Monday, February 18, 2013

It's Happening: Nashville Connections & More Cool Stuff

By Julie Perine on February 17, 2013

Shortly after Scotty McCreery won the 10th season of American Idol, Bridgeport’s Aaron Gallagher found himself playing for him.  Gallagher is a member of the Raleigh, NC-based Chris Hendricks Band, which not only entertains audiences with their signature alternative rock, but also enlightens and encourages high school students.  “Chris speaks to the kids about growing up with Cerebral Palsy,” Gallagher said.

So at one of those assemblies – at Garner Magnet High School in Garner, NC – the band was doing their thing. Hendricks delivered his speech to the students and then the guys obliged in playing some tunes.  “I look down and there’s Scotty McCreery in the front row,” he said. “We knew he was going to be there, but didn’t expect to be playing my guitar 10 feet in front of this country music mega star and American Idol winner.”
After the show, McCreery came upon stage and wanted to meet the band members.“He totally fixated on Chris and his message,” Gallagher said.  The boys all had plenty of time to chat backstage.  “I talked to him 15 or 20 minutes. He’s a really good, down to earth guy,” Gallagher said.
Among topics which came up was baseball.  “I said that I heard he was a pitcher and he said yeah, that he used to throw a little bit,” Gallagher said. “I told him that I played in college (West Virginia Wesleyan).” The boys found they had a mutual friend associated with the sport.  “One of my friends – Pat Watkins – played baseball for the Cincinnati  Reds and he went to Garner High School,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher was quite impressed with McCreery for a number of reasons.  After talking to the Garner Magnet High School principal, Gallagher discovered that McCreery had just the night before been featured on The Jay Leno Show. He flew home on the redeye, arriving in town at 3 a.m. and still made it to school. He was in shorts and a T-shirt, blending right into the student body; not causing attention to himself nor bragging about his newfound fame.  “He didn’t act like he was cooler than any of the other students. That’s the reason I really liked him,” Gallagher said.  Gallagher later ran into McCreery, who made a special musical appearance with Brad Paisley - with whom he ended up touring during his senior year of high school. The fact that a kid who was on the concert circuit, touring with one of country music’s biggest names on the weekends and attending high school during the week, made a lasting impression on Gallagher, he said. 
Also, he was and continues to be impressed with McCreery's musical talent. “As an entertainer, I think Scotty has a voice well beyond his years. When I first heard him sing, he was 17 and sounded like a seasoned veteran,” Gallagher said.  And it’s pretty cool, Gallagher said, to see a performer develop over time.  "When (McCreery) was younger, you could hear a lot of influence from the American Idol people but more and more recently, he’s starting to find his own sound," he said.  McCreery also toured with The Band Perry, who happened to include guitarist Jebb  Holmes – who played on The Chris Hendricks Band’s first studio album, “Noise.”  “Nashville really is a small place,” Gallagher said.
With all that being said, I asked Aaron Gallagher if he and McCreery happened to talk about the fact that Gallagher hosts a Web site,, which has taught some 15 million people worldwide how to play guitar.
He never mentioned that, he said.  I say: Pretty impressive.
Gallagher also happened to be the one who got Hendricks into the music business. He backed him and promoted his talent. By "chance," the two met one day in a coffee shop. Gallagher was inspired by Hendricks' story, backed him as an agent and began promoting his talent – as well as his message about achieving dreams despite disability. The guys' message and music have garnered attention around the globe.
So today’s blog may be about music, but it's also about humility – a double dose. Sometimes, it seems, it's the lesser-known connections that really make a difference.
To read Connect-Bridgeport’s story about Gallagher, who found his musical talent after his 2003 graduation from Bridgeport High School, click HERE.
To read about McCreery's Weekend Roadtrip, which has stops later this month in both Pittsburgh and Charleston, click HERE.

