisa Lisa).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The support of local venues to bring live music to the community has helped us both grow as performing artists, as well as share our love for music with others. One specific venue we’d love to recognize is Elevate Coffee Company, a local spot that has welcomed us as performing artists for over 10 years, and who supports local live musicians of all ages and genres. Todd of Lockstep also hosts their monthly open mic night there, continuing to give opportunities to up and coming artists.
In addition, our musical peers, past bandmates, and family have supported us throughout our life to continue to learn new instruments and pushed us to continue to grow as artists.
Other: firstname.lastname@example.org 480-332-9383
Select images were provided by Janelle Zeller Photography