(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."