When he looks at his touring log since releasing his debut album in 2006, country singer Jake Owen sees some pretty formidable gigs opening for the likes of Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Sugarland, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Kenny Chesney.
And he reckons those did his career well.
“We play quite a few shows where afterwards fans come up and say, ‘Hey, we saw you play with Sugarland’ or ‘Hey, we saw you on the Chesney tour five years ago. You did a great job so we wanted to see you again,’ ” says the Florida native, who’s notched five Top 20 country hits from his two albums. “That makes me feel really good. It makes me realize we did something right in order to make somebody back.
“But then when we go out and do our own shows, we still need to do what we did that last time and make those folks leave wanting to come back again — and bring somebody else with them. But I think we do a pretty good job at that.”
Owen, 29, hopes that building audience will be there for his next album, too. He’s already recorded six songs, and Owen is, unusually, proud that he did [i]not[/i] write any of them.
“That’s been a big change for me,” he explains. “I just kind of stepped back and swallowed my pride and opened myself up to the idea of recording somebody else’s songs. I mean, I passed on ‘Big Green Tractor’ ’cause I didn’t grow up riding around on a big, green, John Deere tractor. Then Jason Aldean cuts it and it’s the biggest song of the year.
“My brother said to me, ‘Jake, no one (cares). Johnny Cash did [i]not[/i] shoot a man in Reno. So now I know that if a song’s a good song, or a great song, I need to record it, and that’s the way I’m approaching this next album.”
Jake Owen, Jocaine and John Maison perform Friday, Nov. 19, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.
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