Thursday, October 10, 2013

Scotty McCreery prepares new album, new show for hometown fans

A little more than two years after he won "American Idol" and on the day after his 20th birthday, Scotty McCreery was back in Garner, taking a break with family and preparing for a pair of concerts at the NC State Fair.  His second studio album goes on sale next week, and he'll debut a new show for his hometown fans Oct. 21 and 22 at the J.S. Dorton Arena.

The country singer and college student said he spends more time in Raleigh, where he is a sophomore at North Carolina State University, than in Garner.  " I love getting out on the road," McCreery said Thursday. "That's probably my favorite part of all this – just seeing the fans. It's a different crowd every night, same show, different crowd."

His concerts at the fair will be an all-new show, featuring songs from his new album, "See You Tonight.
He co-wrote five songs on the album, including the title track.  "It's the first song I've written and released to the public. I've been writing songs since I was a kid, but this is the first one I've put out," he said.  McCreery keeps producing new music and touring, hoping to turn his early success into a sustainable career.

 "I think we've done a pretty good job of making people know that we're here to stay and making people know that I'm a legitimate artist and not just an 'Idol,'" he said.   "There's a lot of research in radio, and the song "See You Tonight" is up there in the research so it's positive. Everything is positive," he said.
Also looking up is his education. McCreery says his professors don't give him any breaks, and other students treat him like a regular guy on campus.  "I want to be embraced in the whole university aspect and the whole lifestyle around it, and being a student is the number one thing," he said.

McCreery enjoys being a fan of Wolfpack athletic teams and says supporting his university is a big deal.
As he balances school and success, he uses Twitter and Facebook to stay in touch with friends, family and fans.  "We can sit there and every day communicate with the fans. They don't just see me at a show. They don't just see me on TV. They get to talk to me one-on-one, legitimately," he said.

What does a cool country star do before his new album drops? He comes n pays respects to R White Deer

GAC Album Review of Scotty McCreery's Sophomore Album See You Tonight

GAC Album Review: Scotty McCreery's See You Tonight
Scotty McCreery’s 2013 album, See You Tonight. Photo courtesy of UMG Nashville.

Scotty McCreery walked a neo-traditional line on his 2011 debut, Clear As Day, with a sterling sound recalling the Alan Jacksons and Clint Blacks of the country music world. Now the former American Idol champion returns October 15 with his follow-up, See You Tonight, an electric 13-song set blending those influences with the idea that things can heat up when the sun goes down.

Working with producer Frank Rogers (Darius Rucker, Trace Adkins), Scotty taps into the life and times of a college student on his new record; a life that he is actually living himself at North Carolina State University. And just like they do for underclassman everywhere, girls and parties get a lot of attention. The relaxed and rhythmic “Blue Jean Baby” appreciates her good denim while the raucous party-tune “Now” yells out for a good time. Let’s crank it up loud, Scotty sings on the anthem. Fiddle and mandolin still run through the mix, but song structures and arrangements have a more contemporary feel this time around. “I Don’t Want To Be Your Friend” plays with a funky bass line and up/down rhythm section and the summer song “Feelin’ It” uses a sequenced intro and big whoa-oh-whoa-ohs in the chorus.

Though he always had the chops, there’s plenty of evidence on See You Tonight that Scotty is developing into one of the genre’s finest singers. Performances are consistently dynamic as he shows off some serious vocal agility. His anticipation and timing on the title track match the song’s urgency while the banjo-fire “Can You Feel It” displays a sense of tempo and rhythm that belies his age. Scotty can turn individual syllables in and out, as he does on the melodic “Get Gone With You,” showing off exceptionally tight control to the great emotional benefit of the song.

Though the party continues on songs like “Buzzin’,” See You Tonight saves time for deep moments of reflection as well. As he sings on the acoustic guitar/mandolin closer “Something More,” By now I think I’ve heard every line there is to hear about a truck, in an effort to hear something more substantial. On this project, those moments come most prominently on “The Dash” and “Carolina Moon.” It ain’t about the numbers chiseled in concrete/it’s how they lived their lives in the dash between, he reassures on the former over moody piano and fleeting electric guitars. Alison Krauss joins on the Appalachian-tinged “Carolina Moon” to offer sparkling harmonies as Scotty sings lovingly of his home state while Southern stars are dancing around the North Carolina moon. And in a rather subtle move, “Feel Good Summer Song” is anything but as fluttering bass fuels a dramatic arrangement. Scotty’s voice becomes more and more pained through the four-minute song that is full of poignant aches and stunning bends.

While See You Tonight features a more progressive sound than Scotty’s first release, it also displays an older and wiser perspective. Life might be full of parties and co-eds in college, but Scotty also shows that a growing maturity can come with the territory as well. And on See You Tonight, Scotty balances both with an authentic and honest feel.

