Just like many of us fans, country music stars are stuck at home due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) precautions. To counteract otherwise lost time off the road, artists like Jake Owen are putting together livestream performances of old hits, new songs and surprise covers.
In Owen's case, songs from such hit albums as Barefoot Blue Jean Night (2011) and Greetings From... Jake (2019) sound good in an acoustic, singer-songwriter setting (a.k.a. the "Alone With You" singer's Nashville home). All of that took a back seat, though, when Owen honored a fan's request last night (March 17) to hear a Luke Combs cover.
Owen chose Combs' "Even Though I'm Leaving," the No. 1 single off What You See is What You Get that brought mandolin back to mainstream country, for a heartbreaking reason.
"This song, because I got divorced years ago, it reminded me of my little girl," Owen said. "Even though I'm not there with her all the time, I'm there with her."
— Jake Owen (@jakeowen) March 18, 2020
Despite the emotions stirred up by his song choice, Owen made it through the cover's first verse without a hitch.
"I do find that interesting when people ask artists to play their peer's songs," Owens said before the performance. "I'm a fan. I love Luke Combs. I love everybody in our format. There's not one person that I'm like 'neh' because it's hard. This is a freaking hard business, and if you can make a living playing songs and making people love what you do, and if you can employ your band and bus drivers and everybody, it's a big thing."
Read More: The 8 Best Luke Combs Songs, Ranked
Owen and pretty much everyone else in mainstream country lost bookings due to COVID-19, from headlining dates to festival appearances. As of press time, Owen's tour itinerary will pick back up in late May with standout dates including a June 4 appearance at the Carolina Country Music Fest in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina--A destination that should feel a little like home for the Florida-born country star behind the song "Beachin'" and an artist who's fit right in at Luke Bryan's Crash My Playa parties. If that multi-day event happens, its lineup of Owen, Combs, Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Jon Pardi and Chris Janson would provide quite the welcome back party for festival goers.
Other country artists embracing livestreaming so far include Combs and Keith Urban.