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Country stars perform Sunday in Murphys


Courtesy photo Chris Young will play Sunday at Ironstone Vineyards in Murphys.

Chris Young will headline a country concert Sunday at Ironstone Amphitheatre in Murphys. Opening will be Jon Pardi and Tyler Rich.

Young, a native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and a fixture on the music scene since his teens, released his fifth major-label album by the age of 30.

Young has earned eight No. 1 singles, 14 gold and platinum certifications and performed for audiences ranging from “Good Morning America” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to as far away as Australia and Japan.

His live shows are packed with hits, including chart toppers “Gettin’ You Home,” “Voices,” “Tomorrow,” and “I’m Comin’ Over.”

“Think Of You,” a duet with Cassadee Pope, is Young’s latest No. 1 and fastest rising single of his career.

Released last fall and debuting at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, Young’s first co-produced album, “I’m Comin’ Over,” also features the three-week No. 1 smash title track. The single and album earned him four Academy of Country Music Award nominations, including his first in the coveted album of the year category as both the artist and producer, and a Billboard Music Award nomination for Top Country Song.

“I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do sonically for this record and what I wanted to say,” Young said in a statement. “And it’s an important record. Turning 30. I’ve been doing this for 10 years and you always try to make a statement with each and every record. But this is my fifth record, and after 10 years I better have something important to say.”

Young wrote nine of the 11 songs, including the title track, co-produced the album and oversaw each track from demo through final mastering.

“ ‘I’m Comin’ Over’ honestly is such a sonic bridge for me,” Young said. “It’s a bridge between what I sounded like on the last record and what we’ve done on this one. It’s not like I went out and just completely blew up everything I was doing, but there’s obviously a lot more loops. There’s a lot more stuff that we created in pre-production and brought into the studio along with the musicians. I think that this song is a really good introduction to what you’ll hear on the rest of this record. There’s R&B elements that we brought into some of the songs, and you definitely hear that on top of the second verse. It’s really simple. It’s really short, just a tiny, little moment, but it’s definitely stuff that we wouldn’t have done in the past.”

While good times are a heavy presence on the album, Young doesn’t completely leave behind the nuanced emotion of his previous work. “I Know A Guy” and “Sober Saturday Night,” which features Vince Gill on guitar and harmony vocals, help Young round out “I’m Comin’ Over” with a song for every mood.

“There’s a great history of sad songs in country music and I think that a lot of people have lived that,” Young said. “They’ve had that night where it’s like, ‘Man, I’m so depressed, I don’t even want to leave my house. I’m just going to sit here. I don’t even want to try to drink myself out of being depressed,’ and it’s powerful. But I think there are touch points — I think that’s really what this record is. Hopefully everybody relates to each one of these songs and they have their own experiences.”

Young formed his appreciation for the history of country music listening and watching closely genre ambassadors like Gill, who is best known as a Grammy Award-winning singer and guitarist. But he’s also emerged a powerful producer, and Young would like to see his career follow a similar path. He knew this from the second he saw Gill in concert as a child, sitting in the grass at Nashville’s old Starwood Amphitheatre, watching the legend perform solo acoustic for a crowd of thousands.

“I got to sit in his studio and hang out with Vince Gill all day, and it’s just such a weird, cool full-circle thing for me,” Young said. “He’s absolutely someone that I put on a pedestal as a vocalist and a person. It’s like, ‘Oh, my God, I want to be known as an artist who is that good.’ ”

Like Gill, Young takes a personal moment or emotion and elevates it with a universal resonance. When he sings of a day at the beach or the lake, it’s because he’s relaying an experience from his own life, not some anonymous songwriters.

“It’s no secret I’ve fallen in love before,” Young said. “And I’ve fallen out of love. And I’ve definitely had love fall out on me — that makes for several records worth of music right there. Then, when you combine some of the other stuff that we wrote on this record, it gives it a lot of variety, too. I think that’s important. I could just as easily sit down and write an entire album of love songs, but I think you have to have the love songs and you have to have the stuff you’re going to play when it’s summer and 100 degrees and everybody’s in T-shirts at a festival. It’s a balancing act. You have to have all the colors on the palette and make them work together.”

Meanwhile, Jon Pardi will perform songs from his recent release, “California Sunrise,” including his current hit single “Head Over Boots.”

• What: Chris Young with Jon Pardi and Tyler Rich.

• When: Sunday, 7 p.m.

• Where: Ironstone Amphitheatre, 1894 Six Mile Rd., Murphys.

• Tickets: $50 to $200.

• Info: ironstoneamphitheatre.net