An avowed beach lover, Jake Owen was in South Dakota, a long way from his hometown of Vero Beach, Fla., when The News-Sentinel caught up with him on tour.
But he wasn't complaining. His “Days of Gold Tour,” which will stop May 1 in Fort Wayne, is his first big headlining tour.
“It's going great,” he said, adding there is a lot of responsibility and a lot of rewards to it. “I signed up for this a long time ago.”
The tour is helping promote his album “Days of Gold,” released in 2013.
Owen is probably best known for his summer party anthem, “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” released in April 2011. It reached No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in September of that year.
Now Owen has another single climbing the country charts, “Beachin'.”
“It's doing really, really well, outselling 'Barefoot Blue Jean Night' where it was at the same point,” he said.
The video for “Beachin'” was shot in Daytona Beach, Fla., and likely tugs at the heartstrings of anybody who's ever fallen in love at the beach. Owen strolls along on the beach singing as a beautiful young couple lounges on the beach and plays in the water.
The chorus lyrics sum it all up: “And it's sunshine, blue eyes, tan lines, slow tide rollin' / White sand, cold can, koozie in my hand, just a summertime strolling / Chillin', breezing, sippin', singin' whoa / Beachin'.”
Owen speaks the lyrics most of his way through “Beachin',” only singing the chorus. But he seems taken aback when the spoken parts are referred to as “rapping.”
“We don't call that rapping,” he said. But he does say country music has changed a lot since the 1950s, and now it's defined by what the lyrics talk about, not necessarily the style of music.
“I think it's just a mindset — people having good times, people reflecting on their lives,” he said.
Owen sure seems to know how to have a good time. And his recreational activities have led to a few mishaps.
He hurt his shoulder wakeboarding before his country career even started, but he still wakeboards all the time — “as much as I can.” Then in 2012, he broke his collarbone snowboarding. Last July, he lost the tip of a finger in a go-kart accident. Asked if he was a daredevil, he said, “very much so.”
He's also a daddy to Pearl, 16 months old. She and his wife are living life on the road with Owen now. He describes it as a great luxury taking them on the road.
Asked what the future holds, Owen said, “I hope to continue to plug away at what I'm doing now. You have to put a lot of time and effort into honing your craft.” He hopes to fill up larger and larger buildings. But, he adds, he's “very thankful for what I have right now.”
When he's not touring, Owen and his family live in Nashville. But he still pines for Florida.
“I miss it every day,” he said. “I miss the pace of life, the water, sunshine every day.”