Devin Dawson’s Stripped-Down ‘God’s Country’ Would Make Blake Shelton Jealous
Dawson co-wrote the song with Jordan Schmidt and Hardy, and he strips it back to a simple acoustic guitar and vocal arrangement in the video above, delivering an almost menacing, darker take on the song than Shelton's familiar commercial hit. Dawson's voice has an unaccustomed edge to it as he sings the chorus in the upper part of his range, showing off impressive vocal chops. His usual black-and-white production gives the piece a darker feel, but filmed against the lush backdrop of producer Scott Hendricks' farm, it's still a visual reminder of the song's central theme.
"I saw the light in the sunrise / Sittin' back in the 40 on the muddy riverside / Gettin' baptized in holy water and shine / With the dogs runnin' / Saved by the sound of the been found / Dixie whistled in the wind, that'll get you Heaven bound / The Devil went down to Georgia, but he didn't stick around / This is God's country," he sings in the chorus.
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Shelton's recording of "God's Country" gave him his 26th No. 1 hit on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart in mid-July, tying him with George Strait and Alan Jackson. This marks Dawson's first No. 1 as a songwriter. The 2018 Taste of Country RISER also reached No. 2 on the same chart with his 2017 debut single, "All on Me," which he co-wrote.
Former Nashville star Charles Esten recently tweeted a funny story about how he learned that Dawson wrote "God's Country." Esten recalled that he was listening to Shelton performing the song at the Musicians on Call Honors event and told Dawson, "Man, I love this damn song," at which Dawson smiled. A couple of minutes later, Dawson "sheepishly" admitted that he co-wrote the song.
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