Don’t get him wrong. Jason Owens loves a good party. He can hoist a red solo cup as artfully as any of his country-singing peers. The Kentucky native’s sprightly but easygoing delivery, friendly demeanor, and catchy sing-along songs mark him as a good man to have at a shindig. But Owens is also a romantic guy, and his heart is with the people he loves — his wife, in particular. He has been around the pop-country circuit long enough to make a powerful impression. He has earned plaudits from critics and applause from fans, he’s made the rounds on talk shows, and he’s been the center of attention at plenty of gatherings. Those television lights are bright, and the roar of the crowd is intoxicating, but there’s nothing out there that’s quite as exciting as an evening at home with the woman who drives him wild.
Though it’ll be a highlight of mainstream country playlists this spring and it’d fit in at any honky tonk, “Party Like You” is an unconventional love song from an artist who isn’t afraid to gently tweak conventions. Jason Owens is a born storyteller who writes from his own experience and sings his offbeat (and often quite witty) lyrics in a voice that sounds like no one else’s. His guitar playing, too, is inventive and one-of-a-kind. When he takes a solo on his electric six-string, he can advance the narrative through sound and attitude alone. Echoes of the music of his heroes and inspirations are audible in his repertoire — you’ll hear the influence of Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, and especially Brad Paisley in his approach and compositions. But you’ll never mistake a Jason Owens track for a song by anybody else. That’s because he’s always stayed true to himself, and represented rural Kentucky with grace and good humor.
He’s a congenial presence in the “Party Like You” video. So, too, is his girl. Bob Mills’s camera catches Owens at a hopping party, and though he’s having a good time there, it can’t compete with the pure liveliness that’s happening back at home. Owens’s wife doesn’t need a band to dance, she doesn’t need an occasion to dress up, and when she slips a DVD into her player and gets cozy, it’s her husband’s performance she’s watching. No matter how much joy they’re able to generate on their own, the message is clear: they belong together.
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