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Courtesy of Telegram.com
By Courtney Little SPECIAL TO THE TELEGRAM & GAZETTE 

The sun shone brightly this afternoon as it warmed the 4,000 people at Indian Ranch for the sold-out show of Season 10 "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery. 

An excited New England audience ranging from children to teenage girls to grandparents decked out in Southern flair to watch the 18-year-old heartthrob perform songs from his debut album.

The show began at 2 p.m. with Tim Charron singing “God Bless America” to celebrate the first of two Fourth of July weekends. Then came Massachusetts native Jacy Dawn to kick off the show in her metallic high-heeled boots and subtle Nashville twang.

Not long after she exclaimed how hot it was before leaving the stage, the breezes started blowing, the skies became gray and the high-pitched screams for McCreery turned into reactions to the lightening bolts striking from across the lake. People in the undercover area looked pleasantly as the boats parked offshore on Webster Lake, their occupants initially ready to enjoy a swim and a free show, fled the scene. Unprotected people in the general admission seats looked up at the sky anxiously, hoping to stay dry.

Once McCreery’s band’s instruments were set up, the audience was told that the show would be postponed for a little while until the “Mother Nature’s special effects” eased up. But this didn’t put a damper on the spirits of the audience.

The stage crew covered equipment, spectators got refills on their drinks and chanted “Scotty, Scotty” over the country music that was playing as a filler. When McCreery came out just after 4 p.m., ear-piercing screams could be heard all around as virtually everyone stood up and those who were outside the performance area quickly shuffled back to their seats.

McCreery strolled onto the stage to join his five band members, most of whom were clad in plaid, and jumped right into the song “Walk In The Country” as bright yellow, orange and red lights flashed behind him. It seemed that though the skies were still dark, the sun was back. He whipped out his red-rimmed guitar for the next song as he shuffled round the stage punctuating with a subtle but signature leg kick.

Girls screamed. Women in pink tank tops with McCreery’s face screen-printed on them clapped, waved and held up signs saying “I love you this big.” And McCreery took a moment to catch his breath and reassure the audience that they made the right decision by staying.

“We don’t care about any rain. We don’t care about any weather. We’re not going to let that stop us,” he said. Cheers filled the stands as boats began to slowly fill up the lake again.

And with that, he sang his American Idol finale song, “I Love You This Big.” As the audience swayed in unison with the trees, they flung their arms open wide to let McCreery know that they loved him that much back.

His covers of songs by country favorites like George Straight, John Michael Montgomery, Garth Brooks and Travis Tritt seemed to have every mouth at Indian Ranch moving and singing, as did a song of his own called “The Trouble With Girls.”

The clouds moved out as the high-energy show went on. It was the first sellout of the season for Indian Ranch, according to Manager Dick Parent.

And it’s not hard to see why. McCreery’s genuine sincerity made him somehow even more likable, as he lost track of his words while talking about how thankful he was to be there and dropped the cordless microphone before singing his new single, “Water Tower Town.” His confidence and stage presence were well beyond his years, which is probably why women and men alike in the audience looked simply giddy.

During his encore song, a cover of Montgomery Gentry’s “Gone,” the speakers cut out for one verse and then the last chorus, but even that could not spoil the attitudes of fans who were determined to have fun and see McCreery live. And after that very fitting song, they were gone, and so were all the gray clouds. 

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Carly Rae Jepsen and Cookie Monster ice cream? Why, yes, those did make Scotty McCreery's list of his favorite things. Sunday night (June 17), I asked him a long list of random "what's your favorite" questions, and here's a sampling of what he came up with:

Favorite country song: Eric Church's "Springsteen." He told me, "I listen to that a ton." Rascal Flatts' "Changed" came in a close second.

Favorite pop song: Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." He admitted, "That one's all the rage right now, and I catch myself singing it all the time."
Courtesy of CMT.com


Favorite artists to cover: Elvis Presley, Travis Tritt and George Strait. "All the guys who influenced me," he said.

Favorite junk foods: Cookie dough, cookie dough ice cream and, most importantly, something called Cookie Monster ice cream. "There's this place in my hometown called Pelican's, and it's mainly a snowball place, and I love getting snowballs, but they have this ice cream called Cookie Monster. It's blue vanilla ice cream with Oreos, snicker doodles, chocolate chip cookies and M&M cookies. And it's incredible," he raved.

