Jake Owen: The Ballad of “Beachin’”

It’s slowed down. It’s unplugged. This “Beachin’” is everything Jake Owen‘s hit single is not.

Owen was at the Billboard studio in New York City recently and played the otherwise up-tempo fast-talking parts of the tune with just his acoustic guitar and two sidemen on guitars. It’s so slowed down, in fact, that I can actually understand the lyrics — like “it’s 103 three between her and me and only 92 in Daytona” — now that Owen’s not singing them all at 182 beats per minute.

But I also love this video because of Owen’s honesty.

He admits that, no, he did not grow up listening to Merle Haggard in the ’90s. Rather, he started listening to that older country music when he found out it had influenced the country artists he was listening to at the time.

“I loved country music so much, that all the people I looked up to, that’s who they fed off,” Owen said.

He also talks about how his current album Days of Gold was a little bit easier to make than his first three because, in a way, he’d proven himself.

“I had a lot of pressure on me all the years beforehand to make an album that had a hit on it,” he said. “But after you make one that had four No. 1′s in a row, actually, believe it or not, it takes a lot of pressure off. I’d finally hit my stride. I’d finally got people’s attention. And before, I was trying to get it. Once I had their attention, then it was up to me to decide what to do with it.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.