Jake Owen Reveals Surprising Way He Met His Girlfriend, Erica Hartlein

Jake Owen wasn't looking for love when he met his current girlfriend, Erica Hartlein. The "Down to the Honkytonk" singer, who divorced his first wife, Lacey Buchanan, in 2015, was just trying to find the right piece of furniture, when he first met Hartlein, before fate intervened.

"She was an interior designer at Restoration Hardware, and I was buying a couch or something at the time," Owen recalled on the All Our Favorite People podcast. "I remember it was after I was divorced, and I remember looking at her. I was just intrigued by how beautiful she was and how she was holding court in that store that day and telling people what they needed to do. I was like 'Wow, she's got a lot going for her. She's confident.'

"But I never actually ever said anything to her about it – it was flirtatious until it was a few weeks after that," he continued. "It was after she was helping me. I was in the store, and I said 'Hey, you wanna get a beer sometime? I don't know if that's professional enough to ask because you've only helped me in a professional way, but I figured if I didn't ask you for beer, I'd never know if you would wanna go get one.' She was like, 'Sure, let's go.' So, we went to the Red Pony in Franklin."

The couple will likely walk the red carpet together at the upcoming 2019 ACM Awards, since Owen is nominated for Single of the Year, for his current single, "Down to the Honkytonk." The throwback country-sounding song is from his upcoming Greetings From...Jake album.

"Country music's super special to me, and preservation of classic tonalities and stuff in music," explained Owen. "Even though I love the evolution of music, too. I really do. And so I just kind of blended the two together. My first record [Startin' With Me], which I made over ten years ago, was a pretty country record, and at the time I was opening up for Brooks & Dunn and Alan Jackson on the road."

After releasing five albums on RCA Records, Owen switched to Big Loud for Greetings From...Jake, finally feeling the freedom to make the kind of music he has always wanted to make.

"I've learned from the best, and been on tour with a lot of the great guys that have made great country music," Owen explained. "I felt like it was just time, with the label here allowing me to do whatever I wanted to do ... It was a pretty cool time to be able to drop some pretty country songs on this album."

Greetings From...Jake, which includes a collaboration with Kid Rock, will be released on March 29.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Michael Tran