(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
In this interview with his hometown newspaper, Jake Owen admits a few people were skeptical about his knack for country music. In the beginning, anyway. Mostly because he grew up in a beach town, wakeboarding, playing golf and certainly not driving a tractor. But he did grow up on the traditional country music (the late Vern Gosdin is one of his all-time favorites, he told me once), and that is enough for me. But what I love most about this story is the part about his first live gigs. He used to play at the Riverside Cafe in Vero Beach on Sundays, for $75 and a dolphin (fish) sandwich. Which just proves to me that the honky-tonks-and-tip-jars road is not the only path into Nashville.