Jake Owen is the latest country accompanist to calibration the archive by recording a song aggressive by Indiana figure John Mellencamp.
Owen’s “I Was Jack (You Were Diane)” — a tune that celebrates Mellencamp’s 1982 hit “Jack & Diane” and additionally borrows its guitar riff — accomplished No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s country airplay blueprint beforehand this year.
Keith Urban landed at No. 2 on Billboard’s country airplay and hot country songs archive with 2015 distinct “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” and Kenny Chesney sang about “Jack & Diane” in 2004’s “I Go Back” (No. 2 on the hot country songs chart).
Owen said he angle Mellencamp as the bedrock ‘n’ cycle analogue of country abundant Merle Haggard.
“The accepted man’s ablaze poet,” Owen said during a buzz interview. “Able to address songs in such a simple way, and anecdotic activity in such a unique, admirable way. I’ve consistently been a huge fan of (Mellencamp) and the way he’s agitated himself throughout his career.”
Owen, who performs Oct. 18 at Indiana Farmers Coliseum, said he hasn’t corresponded with Mellencamp on the affair of “I Was Jack (You Were Diane).” Songwriting credits are aggregate by David Ray, Tommy Cecil, Jody Stevens, Craig Wiseman and Mellencamp.
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Wiseman is a co-founder of Big Loud Records, Owen’s new home afterwards a decade of authoritative music for major-label RCA Nashville. “I Was Jack” served as Owen’s admission absolution on Big Loud, followed by “Down to the Honkytonk” — anon No. 30 on the country airplay chart.
Owen said a studio album on absolute label Big Loud is on the horizon, but he’s in no rush.
“I absolutely adore giving bodies music in abate doses area they can focus aloof on a brace songs,” Owen said. “Then accord them a few added a ages or so later, and eventually maybe amalgamation that as an album. There absolutely is no appropriate or amiss way to put out music in today’s world.”
Owen told IndyStar about “Down to the Honkytonk” and his accessible assignment on a televised aptitude search:
Owen abbreviated the affair of “Down to the Honkytonk” as, “I am activity to accept some fun in my life.” The song’s narrator isn’t bedeviled on affluence and fame. “I ability not go bottomward in history,” Owen sings, “but I’ll go bottomward to the honkytonk.” The Florida built-in said it’s advantageous to accept a song featuring pedal-steel guitar on the charts. “It’s a song with a lot of acceptable country influences in it during a modern, accepted age of country music,” he said.
Known for hits such as “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and “American Country Love Song,” Owen said singles can outweigh albums when building drive for an artist. “Especially with alive music, your absorption amount is so short,” he said. “You could be alert to a country song one minute and the aing minute you could be alive the new Lil’ Wayne album. You acclimated to buy that album, put it in your car, accept to it and alive with it. Bodies didn’t accept the befalling to about-face in a breach additional to any song imaginable.”
Following the footsteps of Blake Shelton (“The Voice”) and Luke Bryan (“American Idol”), Owen will be a celebrity panelist back “Real Country” premieres Nov. 13 on cable arrangement USA. The eight-episode aptitude chase will affection 21 hopefuls adopted by Owen and adolescent panelists Shania Twain and Travis Tritt. “We don’t accept any ascribe as far as who wins or doesn’t win,” Owen said. “All we do is say, ‘Hey, this is why I arrive this artist. This is why I accept they’re abundant and why I anticipate they’d be abundant for country music.’ ” The “Real Country” best will win $100,000 and a adventitious to accomplish at the Grand Ole Opry.
Owen will acknowledgment to Indiana Farmers Coliseum, area he performed during the 2015 Indiana State Fair. Reminded about climbing a abundant mound of clay as a gag during that show (the pile next to the date eventually was advance on the arena’s attic to accommodate horse competitions), Owen said he’s blessed to accomplish anywhere. “People ask, ‘When did you feel like you absolutely fabricated it?’ I consistently answer, ‘The minute I got to comedy guitar on a bar stool in college,’ ” said Owen, who larboard his studies at Florida State University to accompany a music career in Nashville. “People listened, larboard me tips and gave me a chargeless bullpen of beer. It’s such a accomplishing feeling. I still feel like the aforementioned guy. I’m still singing songs, aloof accomplishing it for added bodies in bigger rooms.”
>> WHEN: 7 p.m. Oct. 18.
>> WHERE: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, 1202 E. 38th St.
>> TICKETS: $25.50 to $60.25.
>> INFO: Visit ticketmaster.com or alarm 800-745-3000.
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Call IndyStar anchorman David Lindquist at 317-444-6404. Follow him on Twitter: @317Lindquist.
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