Grammy-nominated pop-star and New York native, Gavin DeGraw joined Chris Young on Friday night’s episode of CMT Crossroads. You can watch the full episode here:
The show began with the two artists on stage singing Young’s “Raised on Country”. The superstars were alternating lines, having a lot of fun with this top-5 song. DeGraw and Young spoke after the performance, sharing how both their grandfathers were musicians, vastly influenced by country music. DeGraw’s grandfather spoke highly of Nashville and its impact on rising musicians.
They then performed DeGraw’s “Sweeter”. Instead of alternating lines, they utilized their different vocal ranges to create stunning harmonies. Young knows his limits with his baritone voice, letting DeGraw take the lead on the chorus. Young’s number one song “I’m Coming Over” and DeGraw’s “Soldier” were next. After watching these performances, it’s like these two songs were made for collaborations; everything sounded so perfect. As DeGraw was stationed on the piano, Young got the audience involved, getting everyone to wave their arms back and forth at the end of “Soldier”.
“Sometimes you’re held accountable for whatever the material is; you’re a bit apprehensive of ‘how far can I push the envelope with lyrical content?’”, DeGraw said about “Soldier”. “That’s the fear as an artist, ‘am I going to alienate the listener of the one song with the other song I just put out because they don’t like the content?”
They changed gears on the next song; covering Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed”. Young handled backing vocals as DeGraw and his tenor voice were more suited for the lead on this performance. An extended guitar solo created a powerful ending to the 1970 hit song. The song Young was most excited to perform, “I Don’t Wanna Be” was next. The crowd was very into this one and DeGraw let his stage mate take the lead on the chorus.
The mood quickly changed however, as the two singer-songwriters went acoustic to perform Young’s current single, “Drowning”. Young wrote “Drowning” about a friend of his who passed away unexpectedly. He said he needed this song to help him get through that difficult time in his life. “When you’re writing songs, you’re writing them from a therapeutic place for yourself…and then there you are on stage performing this moment in front of everybody and it’s sometimes really is just hard to hold it together.”DeGraw sang the first verse on Young’s “Hangin’ On” as Young strummed his guitar. The show ended with DeGraw’s number one song, “Not Over You”.
The venue was packed with fans all eager to hear these two powerhouse vocalists perform and complement each other’s biggest hits. CMT Crossroads is always an incredible night of duets, allowing fans from different genres to come together and appreciate songs they may not have heard before.
There aren’t a ton of tour dates scheduled for either artist currently but stay tuned with their socials for more information:
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