Elsewhere, the North Carolina native tributes the heavenly nature of his home state on “Carolina to Me,” and tips a hat to pure-country heartbreak (and King George) with the clever, “Damn Strait” – which fans can hear live on the road now. “The Waiter” has done just that for 15 years, waiting patiently for a project with enough deep-thinking gravitas to find a place on the menu. And then there are tracks like “That Kind of Fire,” which light the fuse on a different kind of maturity.
Dedicated to his wife, Gabi (just like every love song McCreery writes), the track turns up the sensual heat with a musky vocal growl and steamy lyrics, raising the romantic pressure to higher levels of passion than ever before.
“This is definitely three-years-into-marriage Scotty,” the hit maker says with a sheepish laugh. “I couldn’t have put this on any record before now, it’s definitely a song I would just sing to my wife – and it’s definitely the steamiest song I’ve ever put out. Some people might be kind of surprised!”
But it’s his idea of “perspective” where McCreery feels the most pull, and as such, that’s how he closes the album out. He sees “How You Doing Up There” as the bookend to a conversation started in the opening track, “Same Truck,” but instead of asking God to help us, McCreery turns the tables.
Scotty McCreery – Photo Courtesy of Triple Tigers
“Faith has always been such a big part of my life, and I’m praying constantly throughout the day, different little parts of it. … I just never thought to pray this prayer,” he explains. “It was like ‘Everything is so crazy now and everyone in the world is praying, asking for help. But has anybody thought of asking God how he’s doing?’”
Chalk it up as another example of the person McCreery has grown into – a guy who’s now asking the hard questions and making the tough calls. If he had stuck with his original plan for this album, we probably never would have known any different. But after 10 years, he’s learned to trust his instincts.
“I’ve got no complaints,” he says of his decade in country, with all the ups and downs included. “There are probably some things I’d go back and do differently, but I believe everything happens for a reason. It’s been a wild ride, and if you told me 10 years ago ‘In 2021 you’ll still be making music, you’ll still get to make records and tour the country singing country music,’ I’d say ‘Sign me up.’”