Chris Young Is Hearing ‘Voices’ Again
As CMA Music Fest kicks off in Nashville, Chris Young is gearing up for a hectic weekend of singing and signing (including an all-day stint signing autographs in booth #507 on Sunday), but he’s also managing to carve out time to celebrate ‘The Man I Want to Be’ spending three weeks at No. 1.
“You know what, it doesn’t suck,” Chris says with a laugh, telling The Boot how he feels about spending three weeks at the summit. “I had no idea, nor could I have ever guessed it would get to a point where we were having this kind of success. It’s just really, really a great feeling!”
RCA Records has planned a private party for Chris and songwriters Brett James and Tim Nichols to celebrate the hit single on Thursday afternoon. Surprisingly, Chris says he almost didn’t record ‘The Man I Want to Be.’ “Once we go in, I cut my album and that’s it, I usually don’t over cut. I got it in my head that there were too many ballads on the record and I didn’t need to cut anymore ballads. They brought this in and I said, ‘Man, I really don’t want to listen to it because I don’t want to cut another ballad,’ and they were like, ‘You need to go listen to this song’ and I caved. I listened to it one time and fell madly in love with it.”
The Murfreesboro, Tenn. native has a lot to love these days. He spent the spring touring with Alan Jackson and will be going out this summer with Rascal Flatts. Chris also recently released ‘Voices,’ an acoustic, three-song EP spotlighting some of the country legends who have influenced his artistry. On ‘Voices’ Chris serves up his take on John Anderson‘s 1983 No. 1 tune ‘Swingin’,'” Keith Whitley‘s 1990 Top 5 hit, ‘I’m Over You,’ and ‘Chiseled in Stone,’ the Vern Gosdin classic that was CMA Song of the Year in 1989.
Chris says the record label gave him freedom to craft the EP just as he wanted. “I had someone call me up and say, ‘Hey, do you have somewhere you could do good guitar vocals? We want to do this thing for iTunes. We’re going to put out an EP. Pick three songs and do them,’ and that was all they told me,” Chris says of the process leading up to ‘Voices.’ “They let me go and it was a really great thing for me. I [thought] what three songs would I want to do if it were me and the guitar? And I thought about these three songs. These are all songs that I fell in love with that are classic country songs and that I played live in my show before. These three are perfect because not only are they three songs that I love, but they’re also three artists that really influenced me.”
Chris recently finished up a slate of spring tour dates opening for Alan Jackson and says the veteran artist really made him feel welcome out on the road. “He pulled me on his bus,” Chris says of getting to visit with Alan during the tour, “and he sent me a bottle of Jack Daniel’s. He was nice as can be to me on the tour.”
Chris feels just getting to tour with Alan was a boost to his career. “Alan is so great and getting to see his show was really cool for me, and he exposed us to a lot more people. We were in front of big crowds with Alan and everybody really loved what I was doing. Obviously, I’m very traditional and being on tour with Alan Jackson, the crowd was really loving what we did.”
This summer Chris will be on tour with Kellie Pickler and Rascal Flatts. “I’m really excited about it. With the two tours we’re getting to do this year, we’re hitting all of the cross sections of the country market-the demographic breakdown, we’re hitting all of it this year.”
The next single from Chris’ sophomore album, ‘The Man I Want to Be,’ will be ‘Voices.’ The song was actually the first single released from the album, but at the time it just didn’t catch fire at country radio. “We’ve had a lot of people tell us ‘that song got lost in the shuffle’ or ‘we missed that song,'” Chris says. “People from radio have wanted us to put that song back out, and there are a lot of people that have no idea we put this song out before. They think it’s a brand new song.”
Chris has always believed in the song and what it says. “I’m a co-writer on the song and the basis of the song is a lot about family and things that your dad said or your mom said or your grandparents said that really stuck with you,” he shares. “That’s something everybody can relate to and I’m excited about it. I really am.”
Chris is hoping ‘Voices’ will follow his last two singles to the top of the chart. ‘Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)’ was a No. 1 hit last fall and with ‘The Man I Want to Be’ hitting the top of the charts, it gives the young singer/songwriter two consecutive No. 1 hits.
“It’s so amazing. I’m still pinching myself,” he says. “I just got out of a writing appointment with Kent Blazy and Cory Batten, who I wrote ‘Gettin’ You Home’ with. I was leaving Kent’s house and I got in my car, turned my car on and it was right at the beginning of ‘The Man I Want To Be’ on the radio. I still get excited every time I hear myself on the radio. It’s just pretty dang amazing!”