Jason Isbell Spars With Jake Owen In Heated Exchange Over Jason Aldean Controversy

The musicians got into a tense back-and-forth after Isbell made a dig at Aldean over his song "Try That in a Small Town."

Jason Isbell dared Jason Aldean ― the artist behind the controversial country single “Try That in a Small Town” ― to “write his next single himself,” in a dig that sparked criticism from fellow country musician Jake Owen on Wednesday.

Isbell, a renowned and politically outspoken rock singer-songwriter, issued the dare following the release of Aldean’s music video for “Try That,” which was filmed at the site of a historic lynching in Tennessee.

“Dare Aldean to write his next single himself. That’s what we try in my small town,” wrote Isbell, referring to Aldean’s absence from the writing credits on “Try That.” “Here ya go @Jason_Aldean I’m challenging you to write a song yourself. All alone. If you’re a recording artist, make some art. I want to hear it.”

Isbell later asked how Aldean could “defend the content of a song” he wasn’t even in the room for.

“You just got it from your producer. If you’d been there when it was written, you’d be listed as a writer. We all know how this works,” Isbell wrote.

Isbell’s remark didn’t fly with Owen, who slammed the “tough guy” for his diss of Aldean.

“Jason, you’re always the first to get behind your keyboard and spout off with this stupid shit. In ‘my small town’ you just walk up to the guy and be a man to his face if you want the smoke... not tweet it at him... Tough guy,” Owen wrote.

Isbell later criticized Owen’s comment, writing: “What really gets me about this is that it’s saying ‘if you don’t believe you can physically overpower me, you aren’t allowed to publicly disagree with me.’ What does that say to the people in your life who aren’t big strong boys? They just have to shut up?”

He went on to claim that he tried to tag Aldean on Twitter before correcting himself, noting that the country singer has an underscore in his handle.

Owen, in a series of tweets on Thursday, said that he’s spent his career trying to promote positivity and that he believes he doesn’t need to “write everything in order to prove” himself as an artist.

“The ‘write your own songs’ dagger cuts me deep because I think that is the wrong way to encourage artists trying to make it, and quite frankly Jason Isbell has a large voice. He IS respected,” Owen wrote.

“I came in hot on the conversation because I’m passionate about it. I listen to @JasonIsbell and @Jason_Aldean In retrospect, I should [have] clarified from the jump, but my human emotions got in the way. I’m sure some won’t see my point, but this is my attempt at clarity.”

Isbell has engaged in fiery exchanges with artists in the past, including one with musician Marc Broussard over COVID-19 restrictions at concerts in 2021.

He isn’t the first musician to criticize Aldean’s single, either. Sheryl Crow called the song “not American or small town-like.”

“It’s just lame,” she wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.

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