Rising rock & soul outfit Los Coast and Austin guitar hero Gary Clark Jr. have teamed up for a searing take on the 1964 Sam Cooke classic "A Change Is Gonna Come." The single premiered on Spin on Thursday.
Proceeds from the single, which will be available to download and on streaming platforms Friday, will benefit the DAWA (Diversity Awareness and Wellness in Action) fund created by Jonathan "Chaka" Mahone from Riders Against the Storm. The fund provides short-term assistance to people of color who are musicians, artists, social workers, teachers, healing practitioners and service industry workers experiencing life crises.
Mahone and his team began taking applications for relief funds on Monday. On Thursday, Mahone announced plans to close applications for the first round of funding after receiving over 200 applications in three days.
Last year, Clark, always a champion of his fellow Austin musicians, took Los Coast on tour with him, and the two acts tossed around the idea of a collaboration.
"We wanted to pay tribute to the greats who’d come before us," Los Coast frontman Trey Privott said.
"We thought, 'Let’s do Sam Cooke!' In my mind, he is one of the best singers in history, and I’d been singing his tunes since I was 16," Privott said.
After they recorded the song, Clark played a "Voices for Justice" show with the Chicks at ACL Live benefiting Proclaim Justice, a nonprofit that aids wrongfully convicted prisoners.
"Afterwards, Gary told me a story about this man who called him from prison," Privott said. "The man said that he listened to 'A Change Is Gonna Come' every day to maintain hope as he got through his term. There are people like this all over the United States in our prison system. That’s what the song is about. It’s a cry for equality in the justice system. It’s a plea for a fair shot at the American Dream."