Marina Chavez
Country singer Chris Young

Country singer Chris Young is fairly new to the scene. In fact, he can't believe he's on a tour, let alone a tour with Martina McBride.

"This is the first major tour I've ever been on," said Young during a phone call from a stop in Delaware. "I had no idea what I was to expect. In fact, I still don't know what's around the corner. Although the tour has been going very smoothly.

"I mean, on tour with Martina McBride and Jack Ingram is amazing, and we all get along with everyone."

If Young's music is any indication of his potential, he needs to learn all he can from this tour because there will inevitably be others coming his way.

Young, who won 2006's "Nashville Star" competition, comes from a musical family.

His grandfather, Richard Yates, performed on the "Louisiana Hayride," which was broadcast on the radio in the 1940s through the 1960s.

And Young's mother and stepfather were supportive with his interest in music.

"They told me that I could do anything but nearly had heart attacks when I dropped out of college to pursue my music career," he said with a laugh. "But they knew music was that important to me."

Young loved hearing Randy Travis and Marty Robbins, whom he cited as influences.

"I'm more into the traditional country sound than anything else," Young said. "And that's where I want to keep my style."

Young grew up in Nashville, Tenn., and knew how hard a career in country music could be. But as he grew, he watched the business carefully and learned how to take care of himself.

"The thing that I really wanted to find out was how I could play and write the music I wanted to," he said. "Really, if I could, I would work 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 365 days a year."

His work ethic has paid off. Back in 2006, Young released his self-titled debut on RCA Records Nashville. The CD peaked at No. 3 on Billboard's Country Album chart and reached No. 22 on the Billboard 200 album chart.

His two singles from that album, "Drinking Me Lonely" and "You're Gonna Love Me," hit No. 42 and 48, respectively, on the Country Singles chart.

A few days ago, he released his new single, "Voices," from his upcoming CD of the same title. The single is already No. 43 on the country chart.

"The CD will be released in October," said Young. "We went through a ton of songs to find the ones that wound up on the album. There are 10 songs on the album, and I wrote three.

"It's all different stuff but flows well. I hope people will like it."

If you go

What: Martina McBride, Jack Ingram, Chris Young

Where: USANA Amphitheatre, 5400 South and 6400 West

When: Today, 7:30 p.m.

How much: $33-$70

Phone: 467-8499, 800-888-8499


E-mail: [email protected]