Chris Young Opens Up About Exciting New Projects with Jimmie Allen, Old Dominion

by Lauren Boisvert

Chris Young released a deluxe version of his 2021 album, Famous Friends, today June 3, and he recently spoke to People about what it was like working with his actual friends.

Young wrote songs with and for both Old Dominion and Jimmie Allen on the record. “I’ve been really lucky that everybody I’ve asked to be a part of the project has just immediately been like, ‘Yeah, we’re in,'” Young said. He wrote a song with Old Dominion called “Everybody Needs a Song,” which was initially just a co-written piece with Old Dominion guitarist Brad Tursi.

“I was like, ‘Hey, do you guys ever get asked to do stuff because you’re a band? Would y’all want to do something?'” Young recalled. “And he was like, ‘Dude, I would love to collab on this. I think it’d be great. Let me ask the rest of the guys,’ and they were all down for it.”

“Everybody Needs a Song” has a delightful guitar riff in the beginning, and the sentiment is charming; it’s basically about the soundtrack of life, and the songs that keep us going throughout the little moments. “We all need a ‘Thunder Road’ to make the wheels roll down the highway,” Young sings in part in the chorus. It’s a song about having songs, about why we make playlists for road trips, or grocery store runs, or house parties. We’ve all got “our song,” as well, the one that really encapsulates us and our personalities (in high school mine was “Iris” but the Goo Goo Dolls, but hey, I was in high school–at least I didn’t release an album and do all the art myself in high school).

Additionally, Young said that writing “Everybody Needs a Song” with Old Dominion just “made sense”; he’s written with the band before, and it’s safe to say they’ve produced some great hits together. This song is definitely one of them.

Chris Young Talks Working With Friends On Recent Deluxe Album, ‘Famous Friends’

In addition to writing and recording with Old Dominion, Chris Young also worked with his friend Jimmie Allen, who has his own album coming out soon (Tulip Drive, June 24, in addition to joining Carrie Underwood on tour). Young said that it was only right that he work with Allen, because “we’re buddies,” he said.

The two collaborated on recording the song “Music Note”; while they didn’t write it together, they still performed it together with heart. On “Music Note,” again, there’s great guitar. Plus, the core of the song is about being humble even when you’re trying to further a music career. “Thanks for giving this Tennessee boy a chance,” sings Young in the bridge. Jimmie Allen’s first verse has a similar feel of being starstruck by your own career.

“Never knew I’d step foot on that old Opry stage / Went from Old Rugged Cross to that church off Broadway / Standing right where Loretta, Cash, and Charley all stood / Man, who would have guessed that I would,” Allen sings.

“Music Note” and “Everybody Needs a Song” are just two of six new tracks on the deluxe version of Famous Friends. Chris Young also sings with Cassadee Pope on acoustic versions of original favorites “I’m Comin’ Over” and “Think of You.”