After spending most of his musical life as a bass-playing sideman with the likes of the Hagar twins, M.C. Potts and even Bill Monroe, Kenny Owens decided to trade his four-string for a six-string and focus on writing and recording. The fruit of that metamorphosis Walking in St. James, a collection of mostly Owen-penned songs that have a laid-back, shambling folk-rock groove a la '70s Dylan. In fact, on tracks like "Ballad of Bodean Hardin"and "Ten Dollar Soul," Owens' quavering rasp recalls the pride of Hibbing, Minn. But on other songs, like "Hard Times"and the standout "She's Just Lorraine" -- a good-time boogie propelled by some bawdy saloon piano -- echoes of Warren Zevon reverberate in his earthy croon. He'll be backed by his band, the Backburners.