The track was co-written by Shaw, Thomas and Derek Fuhrmann and also features guitarist Derek Trucks. It’s due out soon, though a release date has yet to be announced.
The collaboration marks Thomas’ first writing session with Round Hill Music, after signing a publishing deal with the company in September, commending the team’s passion for music and “infectious” songwriting. Shaw is also signed to Round Hill Music.
“It was such a pleasure to write something with Ryan for his amazing voice that, honestly, I was really surprised when he asked me to sing it with him,” Thomas tells Variety. “It’s really a thrill to work with that kind of talent.”
Adds Shaw: “My new good friend, Rob Thomas, is the best at what he does in both performance and writing. He is a brilliant collaborator as he absorbs music and comes back with many variations of an idea, so you never feel trapped or gridlocked or at a dead end during the session. I’m thankful that Rob not only lent his pen, but his voice to this project.”
“Love in Pain” follows the album’s first single, “Strong Men Can,” a ballad co-written with Valerie Simpson, who was behind some of Gaye’s biggest hits.
“Imagining Marvin” features five original tracks inspired by Gaye, as well as Shaw’s renditions of hits like “Sexual Healing” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.”
The 11-track album features other musical guests including Robert Randolph on original number “Get Home,” and Broadway star Shoshana Bean, who duets with Shaw on the Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell song, “Good Lovin’ Ain’t Easy To Come By.”
Says Shaw: “What can I say about Shoshana Bean? Whatever is said about her usually follows the words ‘amazing’ or ‘beast,’ which would make everything after that true. Shoshana and I have been talking about collaborating for years now and it’s finally here. I couldn’t be more happy.”
“’I get by with a little help from my friends’ are the words that come to mind when I think about all the guests on this new record,” Shaw adds. “They are all connected to me in a special way. Robert Randolph and the Family Band was the first tour I did when I signed to Columbia Records back in 2007. Robert is a masterful musician and has a great heart. Derek Trucks was the third and fifth tour I did in those days – he’s a master at his craft and we hit it off right away. He invited me back on stage to jam with his band after I did my set. It created some of my most memorable nights of performing live. To now have him on this record is humbling and nostalgic for me.”
The album will be released on November 27 on Shaw’s label, FORM (Fans Of Real Music) Records and Broadway Records.
Following the release, the three-time Grammy nominee will perform on the “Live From Daryl’s House” livestream on December 2nd.
Meanwhile, Thomas will join Avril Lavigne and guests including OneRepublic and Alessia Cara for fundraising event Fight Lyme with Avril and Friends on Oct. 24. Hosted by Wilmer Valderrama, the virtual concert will benefit The Avril Lavigne Foundation and is presented by the Global Lyme Alliance, which Thomas has long supported due to his wife Marisol’s battle with the illness.
The singer-songwriter will then hit the road with Matchbox Twenty on the group’s postponed 54-date tour in 2021, with The Wallflowers as support.