I had the honor and pleasure of catching Jake Owen in concert opening for Keith Urban and really enjoyed his performance (as did my then fiance, now wife; along with my daughter). He brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to his performances and that all shines through in his music.
Thankfully this album was due to be released just a few weeks after that concert performance so we were treated to much of the music that comprises this album as part of his set (along with some old favorites that he was able to work into the show too!).
One of the favorites, at least for me, is the song that starts the album out: [I'll Go] Anywhere with You. If your dreamhouse is a doublewide trailer, sitting back in the hollar, on a country road, then baby that's where we'll go... I'll go anywhere... West Virginia, baby I don't care... Anywhere with you. It's a catchy song that is easy on the ears that also easily hooks you into singing along with the chorus. It's easy to see this song being released as a single in the future, perhaps as a follow-up to the title song which has received so much airplay.
Keepin' It Country is a song that is as easy to figure out as its title. Consider it a recipe for keepin' things country.
Wide Awake is a love song about laying awake in the middle of the night, thinking of your loved one. A little bit rockin' with perhaps a bit of pop influence added in, and a sprinkle of piano mixed in with the guitars (reminding me a bit of Phil Vassar, for examples: Greatest Hits 1).
Barefoot Blue Jean Night, the title track, follows that track and just helps to build up the enjoyment for the tracks that follow. Again, an up-beat, catchy track that is easy to sing along with. I happened to catch some comments that Owen had made to the media on local radio and it was mentioned there that he hopes that fans wind up associating this song with the summer of 2011. It's pretty easy to think that could happen, though only time will tell. Certainly the song is one that invokes memories of summer time similarly to say Katrina & The Waves - Greatest Hits: Walking on Sunshine.
Heaven is another song where the piano comes back, much more prominently. It's a pretty, somewhat quiet, emotional ballad that is really pleasing on the ears. I know I said earlier that Anywhere with You was perhaps my favorite track here, but this one gives that one a run for the money in that area.
Jake Owen talked a bit about Apple Pie Moonshine in his concert set, noting that it was somewhat inspired by, or at least in the style of Deana Carter's `Strawberry Wine.' It starts out with the rockin' country guitar sound and gives Owen a chance to sing in a bit of a rap style (similar to say Colt Ford, or Jason Aldean, who has borrowed from Ford in the form of Dirt Road Anthem on My Kinda Party).
The Journey of Your Life is a very touching ballad that some may find will become their own personal favorite. Again, this is a track that makes it hard to not select as your own favorite, offering me serious competition compared to the aforementioned Heaven and Anywhere With You.
Alone With You changes the pace of things a bit, getting back to the love song genre that seems to prevail a bit here. Like the other tracks here, I really like this song too, but in reality, I don't think there is a bad track on this album.
I'd highly recommend sampling all of the songs here, and really don't want to spoil things that much anyway, so please do sample the tracks and see what you think for yourself. The only remaining track (with 3 tracks remaining on the version sold here) that I might mention comes as a bonus when this album is snagged from that 'Tunes place. In that particular case the track is a live version of an old favorite, otherwise the content sold in both places is the same.