Light, camera, Jake Owen

by Jim Bucher

First of all, show of hands: how many of you experienced the Jake Owen concert at Fraze Friday night?

Wow, lots of hands in the air. Know why? Jake sold out. 

It was a beautiful Ohio evening, a little warm, but perfect for an outdoor concert. Plus, Owen is used to the warmth, being from Florida and all. 

Now, for those who don’t know, Owen took the music industry by storm 10 short years ago—he opened for Jack Ingram for his Fraze debut back in 2007.

His debut album produced three singles ‘Yee Haw,’ ‘Startin’ With Me,” and ‘Something About a Woman,’ which cracked Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Top 20. 

From there, more albums and tours and becoming a country music fan-favorite. 

And what humble beginnings … a Cinderella story for sure.

While recuperating from an injury, he borrowed a neighbor’s guitar and taught himself how to play. After seeing a guitarist perform at a local watering hole, he asked the bar’s owner if he could play a set there.

The owner and staff loved him, and he became a regular. Soon, he began writing his own material.

Next, a move to Nashville. And while opening up a savings account at a local bank, the teller struck up a conversation, finding out Jake was a singer/songwriter.

Well, just so happens this teller had a connection, sent his recordings to a friend at Warner/Chappell Music, and the rest they say is … you know the line.

So, think about it. If Jake hadn’t injured himself, picked up a guitar to kill time, met a teller with a connection, we may all be here enjoying another artist. Isn’t that sumptin’?

Now, here he is on our Fraze stage. Only in America.

First thing I noticed Friday evening was the crowd. Older folks, youngsters, and families, all on the Jake Owen bandwagon. 

The other thing? TV cameras.

Haven›t seen this many since Sheryl Crow produced her “C’mon America” DVD here in 2003. 

At the time, Sheryl brought her film crew along and spent two days in front of sold out crowds. The DVD from 2003 is still amazing, plus the name recognition Fraze received was invaluable. 

Wait, could it be? Jake is filming footage for a DVD? 

But whatever they’re here for, how cool is it to provide Fraze with a little worldwide awareness a la Sheryl Crow?

Karen Durham, general manager at Fraze Pavilion says, “We had no idea Jake was bringing a film crew until about a week ago. Not sure what the footage shot at Fraze will be used for, but know he’s working on a TV special or series. And breaking news here, Buch: Industry executives from Jake’s team flew up from Nashville Friday to visit. They toured the park, the venue, and stayed to watch an incredible show with an enthusiastic crowd. A great memory for our 25th anniversary season.”

You heard it here first!

Some friends who are here experiencing this country superstar used words like “wonderful,” “great,” and “awesome” to describe this show.

My friend Wanda is on hand with her 11-year-old daughter, Haley. This is her first concert and now thinks mom is “da bomb.”

“The best first concert a girl could have asked for. Love you Jake Owen!” Haley says.

My buddy “Hippie” is here, too, exclaiming afterward, “Loved the show! Favorite part was the beginning where Jake left the stage and ran around the crowd barefoot giving them high fives. Stage show was amazing, very high energy. Palm trees on stage that lit up were awesome. He played a few covers as well from Alan Jackson to Hank Williams Jr. Had a blast and girls behind me said, ‘Best stage show ever.”

I tend to agree.

Now it’s twilight and Jake is on fire, music is wonderful, and this beautiful setting smack dab in the heart of Kettering doesn’t get any better.

Alas, it’s time to depart, but what great memories. No worries, though, still plenty of time to make your own.

“We expect to have many more memories this summer with first time Fraze performances by the Hollywood Vampires featuring Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, and Johnny Depp; Charlie Puth; Rachel Platten; Jim Gaffigan; and O.A.R. along with fan favs The Guess Who; Dave Koz; Bonnie Raitt; and Happy Together Tour,” Durham says.

And who knows… for those who attended, we may be on TV soon. Stay tuned.

Cheers,

Buch

For more of Fraze’s music schedule, please visit fraze.com.

For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com

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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at JimBucher@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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