Outlaw country and Southern rock enthusiast Shooter Jennings is singing out to help Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s destructive 2017 landfall. Today, EW is thrilled to premiere his winking new cut “Do You Love Texas?” which will raise funds for the Rebuild Texas Fund and features backing vocals from ace artists Kacey Musgraves, Kris Kristofferson, Randy Rogers, Jason Bolad, Ray Benson, and Whiskey Myers.
The idea came about when Jennings, 38, was in the studio with Music City power producer Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell) before Harvey hit Houston. “Dave and I are like little kids in the studio,” Jennings tells EW of the how the track came about. “When nobody else is around we say goofy, kid things to each other. Some of our greatest collaborations came from ideas like that. [Here], Dave turned to me and said, ‘Hey man, Texas loves you. We need to write a song for Texas.’ I looked at Dave and sang, ‘Do you love Texas?’ And he said ‘Hell yeah!’ And I sang ‘So do I.’ And the rest of it fell right into place. We had a great time crafting a song that playfully talks about why Texas is so much damn fun.”
After Harvey, though, the song’s purpose changed for each of them. “Dave had the idea to use the song to help Texas,” Jennings recalls, before adding, “Dave’s a genius, man.”
Cobb remembers a similar story. “It was a blast being back in the studio with my old buddy Shooter,” he says, “and getting back to the first record country feel, it’s almost as if we picked right up where we left off. [The two began working together back in 2005.] Texas was always great to us and it’s the birthplace of many of our heroes. After we recorded the song and Harvey had done so much damage it just felt right to donate all proceeds to help any way we can — as they say, ‘T for Texas, T for Tennessee.'”
“Do You Love Texas?” is streaming above. The playful cut can be purchased beginning Friday morning; proceeds will go to the Rebuild Texas Fund. Ram Trucks, one of Cobb’s partners, has already donated $25,000 toward the tune. More information on the organization can be found here.