(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
Why can’t every artist be as open, honest and engaging as Jake Owen? Because it sure makes web chats a lot more interesting. On Friday night (Dec. 3), Owen was in Chicago for a concert and spent about a half hour before the show answering fan questions in a web chat. I was in the room with Owen, watching him get up and take off his jacket to show a fan his tattoos, like the three-star center of the Tennessee state flag on the inside of his right forearm. “This one’s because Tennessee changed my life at a time when I needed it to,” he explained. When another person asked what kinds of jeans he was wearing, he stood up, turned around to look at the inside the waist band and said, “Adriano Goldschmied,” and even revealed that his boxer briefs were Nike DriFITs. (Later on, when it was just me and Owen, and we were comparing cowboy boots, he gave me a great tip: bootstaronline.com. He said their prices were better than some of the tourist places in downtown Nashville.) But the best part of the web chat was the singing. It wasn’t even concert time yet, but Owen sang a little bit of his “You Can Thank Dixie” and Josh Turner‘s “All Over Me.” That’s when his sense of humor took a back seat to that rich voice of his.