Jake Owen on New Music at Live In The Vineyard Goes Country: “There Is a Full Project Coming”

Jake Owen gave country fans and industry insiders a taste of what’s to come during his Live In The Vineyard Goes Country set at Uptown Theatre Napa in April. During his performance, Owen debuted a feel-good summer anthem called “On the Boat Again.”

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The song borrows the chorus melody of Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” and fittingly changes the lyrics to embody Owen’s love of being on the water.

On the boat again
I just can’t wait to get on the boat again
The life I love is drinkin’ cold beer with my friends

I can’t wait to get on the boat again

“There is a full project coming,” Owen tells American Songwriter hours before his set. “I’m so all over the map with who I am and what I love that it’s hard to sometimes … In my mind, to be an album, it needs to sound very cohesive. Otherwise, it sounds like a mixtape. But I think now when I go back and listen to it as a whole, I’ve chiseled it down and it’s taken me time to do that.”

Owen released “My Boots Miss Yours” in January while his recent single, “Up There Down Here,” dropped in March 2022. He says the decision to unveil “My Boots Miss Yours” was him simply wanting to get a new track out to perform on the road that was “fun for me.”

He further explains that his motto for making a new album is that “you have to fall in love with what you’ve created.” He affirms that he loves his forthcoming seventh record but admits he didn’t love the process of making it.

Owen says that the album will embody some of the nostalgia as heard on previous No. 1 hits like “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and “I was Jack (You Were Diane),” but will also have some deeper songs.

“I have had a lot of darkness in my life too, but I just don’t dwell in it,” he says. “I find happiness in the brighter side of life. I’ve never enjoyed making dark music, but I do find when I listen to songs that I record that have a darker undertone or an honesty to the dark side of my life, they really resonate.

“There’s a song on the record called ‘When It All Shakes Out’ that I’m excited about,” he continues. “Can you shake the hand of the man you’re gonna be when it all shakes out? We’ve all got rights and we’ve all got wrongs, the things that we’re not proud of. At this moment, if this is it, could you look them in the mirror and be okay with who you are?”

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“When It All Shakes Out” was written by Jacob Davis, Josh Jenkins and Jordan Dozzi. Owen says the song’s first verse immediately struck him: I woke up in a daze / I’ve been running for weeks / Putting miles on a 30-something heart / I got my daddy in my head and the devil in my ear / And they both sound the same in the dark.

“The first mini half of the first verse of the song explained my whole career,” he admits. “My dad and my mom have always been in my ear. They’ve always been there. But also, there’s been a devil too on the other side of it. Not from like, doing bad things per se but the guy that’s like, ‘You don’t have to do this.’ The person that you meet in the middle of the parenting and the negative influence, whoever this person is, is who you choose to be. So that’s what you have to be.”

Owen says he recorded a couple of songs that brothers Jordan Davis and Jacob Davis wrote for this new project. “Jordan’s been doing well, and he’s been a good friend of mine for a long time,” he adds.

“I think with this new record, I have songs on there that are super believable from a standpoint that I’ve definitely lived them,” Owen says. “But then there’s a song or two that I’m delivering from a messenger of a character.

“It’s funny, I’m either writing something that’s very serious and honest or it’s very fun and completely careless,” he concludes. “If you don’t take yourself so seriously, you can have a lot more fun.”

(Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

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