Janson recently released his new album "All In," which includes his new single "Keys to the Country." Eric Church and Travis Tritt make appearances on the album, on which Janson wrote or cowrote 15 of the 16 tracks.
Church wrote the other one, "You, Me and the River." The gruesome murder ballad is the only outside song Janson has ever included on an album. Since Church knows he records his own songs, Janson was confused when Church sent it to him.
"I'm thinking, 'Hmm, it's like, is he recording this? Is he asking my opinion? Maybe he's pitching?' Who knows?" Janson told People but admitted he knew he had to think fast. "I just said, 'You know what? I would record this. The song is pretty badass. You wanna do a duet?'"
When Church wrote back and said that he was in, Janson couldn't believe his ears.
"I was like, 'Oh my God, I can't even believe it," Janson said. "It's crazy."
And that's not the only time Church touched "All In." He also pitched Janson the idea for the song "Flag on the Wall," and the men wrote it together.
"It was a song that he had started, and then I finished, which is cool," Janson said. "He wrote everything up until the first course. I wrote everything after it, so it is a true 50/50 cowrite. We just blended two stories together."
Until now, the men had been more friends than professional collaborators.
"That friendship has just been amazing," Janson said. "From just being normal ass fishing buddies has been great to we (filmed) the music video for 'You, Me and the River.' It's a big, big production video and a lot of fun. It's very serious and very dark. It's like a real movie. It's not even like a music video. It's definitely a mini-movie. It's like a trailer to a three-hour event."