The devastation inflicted on the Gulf Coast of Texas last month by Hurricane Harvey has inspired even more state pride than usual in a region that’s never been shy about boasting. Now Shooter Jennings has joined the cause with “Do You Love Texas?” a new collaboration with producer Dave Cobb that includes Ray Benson, Jason Boland, Kris Kristofferson, Kacey Musgraves, Whiskey Myers and Randy Rogers shouting along to simple chorus.
A Texas travelogue that the state’s visitors bureau would be wise to embrace, Jennings pays tribute to an array of Lone Star musical landmarks, including Fort Worth’s White Elephant Saloon and New Braunfels’ Gruene Hall, the 140-year-old dance hall that’s the oldest in Texas. He makes nods to some of his father’s most memorable songs, including “Lonesome, On’ry and Mean” and “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love),” complete with a trippy, wah-soaked guitar solo straight out of the Seventies outlaw playbook. The answer to the question posed in the song’s title is, of course, a resounding “Hell yeah!” delivered by a chorus of the many guest stars.
In a statement accompanying the release of “Do You Love Texas?” Jennings says he cut the song prior to Hurricane Harvey, but that it was Cobb’s idea to donate its proceeds to disaster relief in Houston and the surrounding areas. “Dave and I are like little kids in the studio. When nobody else is around, we say goofy kid things to each other. Some of our greatest collaborations come from ideas like that,” Jennings says. “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.”
Proceeds from “Do You Love Texas?” will go to the Rebuild Texas Fund, with Ram Trucks donating $25,000 in conjunction with its release. Jennings plays the V Club in Huntington, West Virginia, tonight with Hellbound Glory, whose new album, Pinball — due out October 13th — he produced.