How Far Will Jake Go?

Jake Owen always thought he would succeed in a high profile job in which he would be adored by the masses.     The affable entertainer, who will perform Saturday at the Susquehanna Bank Center, is well on his way to accomplishing those goals. However, Owen isn’t taking the route that he imagined.      Owen, 28, believed that he would become a golf star or at least a professional since he won a number of tournaments as a kid. However, a waterskiing accident, which damaged his shoulder, during his late teens derailed his plans.      But a new career landed in his lap, literally. While convalescing in 2001 Owen grabbed a guitar and found that he couldn’t put it down.       “I never dreamed that I could make a career out of it (playing music),” Owen said. “Picking up the guitar after my surgery was something I did to pass the time. Then I realized that girls liked guys that who played the guitar, so I started playing in clubs around Florida State, where I went to college.”      Owen discovered that playing music was natural for him. “It was pretty clear early on that singing and writing was what I was supposed to be doing because I love it so much,” Owen said. “Even if I never made a penny, music was what I was going to do forever., so the transition was more exciting than difficult.”       Just a half semester short of earning his English and political science degree, Owen dropped out of Florida State University to carve out a career as a country recording artist/writer in Nashville.     Within months, Owen received a break, albeit an unlikely one. “I gave a demo of mine to a lady who was setting up my checking account,” Owen said. “She gave it to someone and I got a call from RCA Records.  You just never know who people might know in Nashville. I carried a demo CD and I just got lucky.”         Owen signed a deal at 24. His debut disc, 2006’s ‘Startin’ With Me,’ became a hit thanks to the infectious single ‘Yee Haw.’        While supporting the disc, he was tabbed to open for country superstar Kenny Chesney. While opening for Chesney, Owen, who opened arena and stadium shows, caught the big stage bug.       “I want to headline stadiums,” Owen said. “I really respect Kenny Chesney’s career not only because he is one of the only acts in music who can headline a stadium, he has remained true to who he is.”      As Owen has climbed the ladder in the business he and his music hasn’t changed an iota.  His latest album, ‘Easy Does It,’ is cut from the same cloth as ‘Startin’ With Me.’      It’s another collection of earnest, personal songs from Owen. “I can’t sing songs that I can’t relate to or believe it myself,” Owen said. “I have to know what something is like to sing about it. That’s why there’s a connection with my two albums and everything I’ve done so far.”

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