Jake Owen Reworks Willie Nelson’s ‘On the Road Again’ into a Breezy Summer Boat Song

“The life I love is drinking cold beer with my friends,” Owen sings in “On the Boat Again”

When Jake Owen announced the track list for his upcoming album Loose Cannon, his first in four years, one song’s writing credits stood out above all the others: “On the Boat Again” is credited to Devin Dawson, Kyle Fishman, Rocky Block, Blake Pendergrass and…Willie Nelson. It’s easy to hear why.

“On the Boat Again” borrows the chorus melody of Nelson’s 1980 touring anthem “On the Road Again,” changing the lyrics to summon that most cherished of Southern weekend outings: boat day. “On the boat again/I just can’t wait to get on the boat again,” Owen sings. “The life I love is drinkin’ cold beer with my friends.” You get the idea.

Somehow it works well, as both a tribute to Nelson and an addition to your body-of-water playlist. Owen will debut “On the Boat Again” live on Memorial Day with a performance on Good Morning America.


Loose Cannon (Big Loud Records) arrives June 23 and features 16 tracks, including “Hot Truck Beer,” “Solo Solo,” and “Nothing” — all of which were released Friday along with “On the Boat Again.” Loose Cannon is the follow-up to 2019’s Greetings From…Jake.

Loose Cannon track list:

  1. “Hot Truck Beer” (Jordan Fletcher, Jim McCormick, Austin Nivarel)
  2. “Go Getter” (Brent Cobb, Jake Mitchell, Aaron Ratiere)
  3. “Solo Solo” (Ashley Gorley, Ben Johnson, Blake Pendergrass, Hunter Phelps)
  4. “On the Boat Again” (Willie Nelson, Devin Dawson, Kyle Fishman, Rocky Block, Blake Pendergrass)
  5. “Hearts and Habits” (Thomas Archer, Jamie Moore, Jared Mullins, Ben Stennis)
  6. “When It All Shakes Out” (Jacob Davis, Jordan Dozzi, Josh Jenkins)
  7. “Hope Less” (Jared Mullins, Ben Stennis)
  8. “It Don’t, He Won’t and You Do” (Jordan Dozzi, Justin Ebach, Chase McGill)
  9. “Friends Don’t Let Friends” (Jessie Jo Dillon, Hunter Phelps, Ben Stennis)
  10. “Boy in the Chevrolet” (Ashley Gorley, Taylor Phillips, Bobby Pinson)
  11. “Shrank” (Lalo Guzman, Walker Hayes, Hunter Phelps)
  12. “Nothing” (Dallas Davidson, Kyle Fishman, Earle Hagen, Reid Haughton, Herbert Spencer, Cole Taylor)
  13. “Somewhere South With Rum” (Jacob Davis, Jordan Davis, Josh Jenkins, Matt Jenkins)
  14. “The Ending” (Rodney Clawson, Luke Laird, Chris Tompkins)
  15. “Hey Can I Buy You a Beer” (John Byron, Rocky Block, Travis Wood)
  16. “Loose Cannon” (Matt Roy)

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