Tyler McCollum

Texas country singer Parker McCollum isn’t afraid of harsh criticism. In fact, he grew up with it. McCollum’s older brother and part-time co-writer Tyler is the driving force behind the young singer’s burgeoning career. “It 100 percent drives me,” said McCollum, 23. “The most important thing it did was keep me away from the easy route in music.” McCollum - whose critically acclaimed release, “The Limestone Kid,” dropped in February - will perform at 10 p.m. Friday at Whiskey River, 4001 S.W. 51st Ave. He and his older brother wrote two songs together for the album, and Tyler had input on others, including lead single “Meet You in the Middle,” which the younger McCollum said was the rare song by him that big brother actually liked. “He’ll play me things all the time, and I’ll play him things all the time, and nine times out of 10, his response to me since I was 14 years old is, ‘Eh.’ Or he won’t say anything at all,” McCollum said. “That’s probably why I haven’t written as many songs as I’ve started.” The elder McCollum introduced his brother to Americana music from writers like Chris Knight in an attempt to steer him away from pop country. “All my brother was listening to was Townes (Van Zandt) and Guy (Clark) and Rodney Crowell - was kind of hammering it into my head,” McCollum said. “He got kind of rowdy about it.