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Chris Young takes next step with 'A.M.'

Wednesday - 9/18/2013, 12:27pm  ET

FILE - In this June 21, 2013 file photo, Chris Young performs during the Beat This Summer Tour at the Cruzan Amphitheater, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Young is holding his new songs from his next album close to his chest, but the one single he has released, “Aw Naw,” gives a glimpse of a young country musician that’s ready to take his career to the next step. (Photo by Jeff Daly/Invision/AP, File)

KRISTIN M. HALL
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Chris Young was nervous about his new single "Aw Naw."

The 28-year-old Tennessee native releases his new album "A.M." this week after a string of No. 1 hits. He wasn't sure how "Aw Naw" would fit in that line of singles because it was so different from what he's done over his previous three albums.

"It's working at radio, it's doing what it's supposed to do," Young said. "It's downloading and it's hopefully going to help move a lot of records. ... It's definitely a shot in the arm to my live show."

Traditional country fans have embraced Young's deep voice and songwriting, and he's mostly focused on crooning love ballads so far. But the new party single mixes in double electric guitars and stronger drumbeats for a sound that can fill arenas -- something he's been studying out on the road as an opening act.

"We did some stuff sonically, mastering-wise that's a little bit different than anything I have done before and there's more tempo on this record, as evidenced by the first single," Young said. "It's more a snapshot of what my live show is than any record that I think I have done."

Young had a brief hospitalization in August for a leg infection, but he's recovered and returned to the stage. Touring alongside Brad Paisley has Young already thinking about what he would do on his own headlining tour. While he's done some headlining shows, he's still working on building a fan base that can support a large headlining tour.

"Yeah there is that added pressure of, it doesn't sell, it's on you," Young said. "That's the fun part, too. Eventually you've got to put it out there and build the hard-ticket market. That's just the next step."

Meanwhile, he's happy to get the exposure to Paisley's huge and passionate fan base.

"He has very loyal fans, so any of those I can steal while I'm opening for him, I will happily steal as many as I can," Young said.

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Online:

http://chrisyoungcountry.com

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Follow Kristin Hall on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kmhall


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