Chris Young Talks Grand Ole Opry Induction, Celebrating New Album

Chris Young celebrates after Vince Gill invites him to be the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.

This week, Chris Young will celebrate two career milestones.

Tonight (Oct. 17), Brad Paisley will induct Young as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. On Friday (Oct. 20), his seventh RCA Nashville album, Losing Sleep, releases.

Little over a decade has passed since the Murfreesboro, Tennessee native with the resonant baritone made his debut appearance on the Grand Ole Opry, shortly after winning the fourth edition of Nashville Star and earning a label deal in 2006. However, Young has been working toward the goal of becoming an Opry member, not to mention a full-fledged country star, for most of his life, through countless performances, television appearances, autograph signings, albums and more.

For Losing Sleep, Young returned to the producer’s chair for the new album, marking his third project to co-produce alongside Corey Crowder.

“The more records we do together, me and Corey have become not only better friends, but we both feed off each other creatively and we complement each other in many ways,” Young says. “I can’t tell you how much time he spent on the drum sounds on this album, just finding new samples and stuff we were layering underneath what Miles McPherson did.”

With this album, for the first time, Young earned co-writing credits on every single track.

“The coolest part is that it is very low-stress which for me leads to being very creative,” Young says. “When I feel I don’t have anything pressing down on us and we have the songs, time and crew we want in the studio, it makes a difference.”

“Losing Sleep” was one of the earliest-penned tracks on the new album, written soon after the project’s predecessor, I’m Comin’ Over, released in 2015. The track also represents perhaps the album’s biggest sonic progression. “It is probably the most pop production of any song I’ve done,” Young says, “ and it’s paired with my really traditional voice.”

In the studio, Young is as precise with his production as he is with his resonant baritone.

“I spent a lot of time on mixes. There are so many little details where the bulk of your time gets spent. We spent a full session on each individual song, so just three hours on the tracking process with the guys in the room. We have a lot of fun doing that, but it’s the amount of emails exchanged like, ‘Hey at 33 seconds on this track, I know we had a different pass on said instrument, and I’d love to hear that.’ Or, ‘Hey, I can hear this is an actual piano and the pedaling is too hard on this pass. Do we have something else to replace that?’ Just little things like that take a song from the raw parts of it to where it’s ready for people to hear it and on radio.”

Young assembled the same players from his previous album, including Derek Wells, McPherson, Carl Miner, Dave Cohen, Tony Lucido, and Terry Crisp, who also plays steel guitar for Young on the road.

While its predecessor I’m Comin’ Over featured two hit collaborations—Vince Gill (“Sober Saturday Night”) and Cassadee Pope (“Think Of You”)—Young’s talents stay front and center throughout the new project.

“There was the discussion of, ‘We had a lot of success with bringing people in on the last album.’ But with this record, there wasn’t anything that really made sense, and I wasn’t going to force it if it wasn’t there.”

This time around, his neo-traditional sound captures a relationship in its various stages, from promising beginnings to mournful swan song. The project ends with the gorgeous “Blacked Out,” co-written with Jon Randall and Josh Hoge.

“I still love making a record that you can listen to start to finish, and sequencing is such a huge part of that,” Young says. “I do like that ‘Where I Go When I Drink’ is track 5 and track 10 is ‘Blacked Out.’ The middle of it is kind of a breather, spatially, with those two tracks as opposed to a lot of other stuff on the album. But also, it’s like a point-counterpoint with ‘Losing Sleep.’ Starting with that and ending with ‘Blacked Out.’”

Losing Sleep Track Listing
“Losing Sleep” – Chris Young, Chris DeStefano, Josh Hoge
“Hangin’ On” – Chris Young, Corey Crowder, Josh Hoge
“Holiday” – Chris Young, Cary Barlowe, Johnny Bulford, Corey Crowder
“Radio And The Rain” – Chris Young, Corey Crowder, Josh Hoge
“Where I Go When I Drink” – Chris Young, Tyler Reeve, Trent Tomlinson
“She’s Got A Way” – Chris Young, Cary Barlowe, Corey Crowder
“Leave Me Wanting More” – Chris Young, Corey Crowder, John Pierce
“Trouble Looking” – Chris Young, Corey Crowder, Liz Rose
“Woke Up Like This” – Chris Young, Corey Crowder, Josh Hoge
“Blacked Out” – Chris Young, Josh Hoge, Jon Randall


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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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