OFFSTAGE: Chris Young Doesn’t Mind Sounding Country

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

“When I just open my mouth and start singing, it sounds like country music.” That’s what Chris Young told me when he was in Chicago on Saturday (Aug. 27) when I asked how he felt about people calling him a country traditionalist. And it sounds like even though he is one, it’s not like he set out to be that and only that. “I don’t know that I’m a pure traditionalist. I just like good music. I like Keith Whitley, but I don’t feel like I make music that sounds like a Keith Whitley record. I don’t know if he’d even really like my music,” he laughed. (He listed his Top 3 Whitley tunes as “Ten Feet Away,” “Homecoming ’63” and “I’m Over You.”) The bottom line? “I don’t mind sounding country,” he said. “Sometimes I think maybe I’m more traditional than some artists in country, but you’ve got to sound different. And I’m not good at singing anything else.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.