Chris Young Gets Vulnerable On “Young Love & Saturday Nights," Talks His Dad, His Dog And His Arresting Experience

Chris Young: "There's love songs. There's sexy songs. There's a song about my dog. I just really feel like I covered a lot of topics on this record that sometimes I haven't touched on."

Chris Young was getting ready to release the most in-depth album of his career. He had spent three years crafting his 18-song "Young Love & Saturday Nights." He co-wrote 15 of the 18 songs and was the sole producer on three. He co-produced the other 15 with longtime collaborators Chris DeStefano and Corey Crowder.

Then, weeks before the album's release, the unthinkable happened.

Young was arrested through no fault of his own. Nashville's district attorney reviewed the video evidence and dropped all charges within days. Young admits he was scared.

"Everybody likes that I'm self-deprecating and make jokes about it, but at the same time, of course, I was worried," Young said. "Everybody likes to say that all press is good press, but that's never been my mentality. I'm not the kind of person who wants that kind of press."

Thankfully, that isn't the kind of press he's getting. Young just celebrated the release of "Young Love & Saturday Nights" with a party at Nashville's Twelve Thirty Club. The album showcases that at 38 years old, Young is firmly in the strongest, most agile voice of his career. He showed it off with an acoustic performance of several songs from the album. And his longtime record label, Sony Music Nashville, surprised the Middle Tennessee native with multiple plaques certifying the platinum and multi-platinum status of his albums and singles, including "A.M.," "I'm Comin' Over," "Tomorrow," "Aw Naw," "Who I Am With You," "Losing Sleep" and "Sober Saturday Night."

Young recently performed his current Top 20 hit and the album's title track, "Young Love & Saturday Night," on "Good Morning America." He describes the song, which was written by Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley and Josh Thompson with a posthumous songwriting credit to David Bowie, as "a fun party song and climbing up the charts right now." He co-produced the track with DeStefano and Crowder, cutting the music with Crowder and then singing the vocal with DeStefano at this house.

"He has a huge studio there, and I just like doing vocals with him," Young said. "There were a lot of things about this record that involved a lot of people, a lot of great songwriters, a lot of great musicians, engineers, everybody. I feel like this is probably one of the best complete projects that I've done. I talked about a lot of stuff that sometimes I don't talk about and then obviously have the stuff that everybody's looking for."

Other songs on the album include "Right Now," "Double Down," "What She Sees In Me," "Looking For You" and "All Dogs Go To Heaven," which was inspired by Young's German Sheperd, Porter.

Lyrics include: If you spell God backwards, you'll get man's best friend| And when this life is over, man, that ain't gonna end| And you won't find it in the Bible, but I know it's true| If up there in the sky, there's a place for me and you| Then all dogs go to Heaven

"If anybody ever is around me, they know I love my dog," Young said. "And even though he's a really strong, healthy, 115-pound German Shepherd, I don't get to keep him forever. Dogs don't outlive us. So one day, that will come to pass, and you treat your animals like family, at least in my family. So being able to speak on that, I think, is really important."

Young wrote "Don't Call Me" with DeStefano and Ashley Gorley and described it as him "giving a relationship the middle finger."

Lyrics include: You're off then you're right back on again| Gotta get over you, I can't take it| Do me a favor when you need somebody| Hey, baby, don't call me

"It's the polite way to do that, I guess," Young said. "But, I think a lot of people have been there before. I just found new ways to express things in life, and to me, country music is all about stories. Being able to tell a couple of different ones on this record, I thought, was really fun."

"Gettin' Older" is another of Young's standout tracks on the album. The song details the singer's love and respect for his dad in such a detailed way that it's hard to believe that Young didn't write it. But he didn't. "Gettin' Older" is courtesy of Johnny Clawson, Dave Fenley and Kyle Sturrock. Young was in a co-write with a few friends who asked the singer if they wanted them to play him some of the other songs they had written. Young told them to go ahead.

"Dave Fenley played me that song, and I just fell immediately in love with it," Young said. "I was like, 'I hate you because this is exactly what I was trying to write."

Fenley told Young the song was backward because he wrote it about hoping to be a great dad to the baby he just had.

"I was like, 'That's so cool, and dang it, now I have to cut this. Please let me have this song,'" Young recalled. "It totally encapsulates the way I feel about my dad."

Young said he didn't care if he wrote 18 songs that someone else ended up recording, and none of his made his album. For him, "the best song wins."

"Young Love & Saturday Nights" is the singer/songwriter's first new album in three years. He used the extended period of time to write and collect songs, which he explains is why this collection is 18 songs deep. Young said he already has enough new songs that he loves to make a whole different album.

"It's kind of scary," he laughed. "But these songs were the ones that I picked right now for this project. I was just like, 'These have to be on here. I hope everybody falls in love with these songs as much as I have."

What isn't scary anymore is Young's misunderstanding with a few agents from the Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Thanks to numerous videos from the incident proving Young's innocence, Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk dropped all charges.

"In the aftermath, everybody sees I didn't do anything, and I didn't deserve to be arrested," Young said. "Everybody likes to make jokes about it, but at the same time, of course I was worried. Now everybody realizes it was basically a big old nothing burger."

It's a nothing burger that inspired new tour merch.

"You better be damn sure I'm making T-shirts out of that mugshot and selling them at shows," he said. We're going to have some fun with it now."

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