Jake Owen

Country music hitmaker to show NH some ‘American Love’

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader
September 13. 2017 12:54PM
Country music star Jake Owen extends the summer season with a sunny visit to Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom Friday, Sept. 15. (Dale Sorensen)
If you go...
WHO: Jake Owen

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday

WHERE: Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom, 169 Ocean Blvd., Hampton

TICKETS: $39 to $44.

INFO: www.casinoballroom.com; 929-4100

Country music star Jake Owen has had six No. 1 singles since releasing his debut album 10 years ago, hits like the double-platinum anthem “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and the platinum-certified “Beachin.’”

The Vero Beach, Fla., native will bring his reputation for high-energy performances and laid-back style — including a penchant for performing barefoot, ala Jimmy Buffett — when he heads to the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom for a show Friday.

Labor Day may be in the rearview mirror, but don’t tell Owen that summer is over.

“We’ve become associated with that warm-weather, breezy kind of sound,” said Owen in a telephone interview. “We’ll extend summer as long as we can. I love New Hampshire.”

Owen is still touring behind last summer’s “American Love,” his fifth studio album. It features the lead single, “American Country Love Song,” which landed at No. 1 on the U.S. country charts last year.

Owen’s music lends itself to any summertime playlist, and his latest single, “Good Company,” off “American Love,” also has a beach vibe.

The new single, he said, has received a good response from crowds, but they still go even crazier for “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” the title track of his 2011 album and his first No. 1 hit.

Six years later, he never gets tired of playing it night in and night out on the road.

“Anybody will tell you that having a song that gets that kind of reaction is always fun to play,” he said. “It’s nice to have those, and I wish I had about 15 more of them. If I ever get tired of hearing that reaction, it’s time to do something else.”

Owen, 36, said he has friends in Houston and, like people everywhere, watched coverage of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. (At the time of the interview with Owen, Hurricane Irma hadn’t yet struck Florida.)

“Being from Florida, I’m pretty used to hurricanes,” said Owen. “It terrible what you are seeing there right now, but our country has a way of rallying around communities during times of need, despite what you see on the news some nights.”

Owen’s latest album was recorded during a difficult time in his life, as he and his wife of three years, Lacey Buchanan, were going through a divorce.

“The album came out last summer but I made it about two years ago when there were changes happening at my record label and I was going through a divorce,” said Owen. “There are a couple of songs on the album that deal with what I was going through, but I felt like the fans wouldn’t want an album filled with heartbreak, so a lot of them are about living life to the fullest and having no regrets.”

Not long after Glen Campbell passed away on Aug. 8, Owen posted a video of himself performing one of Campbell’s biggest hits, “Wichita Lineman,” on social media. “We lost one of the greatest voices, guitar players and entertainers that our world has ever seen,” Owen wrote in a post accompanying the video. “It seems this year has been filled with these moments where we’ve lost people that have enriched our lives with their pure talent. This is a huge loss for country music.”

“I was sitting in the front lounge area on my bus when I learned that he passed away,” said Owen. “I just grabbed my guitar and started to sing one of his songs.

“I have major respect for country music as a whole. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a part of the scene that is happening now, but current acts like me have an obligation to pay respect to the people who came before us,” he said. “I loved Glen Campbell — his voice, his music, his melodies and his guitar playing were some of the best this world has ever seen.”

Once Owen wraps up his summer tour in October, he will announce the dates for his fall Good Company World Tour, which is expected to include arenas and theaters across North America before heading to Canada and Europe in early 2018. He is also working on a new album he expects to release next summer.


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