Jake Owen returns to his hometown of Vero Beach, Florida, this weekend to headline his sixth annual benefit concert on Saturday, December 10th. Jake stages the two-day Mardy’s Tennis & Jake’s Music Fest each year with his longtime buddy, number-one ranked U.S. tennis pro and fellow Vero Beach hometown boy, Mardy Fish. Last year, Jake welcomed Little Big Town for the concert, and this year, he’s bringing friends Chris Young and recording artist and “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” co-writer Eric Paslay to play the big show. We caught up with both Jake and Chris as they talk about the benefit and heading to Florida this weekend.
Of his annual hometown benefit concert Jake says, “This is our sixth year, so we’ve done five years of this starting in the high school, in the auditorium, when there was just like 6 or 700 tickets available, and we sold out the first few years and wanted to make it grander. And so last year was our first time we did it at the stadium. Little Big Town came down. And we were not only raising awareness and money for underprivileged kids in our hometown that don’t have the ability to learn how to play guitar or things like that. We went from one elementary school, and now we’re at 12 or 13, which is really cool. And the fact that I get a lot of my friends to come down there as well and help me out, it’s just a really cool thing. It’s a big deal.”
Owen says it’s a great feeling to be able to give back to his hometown community, “Dodgertown, where we hold it, is where the Dodgers spring trained for 50 years until they got sold. So, nothing happens at this beautiful facility that’s been there for years and years, which really brought a lot of money into our community. And it’s just been overgrown with grass, and it was kind of weird, so now that we’re back there, and we’re packing the whole stadium full of people again, people are gettin’ a little frustrated ’cause the roads are jammed that weekend, and the hotels are all full. So it’s kind of a good thing not just for the community itself but for everyone to kind of see that we can do that. I just get excited to do it, plus it’s the last thing of the year where we all…we do it, wind down, and then my first chance to really spend time with my family.”
Chris Young will also be joining Jake for the benefit concert, and he is looking forward to winding-down his year by playing Jake Owen’s annual benefit concert. Young says, “I get to go down to Vero Beach, hangin’ out with Jake Owen. Jake has his annual charity concert that he does down there, and he asked me way early on in the year if I wanted to come down there and hang with him and do that, be a part of it, and I said ‘yes.’ Lookin’ forward to kind of flyin’ down there…that’s my last thing of the year, so basically, me and my band are flyin’ down there, we’re doin’ this charity show with Jake, and then I’m off for Christmas — which is nice! (laughs) Don’t tell anybody that I’m…I just told everyone I’m off for Christmas. Uhh, yeah…but I’m off for Christmas! It’s really good, and I…but the show with Jake is gonna be awesome. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about it. I guess Little Big Town went and did it with him last year, I think, and gettin’ to be there with him this year, hang with him, raise a little money for charity. It’ll be fun.”
For tickets and complete information, please click HERE. Jake’s portion of the proceeds from the benefit go to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and The Mardy Fish Foundation, whose mission is to provide after-school exercise, nutritional, and enrichment programs for children in and around Florida’s Indian River County, where programs have now been opened in 13 elementary schools, benefiting more than 2,000 students.
Jake is on the radio now with his new single, “Alone with You,” from his Barefoot Blue Jean Night album, while Chris’ latest hit is just called “You,” from his album, NEON. Both albums would make great stocking stuffers this holiday season and are available on iTunes as well as retail stores.