Years Later, Jake Owen Is Still North Bound

"I’ve Written Some Damn Good Songs"

For Jake Owen, his memory lane happens to be a long stretch of I-65 North. Because that’s the road that brought him to Nashville from Tallahassee more than a decade ago, and he took his fans and follower on that reflective journey when he posted on Instagram on Monday (Nov. 6).

The black and white picture shows a 21-year-old Owen — to be honest, he still looks 21 now, even at 36 — and he says that he is just as excited about music today as he was back then when he got a pink telecaster from his dad. “Today I signed a record deal with Big Loud Records. I am so excited,” Owen wrote, “I feel like I’m still driving that 97 4Runner north from Tallahassee and seeing the Nashville skyline for the first time.”

Owen’s label move has him making new music with Big Loud after releasing five studio albums when he was signed to RCA Nashville.

“I made the move, and here I am all these years later. I have great friends. I’ve written some damn good songs,” he says. “Some have been heard, some might not ever. The beauty of it all is, I followed my heart.

“I’m still following my heart … and I️ still have that pink telecaster,” he said.

There is no official word on Owen’s next album, but he has been playing new music out on the road, and you can hear the crowd’s approval on songs like “I Was Made for You.”

Good ol days in Tallahassee, FL… sitting in my little townhouse, annoying my twin brother learning every Alabama, Bob Marley, DMB, Merle Haggard, you name it guitar lick on this good ol’ pink tele my Dad bought me for my birthday when I️ turned 21. I left that place not too long after this picture was taken. I didn’t get a degree. I dropped out. I heard about this place called Nashville… I heard about Music Row. I heard they accept all kinds of dreamers and help mold them and their ideas and dreams into reality. I said, “I wanna check that place out. I feel like I’d fit in there. I feel like i could make some great friends.. write some great songs..just feel good about living in a place with other dreamers. A town full of them. I’m going.” I made the move, and here I am all these years later. I have great friends. I’ve written some damn good songs. Some have been heard, some might not ever. The beauty of it all is, I followed my heart. Today I signed a record deal with @bigloudrecords. I am so excited, i feel like I’m still driving that 97 4Runner north from Tallahassee and seeing the Nashville skyline for the first time. I still feel like this kid in this photograph. I still have HUGE dreams and goals to fulfill . I’m still following my heart… and I️ still have that pink telecaster.

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