Would you like a little more "tear in your beer" and a little less "bust a move" in your Country music? I certainly would. I discussed the matter or "vulnerability" in songwriting with Country Jam 2018 artist Brett Young.

Brett Young is on the charts with "Mercy," currently sitting at #16 on the Mediabase Country Charts. Previous hits include "In Case You Didn't Know," "Sleep Without You," and "Like I Loved You." Two of those went to #1, another peaked at #2, and the other is still climbing the charts.

At roughly 6' 6", (based on my estimates standing next to him) Brett Young comes off as a fairly intimidating guy. That, combined with the fact he was on his way to being a pro baseball player, suggests he wouldn't be one to wear his heart on his sleeve. As it turns out, though, he's a very sensitive guy.

He sat down with me backstage at Country Jam 2018 to discuss how he chooses which tunes to record. Sorry for the noise, but it was a festival. The place was jumping.

Personally, my Country Music tastes lean towards Merle and Willie. Some of my favorites include "Going Where the Lonely Go" and "That's The Way Love Goes." Willie chimes in strong with selections like "Always On My Mind." A good friend of mine, a hard-core Jazz musician, loathes Country music to the core. Nevertheless, he considers Willie's recording of "Always On My Mind" to be the single greatest recording in history.

Along comes Brett Young. When I first hear "In Case You Didn't Know," everything came to an abrupt halt. That is an example of top-notch lyric writing. The production and performance are equally outstanding. In the age of Hick-Hop and Bro-Country, it's a welcome addition.

I don't mean to put down contemporary Country; I love it. Put simply, I feel Brett Young's contribution fuses exceptionally crafted lyrics with a contemporary sound.

Check out the video. Brett's ideas on the matter are refreshing. His music tastes, not to mention his attitude, really stand out.

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