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Jack Johnson, Bonnie Raitt and Maroon 5 debut new music for launch of Patagonia Music Collective

jack-johnsonImage Credit: Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesJack Johnson, Bonnie Raitt, Mason Jennings, Pearl Jam, Maroon 5, and the Zac Brown Band are just some of the eco-conscious musicians teaming up with outdoor clothing company Patagonia Inc. to exclusively release previously unavailable songs.

The Patagonia Music Collective will charge $.99 for each track, with net proceeds going directly to the environmental organizations of the artists’ choice. Starting today, the songs will be available in Patagonia stores and on iTunes, for sale on two separate albums of 11 tracks each.  Subsequently, one new benefit track is to be released each week.

Jack Johnson, who debuted his latest music video, “From the Clouds,” on last week, will be contributing a live version of his song “To the Sea.” For Johnson, his involvement was a natural outgrowth of his engagement in other eco-friendly charities and his friendship with Patagonia founder—and fellow outdoorsman—Yvon Chouinard. “I first signed up for 1% For the Planet, which Yvon launched in 2001,” Johnson says. “You donate at least 1% of all your earnings for the year to environmental non-profit groups.”

For the Patagonia Music Collective, Johnson intends for proceeds from sales of his song to benefit the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, which he says “supports environmental field trips in which kids can get out of the classroom and get into nature.”

Bonnie Raitt has chosen the non-profit public interest law firm Earth Justice as her recipient. “I’ve been a supporter of Earth Justice for almost a decade, because, as their slogan states, ‘the Earth needs a good lawyer,’” she says. She’s teaming up with Jon Cleary on a live duet of his “So Damn Good.”

Other exclusive tracks include a live version of the Zac Brown Band’s “Cold Hearted,” Mason Jennings’ “Don’t Let the World Go Black,” Maroon 5’s acoustic take on “Wake Up Call,” and, fittingly, a live recording of Pearl Jam’s “Oceans.”

Jack Johnson’s new video ‘From the Clouds': Watch it here — EXCLUSIVE

EW exclusive! Stream new Mason Jennings track 'The Field'

Several years ago at SXSW, I was minding my own business in the backyard of Stubb’s when a Mason Jennings set started, and I was damn near trampled to death as every other woman in the joint made a squealing beeline for the stage. Women ran, sloshing beers be damned, to be closer to the man with the acoustic guitar. I guess that makes him “dreamy folk singer-songwriter Mason Jennings.”

Time to get excited, ladies: For Blood of Man — due Sept. 15 from Jack Johnson’s dreamy folk label, Brushfire Records — Mason Jennings has plugged in. I rarely quote from bio copy, but Jennings wrote this himself about the decision to go electric, and it’s actually quite evocative:

“It all kinda started at Christmas when my sons and I were hanging ornaments on the tree.  We have an ornament that is a little electric guitar and my six-year-old son was looking at it and asked, “What’s this, Dad?”  I said, “What??? It’s an electric guitar.” To which he replied, “What’s that?” Well, I was kinda horrified so I ran downstairs and pulled out an old hollowbody electric (my wife’s) and an amp and I came upstairs, plugged it in and ripped into “My Generation” by The Who. My one son actually climbed me in point-2 seconds and leaped off my shoulders while the other one looked like I had plugged the lights on the tree into him. They flew around the room dancing for two straight wonderful hours. I got the point. I grew up playing only electric and it was like remembering how to be free. For many reasons, it was so needed. So I got free.”

We’re streaming “The Field,” a song about parenting in wartime. The electric guitar on this track reminds me a bit of early Liz Phair. It’s not that far from the acoustic sound Jennings made his name on, actually. Just… louder.

What do you think, Mixers? Still dreamy?

More from EW’s Music Mix:
Watch Modest Mouse’s new Heath Ledger-directed video
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Ray LaMontagne is going on tour. And green!

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