Chris Stapleton has had his songs cut by everyone from Adele to George Strait, though it’s not everyday that he lends another artist his priceless pipes, too. Jake Owen is one of the lucky ones on his new hard-rocking track “If He Ain’t Gonna Love You,” which features Stapleton on guest vocals alongside some spiraling guitars and seriously funky riffs. Owen released a teaser of the song, which is available on iTunes tonight as an instant-grat track, via the exclusive video clip above.
“I remember years back, calling and asking for Chris Stapleton [demo compilations] just so I could listen to his music,” Owen says, who even sported a Stapleton T-shirt in the video for “American Country Love Song,” the first single from his forthcoming LP American Love. “He didn’t have a [solo] album out then and I would listen to his songs all the time. For ‘If He Ain’t Gonna Love You,’ he sang on the demo too — and it’s so good, it’s hard to beat that. But he made me sound better.”
Stapleton co-wrote the song with Luke Laird and Shane McAnally, and it’s a sharp right turn from the laid-back beach vibe Owen’s often associated with. It also reflects some of the angsty, battle-cry turmoil of his recent divorce. “These aren’t just a bunch of songs I threw together because they sounded like hits,” he says about American Love, out July 29th. “Every song on there individually means a lot to me.”