Eric Church’s name pops up several times on the credits of Chris Janson’s new album, All In. He’s a guest vocalist, co-writer and even a co-producer on a couple of tracks. But before all that, Chris says, he was just a friend who offered Chris a much-needed confidence boost.

“I look at it like, ‘How can I make the best record?’ And I’ll tell you, one moment that really solidified that for me was sitting on a fishing boat with Eric Church,” Chris recounts to ABC Audio.

“He’s like, ‘Dude, a couple of things I want to say to you: You have made it. Just in case you’re ever wondering, you’ve made it,’” the singer continues, adding that that confidence boost came at just the right time.

“I do wonder. I mean, we all wonder. Everybody has a little bit of insecurity inside. I don’t care who they are, what they do for a living,” Chris reflects.

Eric is one of Chris’ country music heroes, and an important collaborator on All In, but all that aside, he’s a good friend, too.

“This is before we wrote a song together for this album. This is before we did a duet together,” the younger star notes. “He was like, ‘Man, I just encourage you as you’re making this next record — just be Chris Janson. Just be what people love…Be what I love.’”

Though nothing’s better than a good friendship, the musical collaboration is a nice perk, too. Chris and Eric joined forces on a song called “You, Me & the River,” a murder ballad that Eric wrote solo. That song — and a spooky music video to match — came out Friday.

All In also arrived on Friday. It’s Chris’ fourth studio project.

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