On the surface, Real Country co-hosts Travis Tritt and Jake Owen are polar opposites. The veteran Tritt represents tradition and harsh opinions about pop crossover compromises, while Owen is the type of young singer who might make his country music elders a tad ornery.
Instead, their search alongside co-host Shania Twain for one of Nashville’s next breakout acts led to a backstage Waylon Jennings jam session that proves they at least have outlaw appreciation in common.
In a video posted to Owen’s Twitter account on Aug. 22, the “Beachin'” singer joins Tritt for a brief “Brand New Goodbye Song” sing-along.
Just a little Waylon Jennings jam session with a legend himself @Travistritt … this #RealCountryTV show is already amazing. Come see us in person next week! https://t.co/AlpUqfvSBz pic.twitter.com/tDcCMVihGQ
— Jake Owen (@jakeowen) August 22, 2018
Seeing Owen cover a classic country music artist isn’t so weird. His live repertoire over the years has included everything from June Carter and Merle Kilgore’s “Ring of Fire” to “Chattahoochee” by Tritt’s fellow Georgia-born traditionalist Alan Jackson. He clearly listens to more than just Keith Urban and John Mellencamp while brainstorming new music and music video ideas.
Read More: The 12 Best Travis Tritt Songs, Ranked
Still, a lot of Tritt’s fans probably rolled their eyes over the collaboration without even bothering to press play. Never one to hold back his opinions online, Tritt tweeted some high praise for Owen to silence the storm of negativity: “Regardless of what anyone might think of my buddy, Jake Owen, please know this … I’ve never met a young man who has a better understanding or knowledge of what traditional and roots country music is than he does. Many of his influences are so similar to mine.”
The new USA Network singing competition is being taped now in Nashville by Wilshire Studios for an eight-episode run in the fall. Aspiring solo artists will compete for a shot at winning the grand finale and following in the bootsteps of Miranda Lambert and other past reality stars.
Twain is an executive producer of each hour-long episode alongside reality television vets Nicolle Yaron, Stijn Bakkers and Leslie Garvin.
Per the show’s free ticket website, future tapings at the Municipal Auditorium feature Nashville stars Trace Adkins, Graham Bunn and Big & Rich as special guest judges in the quest to identify Music City’s greatest undiscovered talent.
Now Watch: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Alan Jackson