Five Things to Know About Jake Owen’s New ‘Greetings From… Jake’ Album

Did you know: Jake Owen and Kid Rock bonded over pickleball.

Five Things to Know About Jake Owen’s New ‘Greetings From… Jake’ Album
Jake Owen; Photo credit: Nick Swift

Greetings From… Jake is a refresher for Jake Owen. The singer’s sixth studio album, Greetings will reconnect Owen with fans enamored by his feel-good melodies and coastal vibes. Ahead of the album’s release, Owen sat down with the Nashville media to share insight into the project and why it’s cemented itself as one of his career favorites. Here are 5 things to know about Greetings From… Jake.

1. “Damn” is 10 years in the making.

The track that closes the album is one that has been patiently waiting its turn to be featured on one of Owen’s records. Penned the morning after the CMA Awards in 2008, Owen was inspired to write the song when he saw Kellie Pickler perform in an all black leather outfit. “When she came out I was like ‘damn,’” Owen recalls. “And it occurred to me that my stylist Jennifer Kemp used to always say to me every time I’d try something on, ‘your mamma should’ve named you damn.'” Owen told the story to co-writers David Lee Murphy and Brett James, leading them to write a song about a woman who’s mother should’ve named her “damn.” In its 10-year life span, the song has remained on Owen’s radar, one he’s included in his live set since its inception. “Here we are, all these years later,” he says.

Jake Owen; Cover art courtesy of Big Loud Records

Jake Owen; Cover art courtesy of Big Loud Records

2. “In It” is one of his favorite songs on the project.

Though Owen is happily expecting a baby girl with girlfriend Erica Hartlein, he holds a reverence for “In It,” one of the album’s two ballads. It’s told from the perspective of someone looking back on past relationships, wondering if they still live in their former love’s memory, wishing them well all the while. He recounts a story his mom shared with him about a young man she dated in high school who drove a green Volkswagen and changed the color daily, relating that special memory to the song’s theme. “We all have that,” he says of reflecting on people from our past. “When I sing that song, I go back to the few individuals that I wonder sometimes ‘I wonder if she ever thinks about me.’”

3. Owen and Kid Rock bonded over pickleball.

It turns out the country singer and rock star have struck up a friendship over the years not only through their mutual love of golf, but also pickleball, a game similar to tennis where two-four players use wooden paddles and a wiffle-like ball. Owen was at Kid Rock’s house one day admiring his many extravagant items, including a replica of the Dukes of Hazzard car when he was inspired to ask the “Picture” singer to be a guest vocalist on “Grass is Always Greener,” a song that acknowledges the common mentality that you always want what you don’t have. “I’m sitting there going ‘man I wish I had that,’” Owen says, reflecting on the song’s lyrics “we’re always gonna want a little more than we got, that’s just the way the big world turns.” “It occurred to me at that moment I have to ask Kid Rock if he wants to sing on this song because it’s exactly how I feel like my life is.”

4. Greetings From… Jake stays true to his spirited sound.

Owen has been known for releasing feel-good songs throughout his career, and Greetings is no exception. Fans will notice that nearly all of the 14 songs are lively and upbeat. This theme stays in line with the positive nature of Owen’s many hits like “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” and “American Country Love Song.” The album’s second single “Down to the Honkytonk” also helps set this tone, as it offers a message of enjoying the life you have, even if you’re not basking in glory. “With music, I’ve always liked songs that seem to empower happiness,” he notes. “I just felt like by providing people with those types of soundtracks to their day to day life that can be happy is a lot more fun that providing them with sadness. There’s enough of that going on in the world, so let’s try to take their mind off of it.”

5. This will be one of his favorite albums of his career.

Owen is open about the fact that he’s at a blissful place in life, and the album reflects it, believing it’s on par or even exceeds the work on his breakthrough record Barefoot Blue Jean Night. He says fans who’ve followed his career thus far will not only recognize that he’s stayed true to vision, but will gain greater knowledge of who he is while listening to the “really personal” album. “There’s a lot of things on this album that I think will make more sense to folks as they listen down,” he explains. “I don’t think there’s anything about me that someone can’t get musically from this record that I love, and I think that’s a pretty confident, fulfilling thing to be able to say about a record. I think when someone listens to it they can know that there’s no stone left unturned really for me…This will go down for me as a record that not only is one of my favorites, if not the favorite I’ve ever made.”

Greetings From… Jake is set for release on Friday (March 29).