Scotty McCreery @ Rapids Theatre, Niagara Falls, New York Friday, February 15, 2013

Edit: I wanted to post this comment up here in case some people don't read through all of the comments.  This is from the author of this article!!  Donna :)

 Thom JenningsFebruary 19, 2013 at 9:00 AM Great to see this re-posted! My buddy John Ritz took the photos, he is an amazing photographer and it was a difficult shoot because the lights were going haywire! I met his mom and dad at the show (they sold merch) and interviewed Scotty by phone the week before the show. Great people! 

By: Thom Jennings

Fans of Scotty McCreery enjoyed an evening of "Idol" worship Friday night at the Rapids Theatre in Niagara Falls, NY. Fans of the tenth season winner of the famed television show "American Idol" were able to worship the young country singer up close. McCreery engaged in his own tribute to the artists he idolizes as he performed songs by Travis Tritt, Garth Brooks and Elvis Presley.

The baby-faced McCreery has one of the best voices in country music, and in a live setting, one gets to experience it in a way that a television show cannot match. McCreery surrounded himself with a potent backing band that gave his solo material some good old fashioned country muscle, and plowed through a great selection of country music covers.

McCreery was backed by a huge LED screen that coordinated images with the songs and on occasion flashed lyrics like a karaoke machine. The visual element was distracting at times, but ultimately the highlight of the show was listening to McCreery sing, and he sounded fantastic. In addition to performing near perfect renditions of two Garth Brooks songs, he was joined by opener Sara Darling for "The Dance," where they shared the stage for a beautiful duet. McCreery debuted some new material including two songs that may wind up being hits, "Rock This Night" and "Out of Summertime."

McCreery's fans should not have left disappointed, and the crowd included all ages from as young as six or seven and up. (One note to parents who bring young kids to shows, please make sure you provide hearing protection for them.) Even though McCreery is still in college, his music has not suffered and it appears he is well on his way to a long and prosperous career in music.

Set List:

Rock This Night
Water Tower Town
Walk in the Country
Love You This Big
Yes or No
Write My Number
Papa Loved Mama (Garth Brooks cover)
Out of Summertime
Man of Constant Sorrows (traditional)
Better than That
See You Tonight
The Dance (Garth Brooks cover)
You Make That Look Good
I Like it, I Love it (Tim McGraw cover)
In Color
Celebrity (Brad Paisley cover)
Medley: Hey Good Lookin'/ Folsom Prison Blues/ That's Alright Mama (Hank Williams/Johnny Cash/Elvis Presley covers)
T-R-O-U-B-L-E (Travis Tritt cover)




We would like to thank Leigh Morrison from Universal Music for the credentials for BackstageAxxess to cover the show.

Click on the link below to see more pictures from the concert

Ticket for sale: Scotty McCreery's May 17th Concert

 A fan has contacted me letting me know she has the following ticket for sale. If you are interested please send an e-mail to the address listed at the bottom. 


FRIDAY, MAY 17,2013


Rose Tucker

'American Idol' winner Scotty McCreery visits with Aquarium of Niagara stars

Scotty McCreery is shown on stage at the Aquarium of Niagara with `Arie.` (photo by Jennifer Humphrey)
Scotty McCreery is shown on stage at the Aquarium of Niagara with "Arie." (photo by Jennifer Humphrey)
by jmaloni Press release
Mon, Feb 18th 2013 10:30 am
Country music singer Scotty McCreery got up close and personal with some of the Aquarium of Niagara's biggest stars on Friday, Feb. 15. McCreery was in town for a performance at the Rapids Theater, which marked the second stop on his Weekend Road Trip tour.

Just after the 1 p.m. sea lion show, McCreery, his band, management and family arrived on site at the Aquarium of Niagara. The group was greeted by AON personnel, and split into smaller groups to enjoy a VIP experience like never before.

McCreery's first encounter was on stage with "Arie," a 4-year-old female California sea lion. After having the opportunity to interact and toss a few fish, McCreery made his way to the second part of his visit. The second encounter was with "Opus," a Humboldt penguin who was hatched at the Aquarium of Niagara in 1988.

McCreery won the 10th season of "American Idol" in 2011 and, with his first studio album, made history as the youngest singer to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart.
>>Find Scotty McCreery online at