Favorite not-so-junky foods: Broccoli, apples, bananas, strawberries. And ants on a log. "I was just introduced last week to this thing called ants on a log. It's a celery stick with peanut butter in there and raisins on top. It's very good," he said.

(Almost) favorite chore when he's back home: "I'm the trash guy," he said, saying he occasionally does slack off.

Scotty-McCreery

Courtesy of Taste of Country
By:  Alanna Conway
Photo Credit:  Jason Merritt
 

Before he became one of America’s most loved singers, thanks to ‘American Idol,’ Scotty McCreery was learning about life and what path to pursue from his biggest fan and supporter, his dad. McCreery credits his father for many things that has helped shape the young man he is today. But above all, he says his dad was the one who inspired him to follow his heart into music.

“My dad is the guy who really taught me a lot about myself growing up,” McCreery tells Taste of Country. “He has a job where he has to travel sometimes. He’s always working hard at it. He’s also the guy who taught me how to throw a baseball. I have two loves in life: singing and baseball. He was a pitcher growing up, and he was always out there with me, throwing with me at the field on off days when we weren’t practicing. We were in the bullpens and practicing. He always said hard work will pay off, and whether that’s baseball for me or singing now, it’s the truth. You’ve got to put forth the effort to get back your results.”

The phrase “father knows best” paid off big time in this situation. McCreery, who will attend college in the fall, is currently in the studio beginning to lay the groundwork for his sophomore album that will follow his first release, ‘Clear as Day.’ McCreery’s latest single from that album, ‘Water Tower Town,’ is at radio now.

ScottyMcCreery1-1

Courtesy of Taste of Country

By:  Amy Sciarretto
Photo Credit:  Rick Diamond 

Scotty McCreery is an exercise in contrasts. On one hand, he is a country music megastar, having racked up platinum sales, toured the world and performed on both breakfast and late night TV programs with increasing frequency. On the other, he just graduated high school and is preparing for college. McCreery will begin his freshman year at North Carolina State University in the fall. But he’s not wasting any time and is diving right in. He’s already started decorating his new house, which is located just a few miles from the school’s main campus.

“We’ve got a few signs, and my buddy’s got a big deer head we’re going to put in the living room,” McCreery said, according to Country Music Is Love, about making the new place feel like home.

The décor isn’t going to consist of any of McCreery’s awards, like his recently picked up 2012 CMT Music Awards honor for ‘Breakthrough Video of the Year,’ which he nabbed for ‘The Trouble With Girls.’ He admitted, “I don’t think we’re going to put any of my awards in there. We’re trying to keep things safe.” That’s a wise idea. Don’t need any mishaps during parties or thefts while he is in class.

McCreery, who will major in communications and PR while at NC State, is not planning to put his career on ice while he attends to his studies and his degree, so don’t fret, all you Scotty fans. He’s going to engage in quite a juggling act by doing both. He said, “My friends back home call the me the ‘real-life Hannah Montana’ because I have two lives.”

In order to balance school and work, he will build a two or three day class schedule and route his touring so that he can be on campus on the required days and then fly out for shows on his “off” days.

Few people can pick up an education at the school of life and on the road and in the classroom, but McCreery has a one in a million chance to do so and he’s going for it. He’s a regular ol’ college freshman by day and a country star by night!

We’re not going to lie. The schedule sounds grueling but if anyone can pull it off, it’s our boy Scotty McCreery.

The first day of fall classes isn't until Aug. 16, but Scotty McCreery is already preparing for college life at North Carolina State University. "My friends back home call the me the 'Real-life Hannah Montana' because I have two lives," McCreery says. "We're planning on having a two- or three-day class schedule and work a tour around college so I can be in class and fly out the next day." McCreery will be living in a house near campus with a few friends, who already have begun decorating their new digs. "We've got a few signs, and my buddy's got a big deer head we're going to put in the living room," McCreery says. "I don't think we're going to put any of my awards in there. We're trying to keep things safe." McCreery is pursuing a concentration in communications/public relations, but right now he says the Virtual Reality tour's Brad Paisley and The Band Perry are "the best professo