Cliff Lipson/CBSEven though Jake Owen has had quite a few big hits like “Beachin’,” “Anywhere with You” and “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” he admits it’s still encouraging when people immediately love a song, like his latest top-30 hit, “American Country Love Song.”
“In this business, people don’t realize it’s not easy,” he chuckles, “and you can put out songs that you genuinely love — I’ve had moments over the past couple years where I’ve released songs, for instance, ‘What We Ain’t Got,’ which meant the world to me. But it was a huge departure from what people kinda perceive me as, as the ‘Barefoot Blue Jean Night’ guy. And so the song didn’t do as well as maybe we thought we would. So to put out a new song now that’s kinda back in the vein of what people have come to expect from me, it feels good to see it like back on track again and see it rollin’.”
One of the things that’s helped the song find success is the road trip Jake took in his classic VW van the week the single was released.
“We stopped off along the way, and something about driving 55 miles an hour in the right-hand lane on the interstate,” he recalls, “usually if you did that in any other vehicle, people would be mad, like honking the horn. But people gave me thumbs-up, because you can’t get mad at a ’66 Volkswagen van, seafoam green. So I just watched people smile, and we pulled off on the side of the road, stopped at truck stops. People would say, ‘Man, tell me about that van,’ we’d just get to talkin’. And it was just cool to be able to just for a minute, not be in a hurry and just say, ‘We’re headin’ to Key West,’ and tell the story and along the way just meet great people. It was good.”
Jake says his trek from Nashville to the tip of Florida also helped teach him a new life philosophy.
“Every day we wake up and you live in this world, in this beautiful country. And sometimes if you just take a minute and turn it into your playground, it’s amazing how much fun and happiness you can not only bring to yourself, but to other people. I mean it’s pretty easy just to make someone smile and ask ’em how their day is,” he reflects.
The video for “American Country Love Song” was shot along the way during Jake’s VW journey. You can relive the trek on YouTube now.
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