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Chris Young Discusses New and Familiar Collaborations on the Deluxe Edition of ‘Famous Friends’

After releasing his eighth studio album Famous Friends in August of 2021, singer-songwriter Chris Young expanded the LP into a 20-song project. Additions to the already-stacked tracklist include new songs, reimagined songs, and a track that was passed around Nashville for years.

Besides the single for the deluxe project with Old Dominion, Young also teamed up with rising artist Jimmie Allen on “Music Note:” a sentimental ode to what it takes to be a musician. “Jimmie Allen had been yelling at me because we hadn’t done a song together,” Young says. “I sent him ‘Music Note.’ I was like, ‘Hey this could be cool for the two of us’ and he was down for it.” Despite this being their first track together, their voices fit seamlessly as they tell a narrative they’re both familiar with.

“At The End of The Bar” was written during a snowy day in Nashville. When the Young met up with Mitchell Tenpenny, they began a conversation about how they first met. Young mentioned how they quite literally met at the end of a bar. His statement struck a chord. “Mitchell goes ‘That’s a really good song title’ and I was like I guess it is,” Young shares. Since its initial release, the track is following one of Young’s previous collaborations, “Famous Friends” with Kane Brown, and is climbing up the country radio charts. It’s the fourth single from the Famous Friends compilation.

Some of the bonus tracks on the new deluxe LP are stripped-down acoustic versions of previously released fan-favorites. “I’m Comin’ Over” was first added to Young’s catalog in 2015. It became Young’s sixth number one and was certified Gold. “Think of You,” another older release from 2016 that features Cassadee Pope, was Grammy nominated and also scored Young yet another number one. Both of these tracks make surprising appearances in raw formats. “Being able to reimagine both of those a little bit, I thought was really fun ‘cause those have been two of the biggest songs that I’ve had in my career,” Young exclaim

Photo by Jeff Johnson

Clearly, Young is known for working with his country music peers. He has more notable collaborations under his belt than one can count on two hands. When asked what his favorite part of the musical partnership process is, he says, “You know, honestly, for me one of the biggest things is just when you get to the end.” He adds,”The prize of actually creating it, and it’s all done and everyone’s happy with it, it’s not just you that’s invested. I find a lot of fun in that process. From the writing to the producing to the recording, it’s always something I look forward to,” he tells The Nash News.

“If I Knew What Was Good for Me,” a new track that appears on the album, was one that was passed around various artists in Music City. “That song was about seven or eight years old. It’s been on hold for a whole bunch of different artists,” Young states. The soft ballad opens with neon imagery. The lines, “Bar stool, open sign blinking / I’m the only lonely one drinking” are enough to stick with any listener.

The new, fleshed out songs add more storyline to what was already created in the first imagining of Famous Friends, and Young's smooth and gentle vocals continuously help set the scene.

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