Thursday, July 31, 2014
Scotty McCreery set to perform Aug. 2 at Indian Ranch
When: 2 p.m. Aug. 2
Where: Indian Ranch, 200 Gore Road, Webster
How much: $41.25 general admission. Tickets can be bought through www.indianranch.com, the Indian Ranch box office (508) 943-3871, Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling (800) 745-3000.
If you were to just listen to Scotty McCreery's deep baritone voice intoning songs without ever having seen him, the assumption would likely be that this country singer is a 40-something with the experience and wisdom of a George Strait.
McCreery, in fact, has experienced a good number of things — certainly more than most other fellow 20-year-olds.
The 2011 "American Idol" winner and recording artist with two No. 1 albums ("Clear As Day" and last year's "See You Tonight") and several country awards already to his credit comes to Indian Ranch in Webster for a performance at 2 p.m. Aug. 2.
Speaking of experience, he's already been to Indian Ranch twice before, McCreery noted during a recent telephone interview while his "See You Tonight Tour" is crisscrossing the country with more than 50 stops.
"Indian Ranch" is one of my favorite spots to come," McCreery said. He sold out the place in 2012 singing covers of country favorites such as George Strait, John Michael Montgomery, Travis Tritt and Garth Brooks, as well as his own material. "His confidence and stage presence were well beyond his years," wrote Telegram & Gazette reviewer Courtney Little. And that voice.
"Honestly, I've been trying to figure it out for a while," McCreery said in a similarly deep conversational voice.
No one else in his family has such a deep voice, he observed. "My dad will sing, but as far as a deep voice, he's a tenor ...
"I guess I got lucky. When I was about 15 probably I fell of a cliff. I'm definitely fine with it. It's helped out."
It was a big helping hand on "American Idol," but McCreery, who grew up in Garner, N.C., had been earning recognition for his singing before auditioning for the show. In 2009 he won "Clayton Idol," a singing contest in Clayton, North Carolina.
McCreery said he never entertained the thought of going all the way in "American Idol" — at least during the first rounds. "I didn't even think about winning it until the top five," he said.
"It didn't really cross my mind. It felt like such a dream." One of the songs he sang in the finale was "George Strait's "Check Yes or No." McCreery is the youngest male winner and the second youngest winner overall.
However, the transition from "American Idol" to establishing a legitimate singing career has been a checkered path — some have checked out well while others have seen the check mark "no."
McCreery said "the biggest thing was getting to Nashville and showing my legitimacy. We went out there and really tried to make a great record, and things kind of worked out."
"Clear As Day," released in 2011, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200, making McCreery the first country artist, as well as the youngest artist, to do so with a first studio album. McCreery said touring with Brad Paisley in 2012 also worked out well in establishing his name.
Meanwhile, McCreery is a student at North Carolina State University, albeit part-time and taking online courses because he's been so busy touring and recording. He said his major is media communications, which seems like yet another good career choice given the path he's following.
Still, "for me, my main focus will be the touring and singing aspect of it," he said of his career.
Some 20-year-olds have been known to go off the rails after experiencing heady early success, but McCreery comes across as steady and straight-headed as his singing voice.
"I just try to keep my friends and family close," he said. Family includes his parents and sister.
"They're excited, but it hasn't changed how they think about me. As long as I keep them close, that's my priority."
Still, it is summer, so why not have some fun — even though McCreery's beloved Boston Red Sox (McCreery's father grew up in Boston) are not repeating the success of last season.
He has a summer hit with the song "Feelin' It" from "See You Tonight." "Feelin' It" is a summer song if ever there was one — catchy and cheery with lyrics like "Whoa, oh, whoa / Ain't nothin' like feelin' that summertime feelin' / Kicked back, relaxed, just chillin' / I'm feelin', I'm feelin' it."
"We hadn't put out a summer song (before). We're excited about it,' McCreery said.
Chances are it will be on the set list at Indian Ranch. But some of the covers McCreery might sing are songs steeped in more serious personal histories. It has been said that country is about experience. Will more of that as he gets older help McCreery as a singer and writer?
"It definitely will. I'll have more to draw from," he replied.
That said, McCreery added, "As a 20-year-old I do feel I've experienced a lot in life."
Contact Richard Duckett at Richard.Duckett@telegram.com