Friday, December 6, 2013

Scotty McCreery gives free concert at The Woodmen Communty Center

You might know this North Carolina crooner as an American Idol winner or maybe from his Bojangles' commercials. Thursday night Scotty McCreery gave Eastern Carolina fans a free concert.
The 2011 American Idol champion performed at the Woodmen Community Center on Vernon Avenue in Kinston.

It was the annual free holiday concert sponsored by local country radio station WRNS. 500 tickets were given away over the last month by the radio station, the Woodmen Center and various other sponsors, including Bojangles'.

McCreery, a 20-year old sophomore at North Carolina State University, was born in Raleigh and raised in Garner.  We spoke with him about performing in Eastern North Carolina. He says, "Yeah for sure it's been a while since I've been out here to Eastern North Carolina. We're glad to be back and it's just a short drive away. Nice fans, nice people out here, and a good show with WRNS the country station and just ready to have some fun."  Fans didn't have to bring cash, but many brought canned goods to benefit the Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina.

Scotty McCreery has what it takes!

Scotty McCreery to perform at A.D. Lewis Auditorium tonight

Scotty McCreery
When: Today at 7:30 p.m.
Where: A.D. Lewis Auditorium on the campus of Robeson Community College
Tickets: Sold out

The long-term success rate of "American Idol" winners is spotty.
For every Carrie Underwood, there's a Taylor Hicks. Winning the singing talent show does not guarantee a years-long career. Dean Severance figures season 10 winner Scotty McCreery will be around for a while. Severance, known as Dean-O to his listeners, is the program director at local country music station WKML.

He said he thinks the 20-year-old Garner native has what it takes. "He has staying power," Severance said.
Today at 7:30 p.m., WKML is sponsoring a McCreery concert in A.D. Lewis Auditorium on the campus of Robeson Community College. The show is sold out.

McCreery won "American Idol" voters over in 2011 with his down-to-earth demeanor, coupled with a powerful singing voice. Severance said he believes McCreery has built a strong fan following in country music by stressing hometown values and professing Christian beliefs.  "There's a big hunger out there for really good kids, and he's a really good guy," Severance said. "When there's somebody who stands out, who has beliefs, who has standards and who lives by them, I think people are drawn to that."

Of course, in the entertainment business, all the good nature in the world doesn't mean a thing without talent. Severance said McCreery has that, in spades.  "See You Tonight," McCreery's latest album and single, are the best things the singer has released in his short career, Severance said.  "To make it, to have staying power, you have to find the right songs that are right for you and that connect with the audience," Severance said. "I think he's figuring that out, and I think as time goes by he's going to get better and better at that."

The sophomore album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Album chart and No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart with sales of 52,000. Billboard says he is the second solo male act to debut at No. 1 with his first two albums of original material in 50 years. His first album, "Clear as Day," also was No. 1 two years ago.  The seats for McCreery's concert at A.D. Lewis Auditorium sold out quickly. The venue holds less than 1,000.  Severance said the show should be a fairly intimate evening with a singer whose career would seem to be just beginning. "I think people will feel like they're right on stage with him," Severance said.

Staff writer Rodger Mullen can be reached at or 486-3561.

Scotty McCreery will be in Lumberton, NC tonight Image