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Jake Owen at the Royal Oak, 5 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Jake Owen has indeed enjoyed some "Days Of Gold" since his recording career began 11 years ago.

The singer from Florida has released five Top 10 country albums, tw of which hit No. 1, and has logged six No. 1 singles, including last year's gold-certified "American Country Love Song." His latest album, "American Love," was one of those chart-toppers and has spawned three singles, and Owen has also appeared as a guest on singles by Sugarland, Florida Georgia Line and Owl City.

On top of that, the avid duffer won the coveted Arnie Award from Golf Digest magazine, honoring his charitable work. We caught him by phone from his mid-morning, in fact -- with a tee-time looming as soon as he hung up the phone...

Five albums into his career Owen, 35, is growing to appreciate the ever-increasing size of his body of work. "It's fulfilling, I guess is a great word to use," he says. "There's no guarantees in this business. I remember when I started making records, hoping thigs would work out. so I really feel fulfilled to think, 'Wow, I've not only built a catalog of songs but I've also gotten to the poin where I don't have enough time to play all the songs maybe people want to hear at the shows."

The biggest change, Owen explains, was going from being the primary songwriter of his material to opening up to outside writers -- and scoring major hits such as "Barefoot Blue Jean Night," "Alone With You," "Beachin'" and more. "Y'know, the first couple arecord I made I wrote every song, stuff I was really proud of. And I had what you would call hits, but I never had what I've learned to call career songs -- songs people tend to remember and jsut really mold and build your career. It wasn't until the third album when I had 'Barefoot Blue Jean Night' come out that I learned the difference, and I haven't looked back since."

One residual affect of that has been building an image that Owen admits having ambivalent feelings about. "I think after I had songs like 'Beachin'' and 'Barefoot Blue Jean night,' and me being from Florida, I used to worry that people were perceiving me as just this beach bum and that would not validate me as an artist as much," he explains. "I didn't want to be pigeonholed just as that. Then I realized that's what makes everything for me. That's what people come to my shows for. They can get the other stuff from artists who do that, but those artists don't do what I do. It took me awhile to understand that."

With "American Love" Owen is particularly happy that he didn't let trying life circumstances -- he and wife Lacey divorced during August of 2015 -- affect the flavor of the album. "I was going through the divorce, and the head of my label was changing for a second tiem and I had new guys coming in that had zero invested in me," Owen recalls. "This being my fifth album I felt like I better put together a great record. Lookin gback on it, there's a lot of happiness on the record. I think that's what I was longing for in my own life, so I applied that to the songs I recorded and put on the album rather than just a bunch of bummed out, heartbreak stuff."

It will be a minute before it's time for Owen to make his next album, but he's already thinking about it. "I've got a bunc hof songs stockpiled that I recently recorded, 'cause in this day and age, the way music is being released, you never know," he says. "I might drop a song here and there digitally, keep people wondering when the next song is coming as opposed to the next album. People's attention span is so short anymore it may be best to keep feeding peopel music rather than letting them wait. I know people have different ideas about that, but I just want to be open and ready for whatever the best thing is for me to do."

Jake Owen, Walter McGuire and Matt Austin

Wednesday, April 20. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St.

Tickets are $37.

Call 399-2980 or visit royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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