new single, LOVE IS WAR, hitting country radio stations now!
American Young. It’s more than a name.
It’s a movement. A passion for music and more importantly it’s meaning.
As artists, songsmiths, producers, and entertainers, Jon Stone and
Kristy Osmunson define American Young this way. They are seasoned
veterans on how music can inherently affect emotion and even culture.
The collaborative fresh new duo already claim songwriting credits for
hit makers Kenny Chesney, Lee Brice, Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton and
more. Recording and writing comes from a deep, poignant place with a
desire to affect global audiences with songs featuring tight harmonies
and storytelling. “American Young represents a sound with no boundaries.
We are squarely focused on delivering our own brand of music and hope
that folks will find our songs everything from haunting to dramatic and
intense”, says Jon.
Jon Stone and Kristy Osmunson may seem
familiar to you. They’ve both been in Nashville and have explored their
options in country music before. Jon as a solo act, then a successful
producer and songwriter (“Me and My Gang,” “A Woman Like You”) and
Kristy as a founding member and sizzling fiddle player of the duo
But what isn’t familiar is their music. That’s because no one—NO ONE—is making music like this.
Yes, it is absolutely country with its often picturesque, usually
compelling, sometimes downright gripping lyrics. Absolutely country with
arrangements and instrumentation that brings those lyrics and
effortless vocals so far forward they reach past your auditory and right
into your heart, right into your soul, right into your gut. From the
easy, almost hushed jangly plea of “Love Is War,” to the driving,
fiddle-laden anger of “Wasn’t Gonna Drink Tonight,” American Young isn’t
content with their audience being passive listeners to their music.
They want them to feel it in their soul. That’s the sign of two artists
so impassioned, so eaten up with making music that they can’t help but
Of course, Jon wouldn’t readily admit that at first. “My life was going
so well and I was peaceful….and then she came up to me.” Kristy asked,
“’What are you doing with the artist thing?’ And I was like, ‘It’s
always been the dream, but I’m so busy producing and writing songs. I’ve
always had a passion for entertaining an audience, but I was at a point
where I questioned whether it was apart of God’s plan for me, and I
felt like I had no choice, but to be at peace with that or it was going
to wreck my life.” At peace until Kristy’s genuine interest and
persistence gave him pause to reconsider and then try again.
It only took one time of casually playing together for the pair to feel
the evident chemistry and realize they were embarking on something very
special. And that they had a sound so singularly unique that it is the
stuff that musical trends are born from. Still, Jon turned to producer
Paul Worley (Lady Antebellum). “We recorded some guitar vocals, and I
called Paul Worley and I said, ‘I’ve got to play you something,’”
remembers Jon. “I played him these songs and I said, ‘I have to do this,
don’t I?’ And he said, ‘You have to do this. You have to do this.’”
It turns out that Kristy and Jon were exactly what each other needed.
“I’ve waited my whole life to find someone I could play with like that,”
smiles Kristy. “‘Cause that’s really all we do. The stage is our
sandbox and we bring different toys and make things.” The admiration is
mutual. “I realized today that if she hadn’t found me, I would have
never gotten to live my dream of being a singer, says Jon. “And if I
hadn’t found her, she would have never realized and found who she is.”
That’s how one of freshest new acts on the country music scene is born.
Tapping the vocal ability of both Jon and Kristy—a talent she wasn’t
aware she even had—has revealed an earthy, organic and authentic sound
that has developed naturally and effortlessly. The relationship between
the two is very yin and yang. Jon—the consummate, meticulous producer,
focused on perfect tones and notes. Kristy — the high-energy performer
with an eye on an entertaining, fun live show. The combination means
that when the dynamic duo hit the stage, not only is the show
technically sound, it’s a feast for the musical soul…but sometimes that
requires Kristy to level out the perfectionist in Jon. “I just whack him
with my bow every now and then, and he starts having fun,” she laughs.
“Where he is the studio Oz back there wizarding the whole thing, it’s
not the part I’ve ever focused on. I’ve always been a player, so my
focus has always been on making a show that is just going to be epic and
amazing.” “And that’s never been my focus ever, not one time,” laughs
Jon. “When I saw some footage of me performing on stage… I need to work
on having fun. ”
Surprisingly, with the accomplished songwriters that both Jon and Kristy
are, their debut single, “Love Is War,” is an outside cut. Penned by
the prolific combination of Jonathon Singleton, Kyle Sackley and Billy
Montana, the tune showcases surprisingly sparse production considering
Jon’s affinity for perfection. The arrangement is loose, almost
acoustic, and the vocals are raw and full of emotion allowing the
simple, yet complex lyric to rise to the top of the listening
“It completely defines who we are from the first note of the song,” says
Jon. “It’s a great introduction to American Young for so many reasons,
but for one, Kristy and I are singing every note of the song together.
We’re playing on the record. It’s an amazing song, such a well-written
song, and we totally believe it and it sounds like it. I can tell when
she sings the song that she believes it, and I guarantee she says the
same thing about me. Every time we sing it, it’s just… oh wow. I realize
that this is going to be the most important thing I ever do in my whole
Kristy adds, “This is going to be one of those music concepts that is a
pivotal project. It has the power to motivate change. It has the power
to inspire a different way of thought. This song does that and more. The
song says exactly what we all do in relationships. We simply give up.
We stop learning how to talk to each other. We stay angry, and that’s
not what we need to do. We need to learn. We need to fight for love.”
So, how is this time different? How is American Young different for Jon
Stone and Kristy Osmunson? “I think that somebody has to fail enough to
not be afraid of success. Frankly, we’ve failed so much that success
would be such a by-product of just doing something that we loved,”