Wednesday, May 29, 2013

“American Idol” winner Scotty McCreery blows in

  Scotty McCreery is working on his third solo album. 
Scotty McCreery calls his 2013 tour Weekend Road Trip, and you can take that literally.
Many of his upcoming gigs are on Fridays or Saturdays, including two this weekend.
The 2011 “American Idol” winner will be at the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival on Friday, May 31, and at Spotlight 29 in Coachella on Saturday, June 1.
The two venues — outdoor stage by a lake and casino showroom — are typical of the rest of McCreery’s tour, although these are his only stops in California.
“Small stage, big stage, 20,000, 2,000 — we just go out there and have a good time,” McCreery said earlier this week in a phone call during a “couple-day break” from his home in North Carolina.
McCreery is “American Idol’s” youngest winner. He was 17 at the time he was on the show, competing against a field that included Idyllwild’s Casey Abrams.
He is now 19 and just finished his freshman year at North Carolina State University, attending classes Mondays through Wednesdays and devoting most of the rest of the time to singing deep-voiced country tunes.
“We’re on campus physically, and then we’re on the road … It all works out. It’s tough as far being on the road and as having to type a paper when you have sound check or when you’re wanting to play X-Box on the bus or something. Time management is, I would say, the key to it all.”
His concerts are a mix of songs by artists that influenced him; songs from his first album, “Clear as Day”; and songs that will be on his next CD, coming out this fall.
“We’ve cut 12 songs so far, and we’re going to cut 17, so we have a little more while to go. But this record, compared to the first record we did, we just have so much more time and more songs to work with. And I’ve got a lot more control, more than I had for the first record with ‘Idol.’ … I’m excited about this record because I think it’s going to be a better representation of me. …”
“There’s your love songs, your heartbreak songs, your life songs. For a record, you just have to find the songs that talk about those things the way you want to talk about them, and in a cool way and in a new way that people haven’t heard before. It’s a challenge to keep things fresh, but it’s a fun challenge. And that’s why we’re out there every week, writing and looking for songs, and looking for influence. So it’s a cool thing.”
McCreery last passed through the Inland area on the 2011 “Idols Live!” tour. He calls touring on his own “totally different.
“The Idol tour was the fans getting to know us and everybody’s having a big celebration of the show. This is more me as an artist and me as how I’ve grown these last couple of years, and it’s fans of country music or me as much as fans of the show.
“The Idol tour was fun, we had a great time. But this is just a little more freedom and a little more me out there.”
McCreery said he loves life on the road.
“I love getting on the bus, chilling with the band — just jamming, doing whatever. We don’t take things too seriously out there. We have a good sense of humor.”


WINCHESTER: 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 31. Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, Lake Skinner, 37701 Warren Road. $22.

COACHELLA: 8 p.m. Saturday, June 1. Spotlight 29, 46-200 Harrison Place. $45-$65. 760-775-5566 

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