Michael McDonald and Willie Nelson have teamed up with David Hidalgo of Los Lobos for a rendition of “Dreams of the San Joaquin” to benefit RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services) and the United Farm Workers of America. 

“Dreams of the San Joaquin” tells the story of a field worker in the San Joaquin Valley during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression of the 1930s and 40s. The tune was originally written by Randy Sharp and Jack Wesley Routh; it was later made famous by Linda Ronstadt in 1998 and again by Kenny Rogers in 2013. 

“The migrant farm worker is as responsible if not more for maintaining our country’s position as one of the largest agricultural economies in the world,” said McDonald in a statement. “The labor that falls squarely on their shoulders allows farmers to bring produce to our stores and food to our tables as reasonably priced as possible. COVID has ravaged this quadrant of the American workforce disproportionately. RAICES and United Farm Workers Union are working hard to bring vaccine awareness and financial help to provide distribution to this demographic so hard hit by COVID-19.”

“This was a collaboration of love and a prayer for understanding. It sends a message of hope that we all need to hear,” added Nelson. “I’ve always loved Mike’s voice and enjoyed making this with him and my son Micah.”

The cover will be released exclusively on Bandcamp this Friday, May 7. The release will coincide with Bandcamp Friday, during which the website will waive 100% of its revenue share to directly support artists and causes. All net proceeds from sales of the track will be donated to the aforementioned charities. Fans will be able to stream the song on major streaming services starting May 14.