Chris Janson fans have lots of reasons to be excited these days. For one, he's at work on a new album, and he's already shared the lead single, a heartstring-tugging ballad called "Bye Mom." The song — a powerful story of loss inspired in part by Janson's co-writer, Brandon Kinney, who lost his mom in 2020 — is proof positive that Janson is among the country genre's greatest modern storytellers, versatile enough to write tearjerkers as well as radio-ready bangers like "Buy Me a Boat."

And although Janson needs no help writing powerful songs, he says that he called on another one of Nashville's modern greats — Eric Church — to help him write one of the songs on his new album.

"We wrote a song together, a little less than a month ago," the singer told Taste of Country's Billy Dukes ahead of the CMA Awards in November, "And I'm gonna record that song that we wrote together. So that's pretty cool."

The idea that they should work together came together pretty effortlessly, Janson explains. "It was an idea that he sent me, and he said, 'What do you think?' I said, 'Do you think we should co-write it?' Yes and yes, and so we did, and that was it," he details.

For those keeping score at home, that brings Janson's team-ups with Church for his new album up to a potential total of two — at least, according to a tease he offered Taste of Country Nights back in October.

"I said what you did there," Janson says with a laugh when the idea of two duets is suggested to him. "I don't know about the other one, man! I don't know about the other one! I'd say there's a good chance, how 'bout that?"

Janson and Church's friendship has blossomed over the past couple of years, with the two men bonding over fishing trips — and music, of course. In recent months, due to the return of touring, they've both been focusing a little more on the latter than the former, so Janson says he and his superstar buddy haven't had a chance to hit the lake together much.

"He's been in the midst of touring and I've been in the midst of touring pretty heavily, probably more heavily than either of us could have expected," Janson continues. "... We have not been fishing lately. But our friendship continues to grow together."

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