Key Tracks – “Get Gone With You, “Feel Good Summer Song,” “Buzzin’,” “Carolina Moon”

With new CD, Scotty McCreery hoping for some hit singles

Country singer Scotty McCreery, 20, at the White Deer Park in Garner, N.C. on Thursday, October 10, 2013. COREY LOWENSTEIN — Buy Photo
— Scotty McCreery has scored a top-ranked, platinum-selling album. He’s had a successful holiday-themed CD. He’s won country music awards.  But when his third CD in as many Octobers is released Tuesday, McCreery is pushing for something more: the kind of chart-topping, radio-powered single that has thus far eluded him.  “I’m really hoping this album takes us to that next level,” McCreery said Thursday in an interview in his hometown, Garner. “I’m keying in on radio for this record – trying to get some singles out there that climb up the charts and go. And I think we’ve got the songs to do it.”
Of the 13 tracks on the CD, called “See You Tonight,” there’s a strong influence of the uptempo, good-time, good-ole-boy style of country now popularized by acts such as Luke Bryan or Florida Georgia Line. McCreery refers to it as “bro-country.”

 A sophomore at N.C. State University who just turned 20 on Wednesday, McCreery said he often uses the three fellow students he lives with – all longtime friends – as a target demographic for new material. They particularly like the song “Feelin’ It,” whose lyrics talk of “pop-tops,” “flip-flops” and “drop-tops.” 

“I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend,” one of five songs on the CD that McCreery co-wrote, is about a guy telling a girl that he has enough friends, he wants romance.  “It’s a fun song. It’s not supposed to come off cold,” McCreery said. “It’s just saying I want a little more – I want a relationship.” But he turns coy when asked about his own relationship status.  “I like to leave this question a mystery,” he said, smiling. “I always say that it’s tough to have a relationship when you’re on the road as much as I am ... but it is possible.”

Just don’t expect McCreery to pull a Miley Cyrus and pop up in the tabloids or on TMZ anytime soon.
“That won’t happen,” he said. “Miley, she’s great. She’s changing up a little bit. Different strokes for different folks. Our strokes are a little different. But hey, she’s doing her thing, and I’m not going to criticize her for it.”
As someone who has been in the spotlight since he was 17, McCreery said he always has to be careful about what he’s doing and where he’s seen.  “I can never turn things off and just kind of be,” he said. “And that’s tough as a teenager and as a young adult. You want to just kind of let loose sometimes.”

Beyond ‘bro-country’
Beyond the “bro-country” on the album, McCreery said he wanted to make sure there were some traditional country offerings, too. “Something More,” one of his compositions, talks about searching for substance amid the party songs.

And he is especially fond of “Carolina Moon,” a wistful ballad in which he duets with Alison Krauss. (Alas, they did their tracks separately, he said, and he missed recording with her by a day.)
Frank Rogers, who has worked with country acts such as Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker, produced the new album and wrote some songs with McCreery.

“See You Tonight,” the first single from the CD, has risen to No. 36 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. McCreery said it’s his baby – the first song he was involved in writing to ever be recorded.
His first album, “Clear As Day,” came out in October 2011, just a few months after McCreery won the 10th season of Fox’s “American Idol” TV singing competition. Though McCreery said that he’s proud of “Clear As Day,” which sold more than a million copies, he admits that it was rushed into stores.
“It wasn’t like we sat there and took our time with it,” he said. “Looking back, we probably should have taken more time.”  Though it spawned two gold singles (more than 500,000 copies shipped) with “I Love You This Big” and “The Trouble With Girls,” neither song cracked the Top 10.  Last October, McCreery released a holiday CD, “Christmas with Scotty McCreery,” that went gold. But Christmas songs don’t usually make hit singles.

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The reality show stigma
McCreery said he thinks some radio programmers attached a bit of stigma to him initially because he found fame through reality TV. Plus, he was touring with other “Idol” finalists right after the show and didn’t do the kind of radio promotions that other young country artists usually do. He’s hoping to make up for that in promoting “See You Tonight.”

“We’re trying to hit those markets now. Trying to go meet those stations ... and to play the new music and to create those relationships.”  Expect to see him stumping for the new album on “Today,” “The Tonight Show” and other places in the next few weeks. He’ll also play two shows at the N.C. State Fair, as he did last year.
On top of that, of course, there are his studies at NCSU. He’s taking a full class load this semester, but McCreery acknowledged that he might have to taper that off a bit in the future.  “I’m learning that I’m not Superman and that I can’t necessarily do everything,” he said.
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Scotty McCreery's visit to QDR this morning

Scotty McCreery wears his 94-7 and eats his Bojangles in the studio!

Guess what time it is?!?
Ashlynn of Coats is ready for

Scotty McCreery will be in the studio at 947 QDR this morning 8-9 am