This week, the syndicated Bobby Bones Show hosted its “Joy Week,” a series of uplifting performances, often covers, by visiting country stars. Among the highlights were the Band Perry’s giddy take on Jason Derulo’s “Trumpets” and rising artist Cam’s interpretation of Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” Jake Owen, however, stayed close to his country roots.
During a visit to Bones’ Nashville-based studios, the “What We Ain’t Got” singer looked to the Garth Brooks catalog for inspiration. His two choices: “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)” and “Unanswered Prayers.” (Listen to the latter below.) Both songs revealed Owen’s gift for mimicry, as he added just the right amount of Brooks’ quaver to his delivery.
“If you watch his sound check, like I do almost every day. . .he’ll be like, ‘What do you think of this?’ And then he’ll play a T.G. Sheppard song or a Merle Haggard song note for note. He’ll sing every word and sound just like him. He’s a genuine country artist,” says Johnston. “He is one of those guys who really did grow up listening to Merle and all these people.”