‘American Idol’ winner Scotty McCreery dreams of the Grand Ole Opry

08/06/2014 6:38 PM

08/06/2014 6:40 PM

It’s easy to forget that Scotty McCreery is old enough to perform in establishments that serve alcohol but too young to imbibe.

“People think I’m older than I am,” said McCreery, 20. “I’m used to it.”

But it wasn’t that long ago that McCreery was just a typical kid immersed in baseball and daydreams. But that all changed when the laid-back Boston Red Sox diehard discovered he has a remarkable voice.

“I didn’t get what I had until I was 15,” said McCreery recently while calling from Hyannis, Mass. “It was a weird thing. I went like that from a tenor to a bass. It was surreal. My voice changed, and it changed for the better.”

Armed with his deep baritone and charm, McCreery won the 10th season of “American Idol” in 2011.

“It seems like such a long time ago,” McCreery said. “It was incredible. It opened some doors for me, and I’ve been all about taking advantage of whatever opportunities I’ve received.”

McCreery, who will perform Sunday at the Cotillion, released “Clear As Day,” just five months after he won the “Idol” title. The album, which includes such hits as “I Love You This Big” and “The Trouble With Girls,” took off immediately. The album sold 197,000 copies during its first week of release.

“It was a great start,” McCreery said. “You have to strike while the iron is hot. I worked hard and I haven’t let up.”

The driven North Carolinian made a holiday release “Christmas with Scotty,” which dropped in 2012 and went gold. His second official studio album, “See You Tonight,” was released in October. The project, which was produced by Frank Rogers (Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker), is full of agreeable, earnest country, which melds the traditional with the contemporary. Rogers adds an undeniable bright, glossy sheen to the album, which contrasts some of the grit in McCreery’s deep croon.

“I think it all works,” McCreery said. “The album sounds like now, but I think it straddles the past and the current very well. That’s what I wanted to do. I needed to stay true to myself and I have. I have to have some of that traditional country sound on it.”

McCreery has a few co-writes on the light, breezy album. “I want to write more and grow as a musician,” McCreery said. “I want to achieve as much as possible, but I want to make sure what I do is the best it can be. We rushed that first album, but we took our time with this one.”

At his age, McCreery certainly has time. When he’s not onstage, he likes the “simple things” in life. “When I’m out on the road, I like to play cornhole or if I have the chance, I like to fish,” he said.

He likes the simple things, but McCreery dreams big. “I want to be a better songwriter and be the best performer I can be,” McCreery said. “But my ultimate goal that I’ll work so hard to get is to hopefully someday get inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. That would be incredible. In the meantime, I’m just trying to make a mark for myself in any way I can.”

McCreery has accomplished quite a bit for a college-age guy. “But I don’t feel like I’m 20,” McCreery said. “I’m an old soul, who is a pretty happy guy.”

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