Bon Jovi, Jennifer Nettles release ‘Do What You Can’ country version

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Fifteen years after working together on the Grammy-winning, chart-topping single “Who Says You Can’t Go Home,” Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Bon Jovi and country music superstar Jennifer Nettles have reunited for a country single of the band’s newest song “Do What You Can.” The song, being released via BMLG Records, will make its live debut at this year’s iHeart Radio music festival on September 19th. A new video featuring Nettles on the streets of New York City is also available.

The song, written by Jon Bon Jovi in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, quickly became an anthem for the collective experience the world was experiencing. As press reported at the time: “No band has stirred more empathy, articulated the feelings of uncertainty, and comforted fans with reassurance than the Jersey rockers in the first weeks of the outbreak,” USA Today said of the storied band’s impact during those historic weeks.

“In 2005 Jennifer helped Bon Jovi take ‘Who Says you Can’t Go Home’ to number one on the country charts. It was her powerful and emotion filled voice that I hope will carry us back onto the country airwaves again to share this uplifting message of unity,” states Jon Bon Jovi.

“Being invited to sing with Bon Jovi back in 2005 on ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home’ was a real blessing as an artist and in my career,” Nettles shares. “I could not be happier to continue that amazing musical story on our new duet ‘Do What You Can.’ (Or should I say ‘Duet What You Can’).

The pair announced the single during a one on one Facebook Live chat earlier this week via Zoom. The song is expected to be included on Bon Jovi 2020, due October 2nd via Island Records.

Originally set for release on May 15th was a completed album with a breadth and depth of songwriting, titled for a challenging and pivotal election year. Inspired by events that transcribed throughout the first half of the year, frontman Jon Bon Jovi wrote two new songs in his home studio: “American Reckoning,” inspired by George Floyd’s death and the ensuing national movement for racial equality; and “Do What You Can.” The latter, he enlisted fans to co-write to give their views on the COVID pandemic, and shared their stories on social media.

In the midst of the pandemic, the band convened at producer John Shanks’ LA studio to record the new tracks. It was after these recording sessions when Bon Jovi decided to capitalize on the success of their 2005 duet with Nettles, “Who Says You Can’t Go Home?,” that earned the band and Nettles a GRAMMY and made history as the first rockers to have a No. 1 country single.

“We recorded [“Do What You Can”] and another new song [“American Reckoning”] for the record. Then, when it was finished, I was thinking of you because I thought back to the days when we did ‘Who Says You Can’t Go Home?’ It was fun and it was life changing for us. It was a No. 1 song and, you know, you and I got a Grammy out of the deal. That was the band’s first No. 1 country single which was a big deal. And so I thought with this song, what a way to broaden its appeal would be to have you on it again, and we’re magic the first time,” Bon Jovi shares of the new collaboration.

“It was magic the first time. I think lightning can strike twice. I think this is definitely a testimony to that,” Nettles says with excitement. “It’s so perfect you had this idea to bring in the fans to do this because the writing is so conversational, which, PS, so perfect for country. Country music loves that because it just makes it accessible in a way that is so easy that makes it go right to the heart of the matter. When I heard the song, I was like, ‘This already sounds like a country song.’ I mean, ‘Yes, I would love to sing on it.’ The fact is that all of it is such a beautiful story and when art happens in the right way, it does this. It’s like everything about it is beautiful.”

Both acts began teasing fans about the single late last week after posting lyrics from both songs and sharing pics from the “Do What You Can” video featuring both in face masks.

2020 will be released digitally, on CD and as a limited edition Japanese Super High Material CD and DVD set on October 2nd via Island Records after being delayed due to the pandemic. A 180-gram double gold vinyl edition will be available on December 4th.

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Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email:
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